Wednesday, February 18, 2015

PolitickerNJ: "Grafix Avenger & Hoboken Horse Defend Free Internet Speech"

Is attention on Hoboken's First Amendment victory over? From the NY Post to the biggest statewide political website in New Jersey, PolitickerNJ, the answer is no.

A column penned by well known NJ attorney Donald Scarinci weighed in on the Hoboken First Amendment trial thrown out of Hudson County Superior Court last week.


One insight he offered was Lane Bajardi's status in Hoboken as a limited public figure was determined by the court due to his involvement with the "political factions" in Hoboken.


This is both germane and correct as last September, Judge Christine M. Vanek made that determination while dismissing all remaining claims of Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi and most of the claims by Lane Bajardi.


The September legal opinion dually highlighted the issues in the case and relate directly to important matters of public concern writing:

"It is with this high regard for the value of free speech in public discourse that the Court finds the Plaintiff Lane Bajardi to be a limited public figure, and the issue at hand to be a matter of public concern…”

"The Court finds as well that Plaintiff Lane Bajardi has been heavily involved in the factional discord; that he has made efforts to inject his talents into the furtherance of one side over the other, has presented himself at various public gatherings in connection with one of the factions, has communicated with public officials on matters involving Hoboken politics and can generally be considered deeply involved in that particular controversy.

MSV accented this point yesterday showing a speck of Lane Bajardi's ghostwriting penned on the highly censored website Hoboken411.

The legal determination last September had nothing to do with "activism," as published by Caren Matzner in the Hudson Reporter story. That legal ruling was made based on bona fide actual evidence produced to the court in Lane Bajardi's and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi's own emails. 


In today's PolitickerNJ column, Scarinci highlighted the Hoboken First Amendment case titled: "Grafix Avenger & Hoboken Horse Defend Free Internet Speech," praising Hudson Superior Court trial judge Patrick J. Arre writing Socrates would be proud of him.


From his column, "Imagine the cottage industry for lawyers if everyone took them to court. Worse yet, imagine America if people were afraid to speak their mind?"


Perhaps that was the point. 


Most of the dozen or so people accused of defamation via their screen names were not alleged to say anything defamatory, a key requirement under NJ defamation law. As a matter of fact, they were thrown into a lawsuit having never been accused of saying anything at all.  The threat in the failed complaint even saber rattled referring to untold "others."


For a period of almost two years, those screen names were forced to defend themselves via attorney Kerry Flowers never being told what they allegedly said was defamatory.


Some of the names published for years on various websites in Hoboken: MSV here at hobokenhorse.com, Hoboken Patch, NJ.com and the notorious rigidly censored Hoboken411.


How many of those screen names in the Bajardi lawsuit had their private information shared with others by Hoboken411 blog owner Perry Klaussen?


This is a question which merits an answer.
To the absolute shock of no one, Caren Matzner and the Hudson Reporter offered no reply to the 30 questions posed here on its story.

Donald Scarinci is a managing partner at Lyndhurst, N.J. based law firm Scarinci Hollenbeck.  He is also the editor of the Constitutional Law Reporter and Government and Law blogs.
Not everyone in Hoboken supports the freedom of speech or the right to uncensored political discourse. A little of the truth has escaped into Hoboken. 
How much more truth is coming out?

Talking Ed Note: At least one person is rumored very unhappy in Hoboken with the First Amendment victory last week. Those rumors circulating say Beth Mason, the vastly unpopular second ward councilwoman known for her highly litigious actions is most unhappy and nerve addled.

There must be another Rx available somewhere for that. Keep the meds nearby, you never know when more of the absolute truth may appear.