Using BREDFELDT v. GREENE to Illustrate How Courts Frame Facts

Posted on March 8, 2018

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This post quotes a judicial ruling, which is a public document. This is worthy of note for two reasons. Defendants may believe it’s unlawful to air and criticize rulings of the court, and plaintiffs may believe they aren’t accountable for their pleadings and testimony because rulings of the court are secret. Both beliefs are mistaken.

“On March 27, 2013, Plaintiffs [Tiffany and Phil Bredfeldt] filed a lawsuit alleging [Todd] Greene ‘set on an intentional course of conduct since 2006 to constantly defame Plaintiff Tiffany and cause her emotional distress’ and ‘to have Plaintiff terminated from her employment, lose her credentials, be blacklisted in her profession, and have her marriage to [her husband] fail.’ Plaintiffs’ Complaint listed numerous examples, including sending a highly disparaging letter about Tiffany to the Inspector General of the United States Health and Human Services and an [i]nternet posting with a ‘concocted article’ referring to Tiffany’s vagina. According to the Complaint, the ‘harassments and defamations occur[ed] on a weekly basis….’”

Ruling of the Pima County Superior Court (Sept. 20, 2016)

The reason for the bracketed i in the quotation above (“[i]nternet”) is anyone’s guess. It isn’t an editorial correction of mine. Trial court rulings are seldom scrupulous—in any sense.

The quotation is an excerpt from a ruling returned against me after being the butt of 10 years of false allegations to the court, multiple police agencies (including the FBI), government officials outside of the “justice” system, and even staff at a former workplace of mine, the University of Arizona. This, of course, isn’t remarked in the ruling, whose author ignored the question of why a retiring, literate man would bother criticizing a former cheerleader named Tiffany who extols a Keanu Reeves movie as “[e]ye candy for your mind!”

In a future post, I may comment on the politics that make reportage of contradictory testimony by a female Trump-appointed EPA rep who works for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), an agency whose “science” favors polluters and is widely disdained, a matter that no left-leaning, environmentally sensitized reporter wants to touch. I’m frankly convinced that the feminist-dominated media would sooner spur a voter exodus to the right and damn the planet (which can’t cheep “MeToo”) than own that a woman is capable of unsavory conduct.

Here I want to show how courts frame facts (true or untrue) to serve a particular interest—which, in so-called “abuse” cases, may have nothing to do with the law. In this instance, the interest was mitigation of a judge’s flagrant violation of the law. (When we violate the law, it’s called a crime. When judges do it, it’s called an error.)

That story, about an unconstitutional speech injunction, or “prior restraint,” and how a judge who has since been shamed off the bench was manipulated into entering it, is here for any reader who’s curious. It exposes the estranged relationship between process and justice.

This post isn’t about the story but about the sketch artistry that typifies judicial rulings.

To perceive the technique, first consider a couple of phrases in the epigraph: “filed a lawsuit alleging” and “According to the Complaint.”

That these constructions appear in a judicial ruling about an earlier case creates the expectation that the cited allegations were ascertained at trial (like, with a jury and stuff). They weren’t. There was no trial. The statements are assertions only—quoted by a judge for the sake of expediency.

In the dozen years I’ve been accused in court and by the court, I’ve never had a trial, only some brief “hearings.”

Allegations are cited in this ruling to give it and the earlier ruling it endeavors to salvage some commonsense rationale. The purpose is to make alleged actions of mine sound “bad enough” to excuse censorship, which is always presumptively unlawful.

Now consider the allegations. They are untried histrionics and wanton conjecture by a plaintiff who has, in testimony to the court, acknowledged being in the care of a psychiatrist and whom I’ve had no contact with since 2006. The first of the two cited “examples” of harassment or defamation or whatever is a letter to a government official about a government official. It is in excess of any court’s jurisdiction to censure such a complaint; a judge’s disapproval is irrelevant. “The right to petition the government for redress of grievances is ‘among the most precious of the liberties safeguarded by the Bill of Rights.’” Balboa Island Vill. Inn v. Lemen, 156 P.3d 339 at 352 (Cal. 2007) (quoting United Mine Workers of Am. v. Ill. State Bar Ass’n, 389 U.S. 217, 222 (1967)). Significantly, the case I’ve just quoted is one the judge who issued the ruling against me cited himself (in defense of censorship), which presupposes that he read it.

This exemplifies the post’s point that courts practice selective hearing. Remarking that the letter was “highly disparaging” has rhetorical, tattletale value, and rhetorical, tattletale “evidence” is the sum and substance of most restraining order adjudications.

What the second cited example, a “‘concocted article’ referring to Tiffany’s vagina,” is supposed to import isn’t clear. “Concocted” means fabricated. The modifier could either mean made or made up. Nothing in the article was false, so nothing in it was defamatory. The article wasn’t directed TO anyone, so it can’t be called “harassing” by any legal standard. Nor, finally, did it discuss genitalia; it used the anatomical word vagina in its title as a metaphor for sexuality. The article contemplated motives for deception and concealment—a pocketed wedding ring and misrepresentations to law enforcement officials and the court are examples—and bore a headline that was intentionally inflammatory: “Tiffany Bredfeldt’s Vagina: On Marital Discontent and Restraining Order Abuse.” Is speech that’s intentionally inflammatory lawful? Yes. Speech that’s “offensive,” “insulting,” “upsetting,” “coercive,” or even “outrageous” is protected by the First Amendment, as the court had been well informed prior to issuing its ruling. (Also, both the judge and his law clerk graduated from law school.) The title doesn’t state a fact. It’s merely a label and can’t be called true or false. Therefore it can’t be called defamatory.

Lastly, consider this: “The ‘harassments and defamations occur[ed] on a weekly basis….’” By no standard of law have the words “harassments” or “defamations” ever been qualified. Furthermore, application of logic makes their posited “weekly” occurrence every seven days from 2006 to 2013 pretty tough for a reasonable mind to accept. Half of the claim is unsubstantiated; the other half is false.

Such a tissue of twaddle sounds grave, though, and that’s all that matters.

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