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Author Topic: My Long Answer and Reply to Victor on ROA.  (Read 1411 times)

Matthew Chan

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My Long Answer and Reply to Victor on ROA.
« on: March 25, 2015, 09:15:25 PM »
The reason I have made this post here is because my reply is very long and may generate more questions and dialog. It is much easier to have a dialog here on an open forum platform than on a blog.

The ROA website using the blog platform is not conducive to in-depth discussions and I don't have the ability to easily correct any clerical errors after it is posted.

Victor wrote to me on ROA:

Dear Matthew, Todd/The Moderator recommended you to me me to share with you my situation and that possibly you could point me in the right direction in regards to helping me find an attorney that would be right- possibly pro bono. Most importantly someone that would be interested in the case from a 1st Amendment stand point; or whatever you recommend. This is what I shared on What is Restraining Order Abuse – Lived with a man and a woman. The man I had a sexual relationship with, while the wife encouraged it. After a year the wife wanted a romantic relationship with me as well, and once I didn’t comply, I was banished from their home. With witnessing a new side to these people I felt vulnerable to them with the knowledge that not a lot of people knew the truth of our relationship, so I subsequently posted to my Facebook that my relationship with the husband had ended. Within in an hour he attacked me in my home- beat on me, vandalized my property, and threatened if I ever shared my story with anyone, he’d kill me, followed by that, he said he knew people in the New York area that would ensure me a devastating existence. He was arrested and given a restraining order. Weeks later I was served with one on basis that I wrote of my truth with them online in a blog. He and his wife backed it the restraining order up in court with lies: they felt threatened by me, stalked them, drove by their home, and because they had children that it was seriously important for them to be protected. At first they were told they had no basis, no proof, and that at that point writing of someone online didn’t hold any legal merit. I followed by taking the blog down that I had written about my experience with them. Honestly, my blog seemed like protection to me, to write publicly, because watching him lie in court was as if I was watching a virtual stranger work to make me a bad person, make themselves look like victims of me, and it seemed like there was nothing I could put past he and his wife. Later I was served again, and by the basis of one social media site having his name still there, only his name, I was given a restraining order. I don’t write about them anymore online anywhere, and now for the third year he has renewed the restraining order. His order that protected me lapses this month, and yes it worries me. Should I be? And how worried should I be? Thank you much Matthew.
Read http://Defiantly.net by Matthew Chan. Under the First Amendment, I have the right to share opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, symbolism, snark, sarcasm, epithets, & combative language. Under Section 230 of CDA, I am only responsible for posts I write, not others.

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Cult Leader", Grand Poobah, Big Cheese
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Re: My Long Answer and Reply to Victor on ROA.
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 09:24:25 PM »
My LONG REPLY to Victor:

Victor,

Thanks for sharing your story. First off, based on the surface version of your story, your situation definitely qualifies as restraining order abuse. Second, it also appears your 1st Amendment (1A) rights have been violated.

I say "surface" because I believe there are more layers to your story that contributed to the situation. I am not "victim-blaming" but in Todd's case, he was overwhelmed by the credibility of an academically-pedigree of his accuser.  There was also a husband-wife team against him, a single man. You appear to have a similar situation here. Also, in some circles, male/male sexual relationships is not well accepted and is a subtle negative slant against you making you an "outsider" of the marriage.

The "outrage", of course, is that the husband doesn't want anyone to know because it is embarrassing for him.  The 1A makes no such distinction of exceptions.  What you discuss must be factually true and it cannot be physically threatening.

However, lower court judges have little accountability and oversight. Many are elected into office. And they will be swayed by their emotions, not the law.  1A rights are frequently trounced on in lower courts even when you bring it up. It will more likely be stepped on if you DON'T bring it up in court.

Many conventional restraining orders are limited in term. But it seems you have someone who is going to continue to repeatedly "renew" the restraining order against you under similar absurd grounds until you prepare a legitimate legal counter-argument. You may also have to make a veiled warning that you intend to escalate and publicize the incident.

I've said it often both privately and publicly that there comes a point when enough is enough. However, it is different for every person. Some people will put up a lot out of their own fears. There is no magical pill to overcoming personal fears. For me, I publicly speak out and comment about my accuser, the infamous Dash Poet, on Defiantly.net and other places.

I was "warned" by some friends I am taking a risk until my appeal comes through. I told them I wasn't waiting and I was perfectly okay with the minimal risks I saw. I read the order myself and I know the scope of it to navigate in a way that is comfortable for me. I evaluated the big picture (of whether or not the poorly-budgeted prosecutor's office will want to spend resources to try to enforce a clearly unconstitutional order). For me personally, I won't be bullied by the local government or the local judges either.  But that is reflective of my personality.

If you expect a "white knight" lawyer to come to your rescue, it will not likely happen. You have to decide how much you will tolerate and make a stand. I can tell you that your best allies will be the 1A folks. They are a passionate group of people and don't like to see 1A get stepped on. However, they have limited resources also. They tend to pick and choose those cases that serve the greater good, not just one person. Part of that is the narrative you tell. If your narrative is small, it won't be as effective than if your narrative is larger. (For example: my story is NOT about any personal relationship I had with my accuser. I wrote about her, a copyright extortionist, of which it is an issue that was discussed on my copyright extortion battling website.) My case is more attractive and compelling to 1A people because there is a larger narrative. Todd's case against Tiffany Bredfeldt is potentially large because Todd is a blogger and owners of a legitimate platform of commentary and discussion.  Todd currently lacks sufficient skill-set in certain areas at this time that currently holds him back.

There is no way I can train anyone to do what I did. I can give a to-do list but it won't be applicable or practical to most people.  What I did is a combination of many factors of which I laid the groundwork years earlier of building personal support. ROA is one such resource and other fighters of RO abuse are coming out little by little. I consider myself a "lucky guy". But then again, I worked hard to put myself in a "lucky" position.

I can tell you to do certain things (as I have done with Todd) but that is only a starting point subject to changes and challenges you face. Ultimately, there are no guarantees that any local judge will see it your way.  But they are NOT the enforcement which is often the police or the prosecutor's office. I think the police and prosecutor's office would be hard pressed to arrest and prosecute someone who told a story of a sexual affair.

For example, there are free local legal aid clinics but most are not well-versed in 1A issues. They could only help with legal procedure but not the legal arguments.  They deal with evictions, credit card debt, and the like.

As non-lawyers, we have to work extra hard to represent ourselves and get our stories told. We create the narrative. There are lawyers that occasionally do pro-bono work. But the first rule of getting pro-bono representation is understanding what the lawyer will get out of helping you. They have to get something out of such as publicity and bragging rights.  Presumably, a person wants pro-bono representation because of financial reasons. If that is the case, then non-lawyers have to do extra work to assist and homework in learning the legal side of things and figuring out what a lawyer wants in order for them to help you.

Most legal clients want to dump their problems on someone entirely and not do their part. I tend to make it easy for people to represent me because I extensively do my homework.

The reason I generally can't or don't give free advice is because most people don't like the advice I give. People like the results I get for myself but they aren't willing to do the homework, be persistent, or take the risks that I do. If you plan on overcoming your situation, you are doing the right thing in getting educated. What is NOT talked about much is that being an underdog of the legal system there is a mindset of winning and overcoming using non-legal power points that affect change.

I am sorry for the long post because I don't have a specific recipe for your situation. No two situations are alike.  I am considering setting up an affordable support and consultation program for people such as yourself who are having 1A issues. I already do this for victims of copyright extortion and it has worked out well for them. Part of my exploratory mission is for me to gather information and data. I am willing to review the restraining orders issued against you for FREE. I need something more concrete to speak from. Email it to gmail with the matt30060 prefix.

Although I am not a lawyer, I do get pulled into "legalese" types of projects even from my business friends. They often call or hire me as their consultant for some challenges they don't trust a random lawyer to take care of. I accept certain assignments from those that know how I work and when I believe I can make a meaningful contribution.  They have seen my track record for getting things accomplished, I have good instincts about certain legal challenges and I am very good at concisely laying out the issues.

Read http://Defiantly.net by Matthew Chan. Under the First Amendment, I have the right to share opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, symbolism, snark, sarcasm, epithets, & combative language. Under Section 230 of CDA, I am only responsible for posts I write, not others.

 

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