When 2012 drew to a close, it appeared that the First Amendment case between Charles Carreon and his satirist had more or less drawn to a close, save for a dispute over whether Carreon would have to pony up a few thousand dollars for evading service of the lawsuit. Techdirt has a good overview here.
Not so. On New Year’s Eve, Satirical Chas’ lawyers (Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen and Cathy Gellis) filed a motion seeking over $40,000 in legal fees from Charles Carreon (PDF). The filing also suggests that Register.com (the domain name registrar providing the satirist with ‘private’ registration) may yet be sued for capitulating to Carreon’s censorious threats and revealing the satirist’s identity.
The filing by Satirical Chas’ lawyers seeks $40,115 in attorneys fees from Carreon. For reasons that I’ll decline to expound upon here — I’m not inclined to help Carreon develop arguments — I’m skeptical that the court will award these fees. I’d be surprised, however, if Carreon isn’t ordered to cough up the $4,000 and change incurred in remedying his evasion of service. Carreon’s abusive lording (and application) of his legal skills over a satirist in an attempt to unjustly silence him should hit him in the pocketbook.
One point, however. One basis for awarding attorneys fees to a prevailing party under the Lanham Act is that a losing party’s claims were made oppressively. Carreon’s last filing with the court (PDF) probably does little to help him. He apologizes profusely that the court’s time was taken for dealing with his bogus threats. Rather than demonstrate remorse for the chaos his censorious threats wreaked on others’ lives (notably including Satirical Chas), Carreon openly (and needlessly) admits his contempt for his critics:
“This entire experience has been a trying, difficult ordeal. In addition to being savagely lampooned by plaintiff’s website, I received hundreds of emails from persons of his ilk, many wishing me an ill fate, including that my career would collapse, that I would raped to death by a bear, and other unpleasantness. The Court will not be able to understand the intense psychological pain engendered by such a brutal onslaught from a public that really knows nothing about me. I not only had no desire to litigate this case, I found it hard to believe it was really happening, and that Mr. Levy was pursuing it with such exaggerated dedication. I am a hardy soul, thank heavens, and did not give in to the destructive selfhatred that has caused many victims of cyberbullying to injure themselves and others, but I will say this – I felt their pain deeply, and I will never inveigh against anyone in the public forum by deriding their character as others have mine.”
Because Charles Carreon would never publicly impugn the character of his critics. Leave that to his wife, Tara Carreon, who is busy trying to link Matt Inman of the Oatmeal and the Newtown massacre. And let’s just forget about Charles Carreon’s vengeant Rapeutation.com.