Judge Defends Free Speech on Twitter in Key Case
Dismisses suit against man accused of stalking an enemy
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 16, 2011 6:07 AM CST
William Lawrence Cassidy posted personal attacks against a religious leader on Twitter.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Posting personal attacks on Twitter may not be a matter for the courts—even if thousands of tweets are involved, according to a US judge. In a case in San Francisco, the government accused one William Lawrence Cassidy of causing a Buddhist leader "severe emotional distress" through the social network; some of his thousands of tweets looked forward to her death. But the government's case was "directed squarely at protected speech: anonymous, uncomfortable Internet speech addressing religious matters," judge Roger Titus wrote.

One tweet told the religious leader, Alyce Zeoli, to "do the world a favor and go kill yourself." But Titus likened the situation to bulletins posted in a colonial American's yard: A colonist would have to visit the yard to see the post. Similarly, tweets can be "turned on or off by the owners of the bulletin boards," he noted. "This is in sharp contrast to a telephone call, letter or e-mail specifically addressed to and directed at another person." It's the first case decided under new cyberstalking measures, and as such, the decision "is likely to be quite influential," an expert tells the New York Times.

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JohnAcord
Dec 19, 2011 6:02 AM CST
I have personal experience with Roger Titus in a case that is on point and relevant. I am a named party in a civil case before Titus. In March 0f 2004 many issues were settled by an Agreed Injunction, which, among other things, required the parties to refrain from making defamatory or derogatory comments or writing about each other. Titus entered a Permanent Injunction. In 2007 I discovered that Roger Mason, owner of a prominent supplement and pharmaceutical enterprise, had been sending anonymous letters to our customers, suppliers, distributors, employees making the most blatant and horrific comments, allegations and threats about myself, my family, and anyone else who supported our case. Among the letters were cartoons portraying my headstone, my body in a cemetery, my body on a gurney in a morgue. In sworn testimony and depositions Mason denied sending or authoring most of the cartoons and anonymous letters even through we are able to show he used identical language and descriptions in email messages/letters he sent to third parties. I filed a motion to have Mason held in contempt. Not only did Titus dismiss my motion, he sanctioned me $25000 for bringing it and when I did not pay it he threw me in the District of Columbia Jail for 97 days where I suffered severe mental and physical abuse. Yes, I was thrown into jail for asking Titus to enforce his own Permanent Injunction! If you think I'm making this up, please look up my appeal to the 4th Circuit, 09-1481. Titus needs to be removed from the bench by impeachment or whatever means are possible. His rulings have left us all without protection against horrific libel and harassment. He will not even enforce his own rulings. He is a danger to the judiciary and is totally out of control. If you want to learn more just Google "John Acord" + Titus
JamaicaJim
Dec 16, 2011 1:14 PM CST
...until the next "judge" rules they can. Wonder if this one tweeted his ruling.....