Monday, October 21, 2013

Alabama Republican Rob Riley Seeks Blogger's Arrest Over Series Of Investigative Posts

Rob Riley
Alabama Republican Rob Riley has filed a proposed court order that seeks the arrest of my wife and me for reporting on certain topics here at Legal Schnauzer.

Riley, who reportedly plans to seek the U.S. House seat being vacated by Spencer Bachus, wants two citizens arrested for--get this--practicing journalism.

The preceding paragraphs were not taken from The Onion. They also were not pulled from a document that dates to Josef Stalin's Soviet Union. They are for real, and they are happening right now in Karl Rove's Alabama. (What makes my home state "Karl Rove's Alabama"? The answer can be found in Joshua Green's definitive article on the subject, "Karl Rove In a Corner," from a 2004 issue of The Atlantic.)

Rove no longer presides over the White House, but Rob Riley's actions are glaring proof that Rovian arrogance and lawlessness still reign over Alabama and other deep-red states across the South.

Riley's father, two-term GOP governor Bob Riley, took office in 2002 on the "strength" of blatant election theft that Rove acolytes almost certainly engineered. Bob Riley also benefited from $20 million that GOP felon Jack Abramoff has admitted funneling into Alabama because a proposed education lottery from Democrat incumbent Don Siegelman posed a financial threat to Abramoff's Indian-gaming clients in neighboring Mississippi.

The skinny? Rob Riley is deeply connected to some of the most corrupt activities in modern American political history. So it should be no surprise that Riley objects to reporting that calls his "pro family" public stances into question. It also should be no surprise that Riley is trying to quash our reporting on the subject, especially now that Spencer Bachus has surprised many observers by deciding to abandon his safe Congressional seat.

How exactly is Rob Riley trying to circumvent the First Amendment and force our reporting out of public view? The latest salvo is found in a cover letter and proposed court order, dated October 7 and prepared under the name of Jay Murrill, an attorney in the Riley Jackson law firm. (See a copy of the cover letter and proposed order at the end of this post.)

The proposed order explicitly seeks to have my wife and me arrested if we failed to appear at a court hearing that was set for last Thursday (October 18) at the Shelby County Courthouse in Columbiana. The hearing was designed to hold us in contempt for refusing to abide by an unlawful preliminary injunction. Here is the key segment of the proposed order:

Pursuant to Ala. R. Civ. P. 70A(c)(2), Respondents [Mrs. Schnauzer and me] are hereby notified that failure to appear at the aforesaid hearing may result in an issuance of a writ of arrest pursuant to Ala. R. Civ. P. 70A(d) to compel the Respondents' presence.

Did we attend the hearing at Rob Riley's kangaroo court? No, we did not--and here are three reasons why:

* We have not been lawfully served with the summons and complaint, meaning the court has no jurisdiction over us. Shelby County Sheriff's deputy Mike DeHart "served" us during the course of an unconstitutional traffic stop, and service has been challenged as improper and invalid;

* We were not given lawful notice of a hearing on the preliminary injunction, meaning no such injunction currently exists under Alabama law;

* Such an injunction violates the "prior restraint" doctrine that forbids injunctions in defamation lawsuits. Prior restraint grew out of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and has only been around, in one form or another, for about 230 years.

In a semi-functional democracy, Rob Riley would be embarrassed to file such a proposed court order. Retired Circuit Judge Claud D. Neilson, who was appointed by the Alabama Supreme Court to hear this case, would be embarrassed to even think about granting it.

But this is Karl Rove's Alabama. Long-settled law and constitutionally guaranteed civil rights mean little or nothing here.

(To be continued)


Anonymous said...

This is absolutely sick! I have voted for these vile scum my entire life and still shake my head at how I was so dumb. I will not again. THE ONLY people who should be in jail are Rob Riley, Liberty Duke and this judge if he goes along wigh this. Im sending this out to others. What white trash those Riley's are!

David in S. Alabama said...

Now is time for all good Alabamians and faithful readers of Legal Schnauzer to come together and form a committee to draft Roger Shuler as a candidate for the Democrat nominee for congress in Alabama's 6th congressional district.

Anonymous said...

It is not a "proposed" order, anymore. Your failure to appear at the hearings resulted in the formal entry of the order by the court. Ask Roy Moore whether you can ignore court orders that you think are "unconstitutional."

Anonymous said...

Looks like his (Rob's) name says it all...he intends to rob you of your rights. Daddy named him and trained him correctly in 'Karl-Rove-ology' methods.


Anonymous said...

The deuling banjos have been cued. The Rileys are running a three ring political circus. One has to wonder when this story goes viral, or if anyone in the new world media even cares about the pellagra-laden, inbred, lazy, backwater, republican province known as Alabama, and the bass ackward way it handles its 'bidness.'

Anonymous said...

I know that you have been distracted with the case in Shelby County, but Jessica Garrison's lawyers have just filed a motion for default judgement against you in your other defamation suit in which you claim not to have been served. Judge Blankenship has set a hearing on the motion for Nov. 6, 2013 at 8:15. You should attend.

Anonymous said...

So Rob Riley's lawyer writes the order, and the court adopts it verbatim? I'm sure that's what our Founding Fathers had in mind.

Anonymous said...

You seem to have a slight problem with the facts, @8:03. I've read all of the posts on this subject, and LS's main point seems to be this: The traffic stop in which he and Mrs. Schnauzer were "served" was unconstitutional, so therefore service was improper, and the court has no jurisdiction under the law.

I have a little training in the law myself, and I believe Mr. Schnauzer's contentions--if I have stated them correctly--to be on point.

The issue, at this stage, is not that the court order is unconstitutional. It's that the court has no jurisdiction over two defendants who were not properly served.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Schnauzer, have you challenged the Riley service in court. That seems to be an important next step for you.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, I have challenged the Riley service in court. I also have challenged the Garrison service, which was equally unlawful. I will be writing about those issues shortly, probably tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I have several questions for you, @8:03:

Are we a nation of laws or of men?

Is the law what is written, as adopted by legislative bodies and interpreted by appellate courts, or is it whatever a judge (a man) decides to make it?

Anonymous said...

You might not want to hear this, LS, but I actually wish Rob Riley would have you and the missus arrested. I think it would make national and international news, shine a spotlight on our corrupt court system, and probably torpedo any hope Riley has of ever being elected to any public office.

It would make your life unpleasant for a while, but it would serve a greater good.

Anonymous said...

Your comparison to the Roy Moore case is laughable, @8:03. A federal court in that matter issued an order, upholding the constituition, based on the document's prohibition against mixing religion and public business. A state court in the Schnauzer case is tearing down the constitution, ignoring the First Amendment and the prior-restraint doctrine that forbids injunctions in defamation cases.

Anonymous said...

Rob Riley must be totally tone deaf. He seems to have no clue how bad this makes him look.

Anonymous said...

Hey @8:03, you seem to think the First Amendment and prior restraint doctrine don't exist.

Are you for real?

Anonymous said...

Excellent points, @11:52. There is no comparison whatsoever between the Roy Moore case and what is happening here. In one, a court was trying to protect the constitution. In another, a court is trying to take the constitution and use it as toilet paper.

Anonymous said...


Not all prior restraints are unconstitutional. It's hardly settled law that an preliminary injunction in a defamation case is an unconstitutional prior restraint. The Supreme Court had a chance to address that precise issue in 2005 in Tory v. Cochran, 544 U.S. 734, and they declined to do so. So really all you have is an argument that the injunction is unconstitutional, and you've apparently decided to violate the injunction in the broadest way possible. The injunction prohibits you from publishing documents filed in the case (which is absolutely a constitutional prior restraint), and you've published what appears to be everything that you've gotten your hands on.

Also, what support do you find for the proposition that service of process in connection with an unconstitutionally prolonged traffic stop is ineffective? It seems like your basis for ignoring most of the court's orders in this case is pretty shaky.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I don't think Rob Riley is totally tone deaf. I think he realizes how bad this makes him look. That's why he wants the whole thing sealed.

Anonymous said...

The Riley family is just an embarrassment to Alabama. Who can forget Patsy Riley railing at the crowd in Montgomery on the bingo issue?

legalschnauzer said...

This can work both ways, 1:04, so I will just turn the tables.

Can you cite cases that overrule the Supreme Court cases I've cited ("Alexander," "Near") that state a preliminary injunction in a defamation case is an unlawful prior restraint. You admit that Tory v. Cochran didn't do it, so what else do you have? Seems to me your argument would have to improve to be "shaky."

What support do you have for your apparent proposition that service is effective when conducted during an unconstitutional traffic stop?

Lawyers like to use the term "axiomatic" to describe one thing that clearly flows from another. I would say this situation is axiomatic--if the traffic stop was unconstitutional, and you seem to admit that it was, nothing flowing from it is lawful or valid.

It's possible that neither you nor I can find law that is exactly on point because I'm not sure a law enforcement officer in the history of the United States ever has been stupid enough to pull what Mike DeHart did here.

You seem smart enough to grasp that the service in question was improper. I suspect your questions merely are for the purposes of being a contrarian. Perhaps you get a charge out of that.

I challenge you to do some work, rather than just lobbing questions. Let's see what you come up with.

Anonymous said...

This story is interesting on a number of levels, but I'm particularly intrigued by Riley's efforts to keep all of this sealed.

I suspect he's trying to keep the story away from his wife and her family/friends, plus the other GOP candidates who are likely to run the the Bachus seat.

Anonymous said...

LS, some of the "contrarian" commenters on here know you are right about the law. They are just trying to pick at you, to be an irritant.

That's annoying, but I see it as a good sign. It means they are worried about something. For that reason alone, I look forward to each of their weak attempts to trip you up.

Anonymous said...

So without proper service, is all they are really doing is wasting paper? That is rich!!

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting that you react to my questions by taking pot shots at me. Classy.

That said, Near and Alexander can both (1) be good law and (2) be entirely inapplicable to the situation at hand here. Alexander is pretty instructive on this:

"In Near v. Minnesota ex rel. Olson, supra, we invalidated a court order that perpetually enjoined the named party, who had published a newspaper containing articles found to violate a state nuisance statute, from producing any future 'malicious, scandalous or defamatory' publication. Id., at 706. Near, therefore, involved a true restraint on future speech—a permanent injunction." (emphasis added)

There's a distinction there between perpetually enjoining speech and temporarily enjoining it. A permanent injunction is a remedy, and there's certainly support for the proposition that permanent injunctions are inappropriate remedies in some defamation contexts (but, again, the Court hasn't decided this. It heard the Cochran appeal to decide "[w]hether a permanent injunction as a remedy in a defamation action, preventing all future speech about an admitted public figure, violates the First Amendment." That necessarily implies that it's unsettled law.). Here, there's a preliminary injunction that lasts for a specified, nonpermanent period of time. You're not forbidden to ever publish your allegations again.

In fact, Alexander itself has nothing to do with either an injunction or defamation. And the petitioner's argument that a RICO forfeiture constituted a prior restraint was rejected by the court. So to the extent that you're trying to rely on it, all that language is dicta. The case stands for the proposition that forfeiture is not prior restraint because it doesn't restrict future speech.

The constitutionality of the traffic stop is open to question. I'm just taking your argument that the stop was unconstitutionally prolonged and pointing out that, even if it's true, it doesn't necessarily follow that the service was invalid. If we're talking about criminal procedure, then it's true that the constitutionality of the stop plays into what happens afterwards. But when you try to extrapolate that to civil procedure, you're going to have to find some support for that.

legalschnauzer said...

I find it interesting that you take personal affront at "pot shots" when you won't tell us who you are. How can I offend you when I don't even know who you are, when you make this an unequal discussion by remaining anonymous.

I give you the respect of publishing your comments when it would be easier for me to just hit "delete."

My "pot shots," in a way, are a roundabout compliment. Your comments, as a whole, lead me to believe you are much more intelligent than some of the points you try to make.

You claim the courts make a distinction between preliminary and permanent injunctions. But the language in Near is concerned with all forms of "previous restraints."
I'm sure you know that, but you ignore it in order to take a dig at me.

Take it as a pot shot if you wish, but I'm trying to give you credit for being smart enough to know what prior restraint law really says--and that service based on an unconstitutional traffic stop really is invalid.

Feel free to continue with your off-target ruminations if you wish, but here is the reality of Near:

"The fact that for approximately one hundred and fifty years there has been almost an entire absence of attempts to impose previous restraints upon publications relating to the malfeasance of public officers is significant of the deep-seated conviction that such restraints would violate constitutional right. Public officers, whose character and . . . conduct remain open to debate and free discussion in the press, find their remedies for false accusations in actions under libel laws providing for redress and punishment, and not in proceedings to restrain the publication of newspapers and periodicals. The general principle that the constitutional guaranty of the liberty of the press gives immunity from previous restraints has been approved in many decisions under the provisions of state constitution."

Anonymous said...

I do not understand how Al courts would allow a RETIRED judge to come out of retirement to handle this when the hospitals would not let a retired doctor come out of retirement to operate on a patient!! The is amazing to me..

Anonymous said...

Roger, you should apply to law school, attend for three years, graduate, sit for the bar, and open your own practice. Then you would have some gainful employment and would not have to fill your days speculating about who got you fired five years ago and why.

And then your legal reasoning might be accurate, at least every once in a while.

Anonymous said...

So wil we get video of the good squad descending onto the Schnauzer domain?

Wayne said...

An@3:40. That's exactly my question. It all appears Riley couldn't find a judge to hear the case nor a lawyer to take his case. I hope LS comes out smelling like a rose when this is all over. I can't stand the Riley's (none of them).

Anonymous said...

It is not a "proposed" order, anymore. Your failure to appear at the hearings resulted in the formal entry of the order by the court. Ask Roy Moore whether you can ignore court orders that you think are "unconstitutional."

October 21, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Fraud is fraud.

Appeals are also about the demonstration that there was and is a problem with the court that didn't obey the law.

Then there is the actual demand to the JUDICIAL COMMITTEE USA TOP 'deciders'. Quite above the INJUSTICE of AL.

Submit to the jurisdictional fraud, answer the complete due process violation, or acknowledge the absolute abject lawlessness?

Yes, mostly the dumb in the United States are subjects and not citizens, this is tragic.

Roger and Carol Shuler, they are not victims, nor subjects, and not stupid in the law.

USA MAJORITY aren't exactly tolerant of the Rove criminally insane grasp for a Chinese or Russian gulag thug operative to take hold in Alabama and then sold to all as though a law which looks just like Riley-Duke-Garrison-Strange Et Al.

Legal Schnauzer has a team of attorneys, real scholars of the law. AND, liewyers that troll to scare LS, for the scum that are trembling in the 24/7 of our dark & light hours, are up against far more than the visible eye can see to see.

Get ready because for the next five years the real law returns to compensate the past losses of our genuine Bill of Rights'.

Due process law is a right that does not get negotiated in the courts of Alabama US Constitution Treason -- now the time has come to hang those guilty, beginning with Karl Rove.

Armies of Shuler Schnauzers are being readied for the coming tides of realities to change our truths into justices again and vice versa. Enough of the human filth that maggots won't even eat.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are well represented by legal council.
Obviously there is disagreement on the interpretation of the law(s), and being that it IS Alabama, you might find yourself in Seilgeman's position.
Just because what you're doing is right doesn't mean that it's legal.
Some people have well connected big toes and if you step on them the hammer comes down.
If you were exposing Democratic wrongdoing, you would be heralded as a freedom fightin' patriot. Since Riley is a well connected Republican, you could be a subversive, one of the most dangerous types.

Unknown said...

My Dear Friend,

I cannot thank you enough for all that you've done...kind words of support, prayers, donating, letters to Congress and the President. All of these keep my spirit high!

There is more good news, my new legal team, headed by Greg Craig of Skadden Arps, has just filed my final brief with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. They have done an outstanding job, and I am very encouraged. We are appealing from a denial of my motion for a new trial. We are raising the argument that the US Attorney, whose husband worked for my Republican opponent, stayed involved, and had a conflict of interest. Say a prayer, keep your fingers crossed, and wish me luck!

The Department of Justice may try to fight my request in order to protect itself, but I am very fortunate to have Skadden Arps take up the legal battle.

There are so many in prison who have it worse than I do, younger men who received extraordinarily long sentences for petty drug crimes. Many unfortunate addicts who quickly realized they were doing wrong once they were in prison and sobered up. Many of these non-violent offenders could be given a second chance, an early release to go back to their families, and start over.

Recently, Eric Holder announced his intention to avoid sentencing defendants to a long mandatory minimum sentences. Unfortunately, that wont help America's two million plus prisoners and their families. The billions of dollars spent keeping these non-violent prisoners behind bars will not be reduced nor will justice be done.

New York recently reported spending over $160,000 a year on keeping each prisoner behind bars. Have we lost our minds? The Los Angeles Times reported, January 5th, 2010: "Yesterday, President Obama sent his lawyers into the U.S. Supreme Court to argue that 'U.S.Citizens do not have a constitutional right not to be framed.' " That statement sounds like it came from a Third World totalitarian dictator, not a constitutional democracy.

Many investigators, prosecutors and judges, make their living off putting people in prison. Federal prosecutors get promotions and financial bonuses based on their convictions. Most District Attorneys, state Attorneys General, and judges are elected and want to be viewed as "tough on crime," so they seek convictions and long jail sentences. Addicts may need treatment and some time in prison, but they should not be accused of drug conspiracy by the false testimony of another felon who is "cooperating" to get a lighter sentence!

President Obama, when he was in the Senate, made a sensible proposal to try to end framing citizens. It would have required law enforcement agents to record their interrogation of witnesses and to give those recordings to the defense. If enforced properly, the recordings would show how the felons, under questioning or inducements, were led or coached to give false testimony. (You may remember, this also happened in my case. See CBS 60 Minutes)

President Obama and Attorney General Holder should adopt a policy of not defending investigators and prosecutors in civil actions where they knowingly and willfully presented false testimony to win a conviction. It's just morally right. Enough with wasting lives, money, and time. There are solutions that can protect the public without the suffering.

Please take the time today to encourage Attorney General Holder to move forward with President Obama's proposal to stop framing U.S. citizens and commend the Attorney General for his bold step toward changing the sentencing system.

Hon. Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Av. NW
Washington, DC 20530

Unknown said...

Also, Members of Congress who are speaking out about sentencing injustices may be encouraged. Please write a note of thanks to these two U.S. Senators for sponsoring Senate Bill 619 which supports sentencing reform:

Honorable Pat Leahy
437 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Honorable Rand Paul
208 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Finally, I have been using my time to help inmates appeal unfair or unusually long sentences that are not supported by evidence or law. One case is now on its way to the U.S. Supreme Court! My first!

Thank you for continuing to support my legal defense.

With very best wishes,

Don Siegelman
Federal Prison Camp
PO Box 5010
Oakdale, LA 71463

Anonymous said...

The knives are out and have been well sharpened,

bullet proof vests are worn and bazookas ready to fire,

our military are being fired from the top brass on down,

Christians aren't tolerated a - THE litmus test - fire on Americans? Yes, DRONES fly and liars lie and killers' lust for more blood,

hired mercenaries are ready across the USA?

NATO standing not down but, up up and here IT comes,

Chinese and Russians, Kissinger said IT: when the Chinks & Ruskies are in CIVIL WAR on this North American Continent THEN Mr. Kissinger and his ilk [Federal Reserve SLOBS-BLOB] are to be the happiest ever in their lives ...

meanwhile in the slums, ghettos, HELL EARTH made to ORDER and the most ignorant in the land, sign up for the job thinking ITS' a real deal in the world of mass murder,

Strange meets stranger and stranger meets even stranger strangers and they all have names but, don't want to say to the public that is served, what the strange is,

strange USA is going to get even more strange when the federal credit won't pay for this criminally insane behavior anymore

bail bondsman las vegas said...

I can't stand when one subverts the Constitution--Republican, Democrat, or otherwise.