Fullerton is headed back to court tomorrow to try and fix what it claims is a “clerical error” in their Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against us here at FFFF. The TRO that’s already in front of the Court of Appeals and has mostly been stayed. The meat here is that the City Attorney did not incorporate into the TRO the list of files we’re alleged to have “hacked” by clicking links the city gave out to the world.
To try and fix their mistake, the City’s attorneys are running back to court to get the TRO fixed. This is all a part of their quest to search our digital lives to see if we have files they themselves admit they put on the internet.
For those just catching up, the core of the city’s illegal SLAPP case is that the public can only access information on the City’s website that the City has sent you a link and express permission to access/download.
This is preposterous and amounts to me calling you, dear reader, a “thief” and “hacker” if you click the “Contact” link on this page without me giving you express permission to click it despite me inviting you onto this page. This idiocy, if allowed to stand in court, will break the internet as we know it.
But in true Fullerton fashion it gets better.
You see, when the city was rushing to stomp on our First Amendment rights (despite Jan Flory expecting that to get struck down and Bruce Whitaker claiming there was no vote to do so at all), they couldn’t even be bothered to check their work. This is the list of files in question according to the City and the files we were restrained (gagged) from publishing or sharing:
Those red arrows are files that the City claims are public records disclosed as part of records requests according to the declaration of Mea Klein. You can likely spot other obvious public records on your own.
In other words – the city got a court to stop us from publishing and sharing records they themselves claim are public. Files the clerk’s office released to members of the public.
Let us contrast that with the City’s argument where they claim we should have known which files/folders on the city’s Dropbox account were public versus private before allegedly accessing anything. The City Attorney, as evidenced by this exhibit of their own creation, can’t discern public from allegedly private files. They not only admit to co-mingling files they have a legal duty to keep confidential with documents they have a legal duty to share with the public but they did it again in their TRO against us.
Allow me to repeat this very important point:
At the behest of our City Council, the City Attorney actually convinced a court to restrain us from publishing and sharing things they themselves admit are public records.
One might expect a little more due diligence when working to step on the First Amendment. We’ll see what the judge says tomorrow regarding this TRO update and we’ll keep you posted as this case continues.