District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford

 

Read Full-Text Decision

An April 2014 indictment charged plaintiff with threatening the life of the president of the United States. Released on bail, plaintiff violated the conditions of his pretrial release. Release was revoked and he was detained until after a jury trial in which he was acquitted on Sept. 10, 2015. Proceeding in forma pauperis, plaintiff’s Feb. 14, 2017 second amended complaint (SAC) claimed, among others, false arrest and imprisonment, violation of his First Amendment rights, defamation, and violation of his “Fourth Amendment right to privacy.” Of his SAC’s nine causes of action, the court dismissed only plaintiff’s defamation and privacy right claims without prejudice under 28 USC §1915(e). Plaintiff failed to show cognizable defamation under 42 USC §1983. Further, his state law-based defamation claim was time barred. Plaintiff’s claim that defendant U.S. Secret Service agent Blackerby arrested him absent privilege to do so because he had not committed any crime was sufficient to pass muster under §1915(e). Also sufficiently pleaded was plaintiff’s assertion that Blackerby and codefendant Landy acted with malice in reporting plaintiff’s statements, which plaintiff contended were not “true threats” removed from First Amendment protection.

District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford

 

Read Full-Text Decision

An April 2014 indictment charged plaintiff with threatening the life of the president of the United States. Released on bail, plaintiff violated the conditions of his pretrial release. Release was revoked and he was detained until after a jury trial in which he was acquitted on Sept. 10, 2015. Proceeding in forma pauperis, plaintiff’s Feb. 14, 2017 second amended complaint (SAC) claimed, among others, false arrest and imprisonment, violation of his First Amendment rights, defamation, and violation of his “Fourth Amendment right to privacy.” Of his SAC’s nine causes of action, the court dismissed only plaintiff’s defamation and privacy right claims without prejudice under 28 USC §1915(e). Plaintiff failed to show cognizable defamation under 42 USC §1983. Further, his state law-based defamation claim was time barred. Plaintiff’s claim that defendant U.S. Secret Service agent Blackerby arrested him absent privilege to do so because he had not committed any crime was sufficient to pass muster under §1915(e). Also sufficiently pleaded was plaintiff’s assertion that Blackerby and codefendant Landy acted with malice in reporting plaintiff’s statements, which plaintiff contended were not “true threats” removed from First Amendment protection.