William Hoge has now blogged twice about Monday’s court action in the case of Kimberlin v Walker et al attempting to refute our reporting on the event. He was allegedly so close to Mr. Kimberlin that he could overhear his conversations with attorneys. But when we visited the Maryland case search website for docket number 380966V, we noted that Mr. Hoge was not accounted as present by the court. How is this possible?

notpresent11-4

Our sources saw Mr. Hoge in the courtroom, so we know he was there. But because the hearing lasted all of 24 minutes in two disjointed parts, we have questions about what he thinks he saw and heard. Did Mr. Hoge account for every warm body in the room during the entire proceeding, or is it possible he missed someone during the 70-minute window in which the hearing took place? We already know that Team Akbar can be extraordinarily inobservant, which is how we got right in Aaron Walker’s face and took his picture without him even noticing. The court may suffer from the same syndrome, for they somehow missed Hoge at Monday’s hearing.

How did Mr. Hoge attend a hearing in which he was a defendant without identifying himself as one? Is it ethical for him to put on his “journalist hat” and ignore his name as it gets called from the docket, then “report” on a civil case to which he is a party? Did defendants’ counsel act unethically by failing to identify him to the court, or did he hoodwink them, too? Why did he not identify himself when the docket was called — was he too busy trying (and failing) to scope out our sources? Or did he enter the courtroom only after the roll call, thus proving that he did miss some part of the hearing for which he claims to be the only reliable witness?

When we asked the Montgomery County Circuit Court today, this was the nearest answer they could give: either the clerk read his name and he failed to respond, or he was not present when they called him. Either way, Hoge is being disingenuous and probably unethical here, which is no surprise to those of us who have watched him the longest. We would ask him about it directly, but we have seen how these sorts of questions invariably cause Mr. Hoge to file criminal charges and whine that he is being harassed. Instead, we have decided to help the court clerk and bailiff recognize Mr. Hoge next time so that he can be properly counted as present for hearings in which he is a defendant. It is the least we can do for him.

  • What a genius Hoge is. I never would in a million years contemplate the strategy of ducking the very lawsuit I was a part of by hiding in the very courtroom it was going down in.

    • Zero

      I think Hoggy’s been served already.

      • Hoge has been served, but his ethics inside the courtroom are a separate issue from legal process.

  • Dare we imagine what Hoge would write if it was Bill?

    • I don’t need to imagine – it would be a running commentary lasting for several days on how he’s not going to say anything further about it.

      • Look out, they’ll accuse you or writing our “Criswell” bits.

  • certain corners of twitter feels like feeding time at the zoo. i do believe that certain twitterers are so invested in these h̶a̶t̶e̶m̶o̶n̶g̶e̶r̶s̶ , umm, defendants getting a win, any win, they are circling a stroke.

    couldn’t happen to a nice bunch of yahoos.

  • Since all of this, I learned on Friday that Hoge has filed two petitions with the Circuit Court in Carroll County.

    1. Asks for a hearing to get a six month extension of the Peace Order.
    2. Wants me held in contempt of court for “violating his peace order.”

    He filed these on his own. Zoa Barnes is still listed as attorney of record. Ethical?

    Oh, also? He filed 38 new criminal charges against me. I… am… not… joking.

    38 new criminal charges.

    He’s out of his fucking mind.

  • RogerS

    Hoge is a vexatious litigant and sooner or later he will be dealt with as such. Apparently, he has gone off the deep end, harassing someone with criminal charges for tweeting. That’s like beating your toddler for spilling milk. Hoge appears mean, angry, malicious, and off his rocker.

    I have a really good friend who is a state prosecutor and we had drinks after work today. He said that if someone brought him 150 criminal cases based on tweets, he would arrest that person. He said that no prosecutor would even begin to entertain prosecuting those charges. He looked at me real hard, and said, “could you imagine what a jury would think if we prosecuted this case, with Hoge as the only witness?”

    Hoge has shown that he doesn’t care about the First Amendment.

  • RogerS

    In Maryland, from what I have been able to discern, a warrant can automatically issue if there is an allegation that a Peace Order has been violated. This is obviously meant to ensure the safety of victims such as women who have been abused by a husband or boyfriend so they don’t have to take an additional step to stop the abuser.

    In the case of Hoge, he is under absolutely no threat from Schmalfeldt. Instead, he is abusing the statute and using it as a weapon against a political opponent. And in doing so, he is taking important prosecutorial resources away from real victims.

    If Schmalfeldt is arrested, he will be taken before a warrant judge who will quickly determine that he poses no threat for his misdemeanor tweets from his wheelchair a hundred miles away from Hoge. If I were a betting man, I would say that the warrant judge will grant a PR bond.

    Some advice to Schmalfeldt. Call your local prosecutor and turn the tables on Hoge. Say that he is harassing you because you only started tweeting after receiving assurances from the Maryland Attorney General that you could tweet without violating the Peace Order because tweets do not constitute harassment under the statute that Hoge used to secure the Peace Order. And then, you should contact the Attorney General’s office and talk to the person who gave you the letter, and say that you complied with the letter only to have Hoge file two hundred criminal charges against you.

    This will backfire on Hoge. He will forever be seen as a vexatious litigant, and a petty, mean person.

    • Zero

      Interesting that you should bring up the intent of the law. Early on in this whole business- long before you started commenting- Hoggy had at least two peace orders against Mr Schmalfeldt denied. After one of the hearings, Schmalfeldt described sitting through a number of other PO hearings brought by women still showing visible injuries and terrified that their gun-owning criminal record having ex-boyfriends would carry out the threats they left on their answering machines.

      Afterwards Hoggy and Aaron Walker tried to tell the judge they couldn’t handle a few tweets. And after the judge denied their request, without a hint of shame they asked that Brett Kimberlin- who had driven Schmalfeldt to the hearing- be held in the courtroom until they could clear the building, because… BRETT KIMBERLIN!!!!

      You are absolutely right that Hoggy is cynically abusing a law meant to protect battered spouses who are in legitimate fear for their lives.