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Case No. 08-cv-02982


     ORDER of October 10, 2008 by U.S. District Court Judge Mary A. McLaughlin - (Case will be re-filed upon resolving problems of obstruction of justice and due process (computer hacking, thefts, harassments, etc.,)

"AND NOW, this 10th day of October, 2008, upon consideration of plaintiff’s Motion for Withdraw Without Prejudice (Doc. No. 6) IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

(1)  Plaintiff’s Motion for Withdraw Without Prejudice is GRANTED; and

(2)  This case shall remain CLOSED statistically."



     AND NOW comes PLAINTIFF, Stanley J. Caterbone and Advanced Media Group, as pro se, and respectfully avers as follows: PLAINTIFF, Stanley J. Caterbone, resides at 1250 Fremont Street, Lancaster, PA, 17603, is a United States Citizen and Advanced Media Group is a fictitious name registered in Pennsylvania with it’s principal place of business in Pennsylvania.

PLAINTIFF files a CIVIL COMPLAINT against the DEFENDANTS named in the above caption on in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on this 6th day of June 2008. As in previous filings, this complaint is filed under duress.

Date: June 6, 2008
Stanley J. Caterbone, Pro Se
1250 Fremont Street
Lancaster, PA 17603


1. Stanley J. Caterbone (CATERBONE) and Advanced Media Group were located at 220 Stone Hill Road, Conestoga, Pennsylvania (Conestoga Township) until August 30, 2006 when CATERBONE temporarily moved into a family residence at 1250 Fremont Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (City of Lancaster).

2. The PLAINTIFF, Stanley J. Caterbone (CATERBONE), alleges that the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster City Bureau of Police and others colluded to deliberately ignore CATERBONE’S complaints, an abuse of process, in an effort to retaliate, subvert, interrupt and deter current and ongoing litigation and civil complaints against several major businesses and government agencies with headquarters in the City of Lancaster and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Those would include the Lancaster General Hospital; High Industries (not Penn Square Partners and the Lancaster County Convention Center); Fulton Bank and Fulton Financial Corporation; a Wachovia Bank branch (pending); Lancaster Newspapers; the County of Lancaster; the Lancaster County Prison; the Hotel Brunswick (pending); James Street Investment District (pending); Aurora Films; Haverstick Films (pending); and the Lancaster City Bureau of Police. The City of Lancaster and the Lancaster City Bureau of Police are derelict in their duties in forcing CATERBONE to litigate for duties and services due CATERBONE that are mandated in the bylaws of the City of Lancaster.

3. CATERBONE also alleges that the Lancaster City Bureau of Police were used to retaliate, subvert, interrupt and deter other litigation and civil complaints against other police departments, namely the Southern Regional Police Department, the Manheim Township Police Department, the East Lampeter Police Department, the Millersville Boro Police, the Avalon Police Department and the Stone Harbor Police Department. CATERBONE alleges that Southern Regional Police Chief John Fiorill used is official capacity as President of the Red Rose Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police to help accomplish these civil torts.

4. CATERBONE alleges that by ignoring his complaints the Lancaster City Police Bureau of Police gave the green light, or approval, for others to continue a long and successful period of harassment, thievery, property damage, computer and electronic hacking, deletion and manipulation of court related documents, records and evidence, mail fraud, eaves dropping, invasion of privacy, criminal trespass, and the like. These activities are so intense that they have taken on the characteristics of a hate crime.

5. CATERBONE alleges that the gross abuse and gross negligence defamed his name and that of his company, ADVANCED MEDIA GROUP, which discredited his reputation in an effort to diminish credibility in the courts; to thwart any reprimands by oversight agencies; and to disrupt and thwart any possible business relations and operations of ADVANCED MEDIA GROUP. This has resulted in direct and immediate financial loss, loss of time, and loss of income.

6. Chief Keith Sadler and the Lancaster City Police Bureau rejected and refused to resolve these disputes through mediation when CATERBONE opened a case with the Lancaster Center for Mediation in May of 2008. Keith Sadler communicated to the Lancaster Mediation Center on May 8, 2008 that he would not cooperate and mediate with CATERBONE.

7. On several occasions in 2007 several police officers of the Lancaster City Bureau of Police instructed CATERBONE, in person upon responding to complaints, not to call 911 or the Lancaster City Police Department and that the Lancaster City Bureau of Police would not respond or take complaints.

8. The Lancaster City Bureau of Police only took one (1) incident of gas siphoned and stolen from CATERBONE’s 1991 Dodge pickup truck, and refused to take the over 50 (from December 20, 2007 to present), or so other incidents as a complaint, regardless of the efforts to have Lancaster City Mayor Rick Grey and the Lancaster City Solicitor to look into the allegations and complaints. CATERBONE had meticulously documented the incidents in a journal and a log of gas receipts, photographs, and odometer miles for all of the incidents. CATERBONE also made a thorough and documented calibration of his 1991 Dodge Dakota Pick-Up truck with logs of mileage and times and dates of gas purchases in a report to prove the gas was stolen. Lancaster City Police Bureau Officer Cosmore returned the report with such words as “counterfeit”, “fake”, written on it and had the audacity to ask CATERBONE if he had a “certification” of the gas pumps that were listed on gas receipts. There were some days when the gas was stolen 2 or more times. CATERBONE alleges that perpetrators were using a kerosene battery operated siphon, or like kind, to siphon the gas from the gas tank.

9. The Lancaster City Bureau of Police had responded to approximately 10 or so 911 calls in the last eighteen (18) months to 1250 Fremont Street, residence of CATERBONE, for complaints of property damage; stolen property, missing legal and business files and evidence for litigation; computer and electronic hacking with deleted electronic files; harassment; terrorist threats, stalking, stolen mail, etc.,.

10. CATERBONE had complained of abuse of process to state and federal law enforcement regarding the situation, including U.S. Senator Arlen Specter’s office. CATERBONE had also visited the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in both Harrisburg and Philadelphia for help and intervention.

11. CATERBONE also had personal meetings with Lancaster City Mayor Rick Gray in Lancaster City Hall on at least 4 occasions to find a solution to the problems and for help to mediate the problems and or resolve the conflicts. The resulting pain and suffering, as well as loss and destruction of property and financial loss that CATERBONE was undergoing was unprecedented.

12. In November of 2007, CATERBONE and the Advanced Media Group went public with their Downtown Lancaster investments and business plans that were culminated over the past 9 years. The Advanced Media Group also formerly and publicly introduced their Downtown Lancaster Action Plan via handouts, websites, and blogs; and began meetings and negotiations with major stakeholders, City of Lancaster Public Officials, Developers, and investors.

13. In 1997 CATERBONE had solicited Attorney Christina Rainville of Philadelphia and pro bono attorney for Lisa Michelle Lambert in the Laurie Show murder case. The murder trials and appeals of the Lambert case demonized Ms. Christina Rainville and U.S. District Court Judge Stewart Dalzell. After CATERBONE submitted documents and audio recordings, Ms. Christina Rainville had communicated with CATERBONE that she was not able to take his case due to the fact that her Philadelphia law firm had banned her from taking on any more Lancaster County residents, despite the fact that many more sought her legal counsel. On December 31, 1997, CATERBONE had also personally delivered a CD-ROM to the chambers of U.S. District Court Judge Stewart Dalzell in an effort to bring attention to his case. In May of 1998 CATERBONE submitted an AFFADAVIT to the law firm of Schneider and Harrison outlining the prosecutorial misconduct or Finding of Facts of the 1987 cover-up for Ms. Christina Rainville. CATERBONE alleges that these facts were part of the attitude and the motives for the law enforcement-at-large of Lancaster County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to ignore the rule of law and procedure in order to bring these false arrests and malicious prosecutions. The Lancaster County community-at-large had the same attitude toward CATERBONE. The Lambert case received national notoriety when U.S. District Judge Stuart Dalzell freed Lambert on a Habeus Corpus appeal hearing citing she was “actually innocent” beyond a reasonable doubt. Judge Dalzell was quoted in chambers as saying, "I can tell you, Mr. Madenspacher, that I've thought about nothing else but this case for over three weeks, and in my experience, sir, and I invite you to disabuse me of this at oral argument, I want you and I want the Schnader firm to look for any case in any jurisdiction in the English-speaking world where there has been as much prosecutorial misconduct, because I haven't found it.” The case was covered by a 3 part series in the Los Angeles Times by writer Barry Seigel on November 10, 1997 and a television episode on the A&E Network American Justice Series. The Lancaster community gathered over 10,000 signatures on a petition to impeach U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell for his rulings. In the end, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took control of the case and appealed the ruling that freed Lambert sending her back to prison. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005, after being denied any review. The case accentuated the rights of Federal Law vs. State Law and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania solicited a team of attorney generals from across the nation to help their cause. CATERBONE attended a hearing before former Lancaster County Court Common Pleas Judge Larry Stengel in the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas. To this day, due to his knowledge and experience with the Lancaster County Judicial System and Law Enforcement, and his own dire civil complaints, CATERBONE believes that the over zealous prosecution proves that prosecutorial misconduct was never thoroughly investigated or prosecuted in the Lambert case. CATERBONE will not let that happen in his cases.

14. On or about April 14, 2008 1999 HP Notebook n5150 laptop was rendered useless by an intruder shorting the power cord. This was the third computer rendered useless since November of 2007, and the last computer available for use in the home and office. Other incidents were happening while at 220 Stone Hill Road, Conestoga, PA since 1997. The only computer available for use was the public computer at the Lancaster County Library on North Duke Street in downtown Lancaster.

15. On March 18, 2008 CATERBONE went to the Hotel Brunswick in Downtown Lancaster to continue take measurements of the Movie Theater for his continued efforts of a business and development plan. (The Brunswick Movie Theater, or Eric, had been closed since 1995. CATERBONE and Advanced Media Group had an agreement with the Owner of the Brunswick, Hamid Zahedi, to make a formal proposal and offer for leasing the site. CATERBONE had begun discussions in 2006.) On March 18, 2008 CATERBONE noticed that the United States Department of Justice Office of Trustee was conducting hearings for Chapter 11 petitioners in the Presidential Room of the Hotel Brunswick. CATERBONE had not received ORDERS from his United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 08-3054 for his appeal of an issue in his Chapter 11 Case No. 05-23059. CATERBONE alleged that the ORDERS were stolen or never mailed from the clerk of courts. CATERBONE thought maybe Dave Adams, the trustee for the United States Department of Justice Office of Trustee might be conducting the hearings. The following day CATERBONE received a disturbing email from Mr. Barry A. Solodky, Esquire, of Blakinger, Byler & Thomas, P.C., 28 Penn Square, Lancaster, PA 17603. CATERBONE had known Mr. Solodky since the 1980’s and had even solicited him to review his bankruptcy matters before the Appllent filed his Chapter 11 case on May 23, 2005. The following email exchanges detail the incident and the false reports and allegations from a member of Blakinger, Byler & Thomas, P.C.:

Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008 08:18:00 -0400
From: bas@bbt-law.com
To: amgroup01@msn.com

Hi Stan,
Hope this note finds you well.

Yesterday afternoon I had to attend some bankruptcy meetings on behalf of some clients. While there the Trustee told me about an event which concerned her. She showed me your card and told me what happened. In fact she said she almost considered calling the police because of the incident.

I assured her you were not the type of person that would do anything inappropriate. I did want you to know she is not an employee of the Dept. of Justice or the Bankruptcy Court; she is a private panel trustee just as I was for 33 years. If for some reason you have issues with the bankruptcy system she is not a person who should be hassled as she has nothing to do with your case.

I'm sending this only because I don't want there to be any further incidents which might cause her concern or the Federal marshals will get involved and I know they can be nasty. Needless to say I don't want to see anything to you which would cause you any problems.

I am sure I will bump into you soon. Have a nice Easter.

Barry A. Solodky, Esquire
Blakinger, Byler & Thomas, P.C.
28 Penn Square
Lancaster, PA 17603
(717) 509-7273

CATERBONE’s Response to Mr. Barry A. Solodky’s email:

RE: Meeting wih the Dept of Justice.
From: Stan Caterbone (amgroup01@msn.com)
Sent: Sat 3/22/08 8:36 AM
To: Barry A. Solodky (bas@bbt-law.com)
Cc: FBI, Field Office (philadelphia@fbi.gov); Landis, Detective Michael(landism@co.lancaster.pa.us); info@hotelbrunswick.com

March 22, 2008

Re: Meeting With Department of Justice

Barry Solodky,

First, I would have responded earlier, however, your email found it's way into my junk email.

Secondly, as an officer of the court, you better be careful about spreading lies about me and fabrications about events that did not happen. By the way, a copy of this will go directly to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Philadelphia Field Office and Detective Michael Landis of the Lancaster County District Attorney Office. Who do you think you are talking to?

Thirdly, here is what transpired. The day before I received an ORDER from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which was purposely postmarked 10 days after the Clerk filed and dated the Mail to copy to myself. The ORDER was for a no response to a Show Cause ORDER, which someone had stole from my mail, which I never received. The Third Circuit case was an appeal from my Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Now, on Wednesday morning I made plans to go to the Hotel Brunswick and take some measurements in the Movie Theater, which I am in the middle of a development plan. As usual, I walked into the lobby on the street level adjacent to the parking garage and saw the easel with the notice that the "Department of Justice" was holding bankruptcy hearings. I was told a few years ago earlier in my Chapter 11 that they often hold hearings in Lancaster, at the Brunswick or at the Hotel on Manheim Pike. As soon as I saw the sign I figured I would see if Joe Adams, my Trustee from the Philadelphia Office of the Department of Justice Office of Trustee that handles my case, was here.

So, as I usually do, I went to the office of Kevin, the Hotel Brunswick General Manager to get the key to the movie theater, as per our agreement with Hamid, the owner of the Hotel Brunswick. He was not in his office, and the Desk Manager had to page him. I asked him where the Department of Justice was holding the hearings, and told him I needed to talk to someone there, while he was trying to locate Kevin, the General Manager. I told him I would be right back.

I went to the Presidential Room where they were holding meetings. When I arrived, the Trustee, or what private panel trustee, was conducting a meeting with a Spanish woman, who had a young girl for a translator. I patiently waited by the wall as you walk in until the entire interview was over. After the private panel trustee dismissed the woman, I approached her and asked her if she was from the Department of Justice Office of the Trustee, and she responded that she was a private panel trustee. I simply told her that I had a problem with someone obstructing justice with my Third Circuit case and asked her if Joe Adams was in her office. She said she was not from the Philadelphia Office. I gave her my card and some woman kept trying to talk and interfere. I just calmly left. I went to meet Kevin, the General Manager, he opened the movie theater and I spent approximately 1 hour taking measurements of the existing floor plan.

There was no incident to speak of. Any incident was a lie, regardless of the person that kept interfering with our conversation that was trying to cause problems. It was not me, you fool.

I would suggest that you provide this email to the person that told you that fabricated lie and anyone else that you communicate with regarding your so called version of an "incident". Follow this link and you may read why people like you lie about these incidents.

Now, you have a nice Easter Weekend. And by the way, I am a supporter of Senator Clinton and I do volunteer my services, just in case you were wondering.

Advanced Media Group
Stan J. Caterbone

16. Sometime in February of 2008 by way of computer hacking or misconduct within the staff of the Clerk of Court of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, CATERBONE was erroneously and maliciously placed on electronic email distribution with no paper copies for all of his ORDERS for all of his cases, which at that time numbered four (4), without the knowledge of CATERBONE. After receiving one of the email alerts and ORDERS CATERBONE personally visited the Clerk of Court for the Third Circuit and was told by staff that it was just a new courtesy copy. The staff did not notify CATERBONE that his cases would not be eligible for paper copies of ORDERS. CATERBONE was alleging since February that his ORDERS were being stolen in the U.S. mails, and only received information in April on the bottom of a copy of a letter attached to an ORDER for Case No. 3054 that he was switched to electronic email distribution with no paper copies. This makes no sense since, filing as pro se, CATERBONE is not eligible to file any electronic documents in any U.S. or Pennsylvania Courts without a Pennsylvania Bar License.

17. On several occasions since February 2008, CATERBONE was not able to open the Third Circuit electronic ORDERS on the first attempt, which denied CATERBONE access or knowledge of the Third Circuit ORDERS with no way of retrieving them again. CATERBONE was not even able to respond or know how the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled or what ORDERS were handed down, which also denied CATERBONE any chance to follow court mandated responses in a timely fashion.

18. On April 17, 2008 CATERBONE went to respond to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals for case no. 3054-07 and CATERBONE’s paper copies of his briefs and filings were stolen and were not in his home and office.

19. From April 14, 2008 to April 19, 2008 CATERBONE was electronically hacked by professional computer hackers at the Lancaster County Library in a more hostile manner than usual. At one time CATERBONE had lost three or more hours of work for the Downtown Theater at Hotel Brunswick business and development plan, and the hackers had also deleted sensitive research and data files for the project.

20. On April 15, 2008 CATERBONE had his brakes rigged on his bicycle while riding in downtown Lancaster, which almost caused CATERBONE to loose control and again rendered his bicycle unfit to ride. CATERBONE reported the incident to Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Bergman and deputy Bourne at the Lancaster County Courthouse. The Lancaster County Sheriff provided tools to CATERBONE to fix the brakes at the Lancaster County Courthouse.

21. From April 14th to May 6th, 2008, CATERBONE had his gas siphoned out of his 1991 Dodge Dakota Pickup truck on at least 7 different occasions. On April 29th, 2008, CATERBONE was scheduled for oral arguments before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania at 9:30 am and had his gas siphoned the evening or day before and had missed the 7:39am Amtrak train to Harrisburg and missed the Superior Court Appeal Hearing for Case No. 855 MDA 2007.

22. On April 7th, 2008, CATERBONE had $200 of fraudulent fees charged to his Wachovia Bank checking account via a clever guise of posting transactions and erroneous statements of the account.

23. During the month of April and up until the Pennsylvania Primary CATERBONE has documented several incidents of harassment at the Lancaster Campaign Headquarters for Senator Hillary Clinton at Queen and Chestnut Streets. CATERBONE had formally volunteered for the campaign. CATERBONE had alleged misconduct by several key Lancaster Officials and politicians that have influence in Lancaster City. Most were Obama Supporters and two were Obama elected delegates. It was ironic that Lancaster County was one of only 7 of 67 counties in Pennsylvania to vote for Obama.

24. On April 18, 2008, CATERBONE received a fraudulent invoice and collections letter from the Lancaster County Credit Bureau for $96.00 from the Lancaster County Prison. CATERBONE immediately went to the Lancaster County Prison and met with Vincent Guarini, the Warden, who made certain he would take care of the matter and have the Lancaster Credit Bureau delete the invoice and the charge from CATERBONE’s record.

25. On several days in April his U.S. Postal Carrier, Mr. Mitchell, in delivering his mail had harassed CATERBONE. For the past year or so, CATERBONE had a sign on his front door that instructed the U.S. Postal Carrier to ring the bell if the screen door was locked, which they had done. Then suddenly the U.S. Postal Carrier refused to ring the door or deliver the mail if the screen door was locked and lied and said he never did it that way before.

26. For the past 2 years CATERBONE had problems and numerous complaints (drug trafficking, prostitution, thefts, harassment, destruction of Appellants property, thefts of stolen files, siphoning of gas, stalking) with local law enforcement and the City of Lancaster officials regarding the next-door occupants of 1252 Fremont Street, and it’s owner, Mr. William “Lefty” Plank, a convicted felon (vehicular homicide with DUI, Robbery, Assault, False Identification, Driving Under Suspension, Probation Violations, etc., and career criminal.

27. CATERBONE had made formal complaints to Lancaster City Mayor Rick Gray regarding the incidents and allegations of 1252 Fremont Street during personal meetings during February, March, and April “Open Door” public one on one meetings for the public with the Mayor. During February, March, and April, CATERBONE pleaded with Lancaster City Mayor Rick Gray to intervene with the Lancaster City Police to try to resolve the disputes and to take CATERBONEs complaints and incident reports. After the Mayor failed to bring any change to the situation, CATERBONE notified Mayor Rick Gray that CATERBONE would file for mediation with the Lancaster Center for Mediation after the newly appointed Chief of Lancaster City Police, Keith Sadler was sworn into office on or about April 23, 2008.

28. After almost 2 months of complaints regarding an unregistered and un-inspected old junk pickup truck (Owned by William “Lefty” Plank, parked in the alley behind 1252 Fremont Street, on April 15, 2008 the Lancaster City Bureau of Housing and Inspections placed a Red “Public Nuisance and/or Hazardous Vehicle” sticker on the truck. The sticker requires the owner to remove the vehicle within 48 hours or face a $1,000 per day fine and have the vehicle towed at the owners expense. CATERBONE again complained to both the Lancaster City Bureau of Housing and Inspections and the Lancaster City Police after it was not removed. Finally, on April 21, 2008 CATERBONE visited the Lancaster City Bureau of Housing and Inspections and again complained. Within hours the vehicle was finally towed. In April of 2007, CATERBONE had his mint condition 1991 Dodge Dakota Pickup delivered to his home and office at 1250 Fremont Street after being stolen by Parula Properties, LLC on December 20, 2006. The Lancaster City Bureau of Housing and Inspections placed the Red “Public Nuisance and/or Hazardous Vehicle” on the truck because CATERBONE’s could not afford insurance or registration. CATERBONE removed his 1991 Dodge Dakota pickup truck within 24 hours after being threatened with the $1,000 per day fine and having the truck towed away at a location with a per diem charge.

29. On April 22, 2008 while CATERBONE was polling for the Lancaster Campaign Office to elect Hillary Clinton, at the Helena Greek Orthodox church on Hershey Avenue. First on the way to the voting precinct, which was only 5 blocks from CATERBONE’s home and office, CATERBONE ran out of gas because some one again siphoned his gas tank. Lancaster City Councilman Nelson Polite, who showed up to poll for Barrack Obama, harassed CATERBONE. CATERBONE did not want to take any more harassment and went back to the Lancaster Office to elect Hillary Clinton and filed a formal complaint.

30. On April 22, 2008 the 1252 Fremont Street property, and it’s owner, Mr. William “Lefty” Plank had the house “CONDEMNED” by the Lancaster City Bureau of Housing and Inspections. The notice read as follows: NOTICE THIS PROPERTY HAS BEEN CONDEMNED As Being Unfit For Human Habitation and May Not Be Occupied Until Repaired. The penalty for violation of this notice can be a fine of $1,000 per day or a term of imprisonment up to 90 days per offense. Do not obstruct or remove this notice under penalty of law. CITY OF LANCASTER DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT (717)291-4705. The property of 1252 Fremont Street was never evacuated, and persons continued to Habitat the property no matter how many times CATERBONE complained to officials of the Lancaster City Bureau of Housing and Inspections, the Lancaster City Police Department, or the Mayor of Lancaster, Mayor Rick Gray. The Lancaster City Housing and Inspections Bureau advised CATERBONE during personal visits to the office that 1252 Fremont Street was CONDEMNED for “water shut-off”, and that no one was permitted in the property. They advised CATERBONE to notify the Lancaster City Police if anyone was seen in the house. CATERBONE has constantly heard voices and persons inside the 1252 Fremont Street during the entire period of Condemnation.

31. On or about April 24, 2008 a female and a Hispanic male approached 1252 Fremont Street from the back alley. CATERBONE instructed the two individuals that no one was allowed in the property, under the condemnation laws. They argued and entered the property with a key. CATERBONE called 911 for the Lancaster City Police. Two Lancaster City Police officers arrived within 10 minutes and William “Lefty” Plank and Lee Schopf appeared. They argued that they were permitted in the house to retrieve things. The two individuals were not seen. The Lancaster City Police ORDERED everyone out of the house and advised them to vacate the property. The Lancaster City Police instructed me to keep calling if anyone is seen in the house.

32. On April 26, 2008 a white mail approached 1252 Fremont Street from the front while CATERBONE was outside working on his property next door. CATERBONE advised the person not to go inside and the person threatened CATERBONE with physical violence and walked into the house at 1252 Fremont Street. CATERBONE called 911 to report the threat to his person and that a person had just went inside 1252 Fremont Street. One Lancaster City Police officer arrived on foot within approximately 10 minutes and waited for backup before pounding on the door of 1252 Fremont Street. Another Lancaster City Police Officer arrived on foot walking up Fremont Street from the Euclid Avenue vicinity. CATERBONE then went inside his home and office next door at 1250 Fremont Street. After several minutes of pounding on the door, William “Lefty” Plank opened the door and Lee Schopf walked out of the door. CATERBONE watched through his screen door and was waiting for the tall white male that threatened him to appear. CATERBONE opened his screen door and told the Lancaster City Police that they were not seen when the tall white male entered 1252 Fremont Street. Both Plank and Schopf said there was no one else inside of 1252 Fremont Street. Later more Lancaster City Police officers arrived and they handcuffed Lee Schopf and escorted him to a Lancaster City Police cruiser waiting in front of 1250 Fremont Street. The tall white mail apparently left out the back door before the Lancaster City Police arrived, or before they inspected the house. The Lancaster City Police vacated the premises and rang on the door of CATERBONE. The Lancaster City Police Officer explained that they would call on the Lancaster City Bureau of Housing and Inspections on Monday morning to confirm the story by Plank that he was allowed in the house to retrieve items. Plank said he needed his cell phone charger. If the Lancaster City Bureau of Housing and Inspections confirmed that they were not allowed in the house, then the Lancaster City Police officer said they would charge the two with trespass. The Lancaster City Police officer said that Lee Schopf had outstanding warrants on him. After the Lancaster City Police had left the scene William “Lefty” Plank knocked on CATERBONE’s door to argue that they were allowed inside and that he was going back inside the house. CATERBONE slammed the door and told William “Lefty” Plank to stay away from him. On Monday, April 28, 2008 CATERBONE went to the office of the Lancaster City Bureau of Housing and Inspections and talked to a male who said he was the supervisor, he confirmed to CATERBONE that no one was allowed inside 1252 Fremont Street and told CATERBONE to keep calling the Lancaster City Police, but said it in a sarcastic manner to irritate CATERBONE because no one would enforce the Condemnation Notice.

33. On the early morning of April 24, 2008 at the Brickyard Bar and Restaurant on North Prince Street CATERBONE was assaulted by a tall black male. CATERBONE went up to the bar to pay for his tab, one drink, and the assailant started to harass CATERBONE about what was inside his backpack. CATERBONE left and went downstairs to the lobby where his bicycle was locked. The assailant followed and kept harassing CATERBONE. CATERBONE warned the assailant to stay away from CATERBONE or he would call the police. The assailant pulled out his cell phone and kept saying he has the “police” in his back pocket, or something to that extent. CATERBONE walked his bicycle out the door as other patrons arrived and rode down the Brickyard pavement toward North Prince Street. The assailant chased CATERBONE and grabbed his backpack tearing it in half and stopping CATERBONE. CATERBONE quickly reached back so that all of the legal files would not spill and kept yelling at the assailant to get away. The assailant kept asking CATERBONE if he was a “Federali” or Federal Agent. CATERBONE saw a Lancaster City Police cruiser on the west side of Lemon street at a stop light and quickly rode to flag the police down. The Lancaster City Police drove across the intersection and stopped in the middle of the street. CATERBONE told the officer what happened and he said he would drive around to Prince Street to the front of the Brickyard. CATERBONE went back to Prince Street for his bicycle and saw the assailant approaching him again. CATERBONE sped away following the police cruiser to the corner of the alley at Market Street and Lemon Street to hide from the assailant. The Lancaster City Police cruise was out of sight. After the assailant disappeared CATERBONE went back to the Brickyards via Lemon Street to look for the Lancaster City Police. After a few minutes the Lancaster City Police cruiser appeared from James Street and turned down Prince Street. The Lancaster City Police took a statement from CATERBONE and CATERBONE asked the Lancaster City Police for a ride home because CATERBONE could not ride and hold the backpack together at the same time. CATERBONE explained that there were Federal case files in the backpack, but they refused and told CATERBONE to call a taxi. CATERBONE wrapped his backpack up with a bungi cord and went home. A few days later CATERBONE went back to the Lancaster City Police Bureau and requested a report of the incident. Officer Cosmore printed CATERBONE a summary of the call from County-Wide Communications with a log of the time of the call, a description, and the responding officers names, and instructed CATERBONE to check back later for a complete report. CATERBONE did and was instructed to go to the records office of the Lancaster City Police Bureau where they demanded $15.00 for a “verification letter”. CATERBONE waited for about ten minutes after the clerk said she would print one out, but left after no one came back to the window.

34. On May 2, 2008 CATERBONE opened a case for mediation with the Lancaster City Police Bureau and Chief Keith Saddler at the Lancaster Center for Mediation.

35. On May 8, 2008 Lancaster City Police Bureau and Chief Keith Saddler communicated with the Lancaster Mediation Center that they refuse to mediate with CATERBONE.

36. On May 1, 2008 the Advanced Media Group Website at www.amgglobalentertainmentgroup.com was hacked and only 1 hit showed up on the statistics report.

37. On May 6, 2008 the scanner and printer was again rendered inoperable.

38. On May 6, 2008 the Advanced Media Group Website at www.amgglobalentertainmentgroup.com was hacked and shut down with only 44 hits showed up on the statistics report.

39. On May 7, 2008 Wachovia Bank illegally charged CATERBONE a $10.00 fee for a cahiers check in an effort to incite and harass. The Wachovia Bank has processed at least 10 cashier checks prior to this date without ever charging a fee. Joe Caterbone, uncle of CATERBONE was present in line and walked out after CATERBONE ignored him.

40. May 7, 2008 was one of most painful days of electromagnetic radiation for CATERBONE.

41. On May 8, 2008 the Lancaster City Water Department turned on the water at 1252 Fremont Street and the CONDEMNED NOTICE was removed.

42. ON May 8, 2008 the electronic version of a brief filed by CATERBONE for Superior Court Case No. MDA 2053-07 was hacked and changed.

43. On May 9, 2008 the link to the Downtown Lancaster Action Plan of the Advanced Media Group website was hacked and turned off.

44. On May 10, 2008 after noise all night at 1252 Fremont Street, the home of William “Lefty” Plank and Lee Schopf, the hot tub jet switch was turned on twice during the day in an effort to run up the electric bill. At about 8:30 am a long grey haired male started an altercation and screamed and threatened CATERBONE from the backyard of 1252 Fremont Street, the home of William “Lefty” Plank and Lee Schopf.

45. On May 12, 2008, as with most mornings CATERBONE tried to get a free breakfast at the St. James Episcopal Church Food Kitchen. The church had a policy of placing all backpacks outside the facility and hanging them on the wooden fence in the rear. On several occasions when CATERBONE had very sensitive court related materials inside, he had left the backpack at Lancaster City Hall, and even at the Lancaster Public Library. On one occasion a few weeks ago an alternate Schadd Detective Agency Security Officer locked up the backpack in an office inside St. James Episcopal Church. On this day, May 12, 2008, CATERBONE decided to request some sort of exception from the administrators of St. James Episcopal Church. The woman administrator in the office of St. James Episcopal Church allowed CATERBONE to place the backpack with court documents and filings insider the church administrators office. She said she would inform George Dunn, the Schadd Detective Agency Security Officer that he had her permission. CATERBONE proceeded to the line for breakfast and Mr. George Dunn immediately made him leave the line and told him it was not her decision. CATERBONE was instructed to take the backpack with court related documents and filings out of the building. He told George Dunn, the Schadd Detective Agency Security Officer that the matter would be taken up with his Superiors. The James Street District Security employee stood close by trying to insinuate that CATERBONE was in the wrong and causing problems. Immediately following the incident, CATERBONE went to the Lancaster County Library, which was located right next door, and Googled Schaad Detective Agency to find an email address to file a complaint and found the following article: Schadd Detective agency owner to stand trial on prostitution charge by MATTHEW KEMENY, The Patriot- News Friday February 01, 2008, 3:28 PM Provided PhotoRussell L. Wantz Jr. The owner of one of the largest private detective and security agencies in central Pennsylvania will stand trial on a charge of criminal attempt to solicit a prostitute, a Dauphin County district judge ruled today. Russell Leroy Wantz Jr., 57, who owns the York-based Schaad Detective Agency, Inc., was arrested Dec. 10 in Swatara Twp., after police said he arraigned to meet a woman for sex at the Red Roof Inn.

46. On May 13, 2008 CATERBONE went to the office of Spiziri Insurance to use a computer offered by owner John Spiziri. CATERBONE was hacked and windows explorer would not work while trying to make a CD-ROM backup of files from a thumb drive.

47. Again on May 13, 2008 the statistics report for Advanced Media Group was hacked and not displayed.

48. On May 15, 2008 CATERBONE was hacked at the Lancaster County Library while trying to display the electronic ORDER of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, thus denying him access to the document. There is only 1 (one) view allowed per electronic email. The Library staffer that was in the Duke Street Business Center of the Library during that time made a remark before the incident as if she was involved.

49. On May 18, 2008 immediately following the Sunday mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, which CATERBONE attends on a regular basis and is a member, had made arrangements with Charles “Chip” Snyder, owner operator of Snyder Funeral Home, to pick up the remaining estate files of his brother, Sammy Caterbone (December 25, 1984 death). The Snyder Funeral Home and Chip Snyder was the mortician and the first to raise concern and doubt that the suicide on the death certificate did not make sense since there were no marks of any kind on the neck of the Sammy Caterbone when the remains were retrieved from Santa Barbara, California. That observation and notification to CATERBONE started the formal process and investigation into Sammy Caterbone’s cause of death back in 1984. They agreed to that the files would be available at the King Street Office of Snyder Funeral Home. At that Mass, Fr. Leo Goodman had announced to the congregation that St. Mary’s was going to start a video broadcast of the Sunday morning mass on network television and a web cast for those that are homebound; and requested feedback from the congregation. CATERBONE waited to offer his services to Fr. Leo Goodman and talked to him outside after mass. Father Leo Goodman tried to humiliate and harass CATERBONE, as he has done on so many occasions.

50. On May 19, 2008, CATERBONE observed the owner of 1242 Fremont Street, Wally (last name unknown), leaving a note for the occupants at the front door. CATERBONE has also been making formal complaints regard the activities of that residence and had an illegally parked car removed from the back alley a few weeks before. CATERBONE informed Wally of suspicious activity that looked like drug trafficking with people going in and out during the day and night, similar to 1252 Fremont Street. Wally thought they were selling drugs also. Wally confirmed that they were not paying rent and he was evicting the tenants. CATERBONE went back to his residence and heard yelling and screaming from 1242 Fremont Street, and heard the tenants threaten Wally with physical threats and Sylvia Boas, 1244 Fremont Street also yelling at Wally. Wally was walking to his car and threatening to call the police.

51. On May 20, 2008, CATERBONE left his residence in his 1991 Dodge truck and within a half of block was stalked by Mr. Joseph Caterbone and Ms. Dee Stover Butz. Blocks away CATERBONE got out of his car at a red light and asked Mr. Joseph Caterbone (Uncle) if he was following him, and went back to his car, where Dee Stover Butz was directly behind CATERBONE. CATERBONE asked her while she was waiving to him in a sarcastic manner, if she was 12 years old. CATERBONE went immediately to the Headquarters of WGAL-TV where there was supposed to be a protest of the TV Station for the bias of the media coverage of the Clinton-Obama presidential race. CATERBONE received an email the day before soliciting protestors from Rebecca Lytle, a Clinton campaign person for Lancaster County. In the parking lane of WGAL-TV CATERBONE ran out of gas due to another incident of someone stealing his gas. He found only one (1) person protesting and suggested that the email was a fraud to the person protesting.

52. On May 22, 2008 and May 27, 2008 respectively, the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals GRANTED CATERBONE’s Motion for Extension of Time to file briefs for cases 07-4475 and 07-4474 due to incidents contained herein.




Fraud; Abuse of Process; Libel, Civil Conspiracy, Barratry; Vexatious litigation; Gross Negligence; Gross Abuse; Harasment; Obstruction of Justice; Civil Rights Violations; RICO Violations; Anit-Trust Violations; Theft of Property; Unjust Enrichement.

Loss of reputation and credit; humiliation; and mental suffering. discomfort; injury to health; loss of time; and deprivation of society with family. Also; economic loss due to business and litigation interruption; legal fees and punitive damages.

Plaintiffs seeks jury trial and damages in excess of $100,000.

Barratry, in criminal and civil law, is the act or practice of bringing repeated legal actions solely to harass. Usually, the actions brought lack merit. This action has been declared a crime in some jurisdictions. For example, in the U.S. states of California, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, barratry is a misdemeanor. [1] In England and Wales the offence was abolished in 1967.

Malicious prosecution is a common law intentional tort. While similar to the tort of abuse of process, its elements include (1) intentionally (and maliciously) instituting or pursuing (or causing to be instituted or pursued) a legal action (civil or criminal) that is (2) brought without probable cause and (3) dismissed in favor of the victim of the malicious prosecution. In some jurisdictions, "malicious prosecution" is reserved for the wrongful initiation of criminal proceedings, while "malicious use of process" refers to the wrongful initiation of civil proceedings.

Criminal prosecuting attorneys, as well as judges, are normally protected, by doctrines of prosecutorial immunity and judicial immunity, from tort liability for malicious prosecution.

The mere filing of a complaint cannot constitute an abuse of process. The parties who have abused or misused the process, have gone beyond the mere filing of a lawsuit. The taking of an appeal, even a frivolous one, is not enough to constitute an abuse of process. The mere filing or maintenance of a lawsuit, even for an improper purpose, is not a proper basis for an abuse of process action.

Abuse of process is a common law intentional tort. It is to be distinguished from malicious prosecution, another type of tort that involves misuse of the public right of access to the courts.

The elements of a valid cause of action for abuse of process in most common law jurisdictions are as follows: it is the malicious and deliberate misuse or perversion of regularly issued court process (civil or criminal) not justified by the underlying legal action. "Process" in this context is used in the same sense as in "service of process," where "process" refers to an official summons or other notice issued from a court. The person who abuses process is interested only in accomplishing some improper purpose that is collateral to the proper object of the process and that offends justice, such as an unjustified arrest or an unfounded criminal prosecution. Subpoenas to testify, attachments of property, executions on property, garnishments, and other provisional remedies are among the types of "process" considered to be capable of abuse.


Vexatious litigation is legal action which is brought, regardless of its merits, solely to harass or subdue an adversary. It may take the form of a primary frivolous lawsuit or may be the repetitive, burdensome, and unwarranted filing of meritless motions in a matter which is otherwise a meritorious cause of action. Filing vexatious litigation is considered an abuse of the judicial process and may bring down sanctions on the offender.
A single action, even a frivolous one, is not enough to raise a litigant to the level of being declared vexatious. Roy L. Pearson, Jr., an Administrative Law Judge in the District of Columbia, who sued a dry-cleaner for $54 million for allegedly losing a pair of his trousers, is sometimes claimed to be a vexatious litigant; however, he does not have a history of frivolous action like the parties normally considered vexatious.[citation needed ]

In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them – usually, to obtain property or services unjustly. [1] Fraud can be accomplished through the aid of forged objects. In the criminal law of common law jurisdictions it may be called "theft by deception," "larceny by trick," "larceny by fraud and deception" or something similar.
Fraud can be committed through many methods, including mail, wire, phone, and the internet (computer crime and internet fraud).
Fraud, in addition to being a criminal act, is also a type of civil law violation known as a tort. A tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy. A civil fraud typically involves the act of intentionally making a false representation of a material fact, with the intent to deceive, which is reasonably relied upon by another person to that person's detriment. A "false representation" can take many forms, such as:
· A false statement of fact, known to be false at the time it was made;

· A statement of fact with no reasonable basis to make that statement;
· A promise of future performance made with an intent, at the time the promise was made, not to perform as promised;
· A statement of opinion based on a false statement of fact;
· A statement of opinion that the maker knows to be false; or
· An expression of opinion that is false, made by one claiming or implying to have special knowledge of the subject matter of the opinion. "Special knowledge" in this case means knowledge or information superior to that possessed by the other party, and to which the other party did not have equal access.

In law, defamation (also called vilification, slander, and libel) is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressively stated or implied to be factual, that may harm the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government or nation. Slander refers to spoken comments, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images. Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism. Related to defamation is public disclosure of private facts arises where one person reveals information which is not of public concern, and the release of which would offend a reasonable person.[1] "Unlike libel or slander, truth is not a defense for invasion of privacy."[2]

False light laws are "intended primarily to protect the plaintiff's mental or emotional well-being."[3] If a publication of information is false, then a tort of defamation might have occurred. If that communication is not technically false but is still misleading then a tort of false light might have occurred.[3]

Slander and libel
The common law origins of defamation lie in the torts of slander (harmful statement in a transitory form, especially speech) and libel[4][5] (harmful statement in a fixed medium, especially writing but also a picture, sign, or electronic broadcast), each of which gives a common law right of action.
"Defamation" is the general term used internationally, and is used in this article where it is not necessary to distinguish between "slander" and "libel". Libel and slander both require publication.[6] The fundamental distinction between libel and slander lies solely in the form in which the defamatory matter is published. If the offending material is published in some fleeting form, as by spoken words or sounds, sign language, gestures and the like, then this is slander. If it is published in more durable form, for example in written words, film, compact disc (CD), DVD, blogging and the like, then it is considered libel.

Criminal defamation
Many nations have criminal penalties for defamation in some situations, and different conditions for determining whether an offense has occurred. ARTICLE 19, Global Campaign for Free Expression, has published global maps [2] charting the existence of criminal defamation law across the globe. The law is used predominantly to defend political leaders or functionaries of the state. In Britain, the Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta was convicted of criminal libel for denouncing the Italian state agent Ennio Belelli in 1912. While, in Canada, though the law has been applied on only six occasions in the past century, all of those cases involve libellants attached to the state (police officers, judges, prison guards). In the most recent case, Bradley Waugh and Ravin Gill were charged with criminal libel for publicly accusing six prison guards of the racially motivated murder of a black inmate (http://netk.net.au/Canada/Canada15.asp. In Zimbabwe, "insulting the President" is, by statute, (Public Order and Security Act 2001) a criminal offense.

Even if a statement is derogatory, there are circumstances in which such statements are permissible in law.

In many legal systems, adverse public statements about legal citizens presented as fact must be proven false to be defamatory or slanderous/libel. Proving adverse, public character statements to be true is often the best defense against a prosecution for libel and/or defamation. Statements of opinion that cannot be proven true or false will likely need to apply some other kind of defense. The use of the defense of justification has dangers, however; if the defendant libels the plaintiff and then runs the defense of truth and fails, he may be said to have aggravated the harm.
Another important aspect of defamation is the difference between fact and opinion. Statements made as "facts" are frequently actionable defamation. Statements of opinion or pure opinion are not actionable. In order to win damages in a libel case, the plaintiff must first show that the statements were "statements of fact or mixed statements of opinion and fact" and second that these statements were false. Conversely, a typical defense to defamation is that the statements are opinion. One of the major tests to distinguish whether a statement is fact or opinion is whether the statement can be proved true or false in a court of law. If the statement can be proved true or false, then, on that basis, the case will be heard by a jury to determine whether it is true or false. If the statement cannot be proved true or false, the court may dismiss the libel case without it ever going to a jury to find facts in the case.

In some systems, however, notably the Philippines, truth alone is not a defense.[7] Some U.S. statutes preserve historical common law exceptions to the defense of truth to libel actions. These exceptions were for statements "tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead" or "expose the natural defects of one who is alive." [8]

It is also necessary in these cases to show that there is a well-founded public interest in the specific information being widely known, and this may be the case even for public figures. Public interest is generally not "that which the public is interested in," but rather that which is in the interest of the public.[9] [10]

See also: Substantial truth

Privilege and malice
Privilege provides a complete bar and answer to a defamation suit, though conditions may have to be met before this protection is granted.
There are two types of privilege in the common law tradition:
· "Absolute privilege" has the effect that a statement cannot be sued on as defamatory, even if it were made maliciously; a typical example is evidence given in court (although this may give rise to different claims, such as an action for malicious prosecution or perjury) or statements made in a session of the legislature (known as 'Parliamentary privilege' in Commonwealth countries).

· "Qualified privilege" may be available to the journalist as a defense in circumstances where it is considered important that the facts be known in the public interest; an example would be public meetings, local government documents, and information relating to public bodies such as the police and fire departments. Qualified privilege has the same effect as absolute privilege, but does not protect statements that can be proven to have been made with malicious intent.

Other defenses
Defenses to claims of defamation include:
· Truth is an absolute defense in the United States as well as in the common law jurisdictions of Canada. In some other countries it is also necessary to show a benefit to the public good in having the information brought to light.

· Statements made in a good faith and reasonable belief that they were true are generally treated the same as true statements; however, the court may inquire into the reasonableness of the belief. The degree of care expected will vary with the nature of the defendant: an ordinary person might safely rely on a single newspaper report, while the newspaper would be expected to carefully check multiple sources.

· Privilege is a defense when witness testimony, attorneys' arguments, and judges' decisions, rulings, and statements made in court, or statements by legislators on the floor of the legislature, or statements made by a person to their spouse, are the cause for the claim. These statements are said to be privileged and cannot be cause for a defamation claim.

· Opinion is a defense recognized in nearly every jurisdiction. If the allegedly defamatory assertion is an expression of opinion rather than a statement of fact, defamation claims usually cannot be brought because opinions are inherently not falsifiable. However, some jurisdictions decline to recognize any legal distinction between fact and opinion. The United States Supreme Court, in particular, has ruled that the First Amendment does not require recognition of an opinion privilege.

· Fair comment on a matter of public interest, statements made with an honest belief in their truth on a matter of public interest (official acts) are defenses to a defamation claim, even if such arguments are logically unsound; if a reasonable person could honestly entertain such an opinion, the statement is protected.

· Consent is an uncommon defense and makes the claim that the claimant consented to the dissemination of the statement.
· Innocent dissemination is a defense available when a defendant had no actual knowledge of the defamatory statement or no reason to believe the statement was defamatory. The defense can be defeated if the lack of knowledge was due to negligence. Thus, a delivery service cannot be held liable for delivering a sealed defamatory letter.

· Claimant is incapable of further defamation–e.g., the claimant's position in the community is so poor that defamation could not do further damage to the plaintiff. Such a claimant could be said to be "libel-proof," since in most jurisdictions, actual damage is an essential element for a libel claim.
In addition to the above, the defendant may claim that the allegedly defamatory statement is not actually capable of being defamatory—an insulting statement that does not actually harm someone's reputation is prima facie not libelous.

Special rules apply in the case of statements made in the press concerning public figures. A series of court rulings led by New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) established that for a public official (or other legitimate public figure) to win a libel case, the statement must have been published knowing it to be false or with reckless disregard to its truth, (also known as actual malice).

Under United States law, libel generally requires five key elements. The plaintiff must prove that the information was published, the plaintiff was directly or indirectly identified, the remarks were defamatory towards the plaintiff's reputation, the published information is false, and that the defendant is at fault.

The Associated Press estimates that 95% of libel cases involving news stories do not arise from high-profile news stories, but "run of the mill" local stories like news coverage of local criminal investigations or trials, or business profiles. Media liability insurance is available to newspapers to cover potential damage awards from libel lawsuits.

Defamation and freedom of speech
Defamation laws may come into tension with freedom of speech, leading to censorship or chilling effects where publishers fear lawsuits, or loss of reputation where individuals have no effective protection against reckless or unfounded allegations. Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights permits restrictions on freedom of speech which are necessary for the protection of the reputation or the rights of others[11].
Jurisdictions resolve this tension in different ways, in particular in determining where the burden of proof lies when unfounded allegations are made. The power of the internet to disseminate comment, which may include malicious comment, has brought a new focus to the issue. [12]
There is a broader consensus against laws which criminalize defamation. Human rights organizations, and other organizations such as the Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, have campaigned against strict defamation laws which criminalize defamation.[13][14] The European Court of Human Rights has placed restrictions on criminal libel laws because of the freedom of expression provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. One notable case was Lingens v. Austria (1986).

United States
Main article: United States defamation law
The origins of US defamation law pre-date the American Revolution; one famous 1734 case involving John Peter Zenger established some precedent that the truth should be an absolute defense against libel charges. (Previous English defamation law had not provided this guarantee.) Though the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was designed to protect freedom of the press, for most of the history of the United States, the Supreme Court neglected to use it to rule on libel cases. This left libel laws, based upon the traditional common law of defamation inherited from the English legal system, mixed across the states. The 1964 case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, however, dramatically changed the nature of libel law in the United States by establishing that public officials could win a suit for libel only if they could demonstrate publishers' "knowledge that the information was false" or that it was published "with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not". Later Supreme Court cases dismissed the claim for libel and forbade libel claims for statements that are so ridiculous to be clearly not true, or are involving opinionated subjects such as one's physical state of being. Recent cases have addressed defamation law and the internet.

Defamation law in the United States is much less plaintiff-friendly than its counterparts in European and the Commonwealth countries, due to the enforcement of the First Amendment. In the United States, a comprehensive discussion of what is and is not libel or slander is difficult, because the definition differs between different states, and under federal law. Some states codify what constitutes slander and libel together into the same set of laws. Criminal libel is rare or nonexistent, depending on the state. Defenses to libel that can result in dismissal before trial include the statement being one of opinion rather than fact or being "fair comment and criticism". Truth is always a defense.

Most states recognize that some categories of statements are considered to be defamatory per se, such that people making a defamation claim for these statements do not need to prove that the statement was defamatory.

An action for damages brought by one against whom a civil suit or criminal proceeding has been unsuccessfully commenced without probable cause and for a purpose other than that of bringing the alleged offender to justice.

An action for malicious prosecution is the remedy for baseless and malicious litigation. It is not limited to criminal prosecutions, but may be brought in response to any baseless and malicious litigation or prosecution, whether criminal or civil. The criminal defendant or civil respondent in a baseless and malicious case may later file this claim in civil court against the parties who took an active role in initiating or encouraging the original case. The defendant in the initial case becomes the plaintiff in the malicious prosecution suit, and the plaintiff or prosecutor in the original case becomes the defendant. In most states the claim must be filed within a year after the end of the original case.

A claim of malicious prosecution is atort action. A tort action is filed in civil court to recover money damages for certain harm suffered. The plaintiff in a malicious prosecution suit seeks to win money from the respondent as recompense for the various costs associated with having to defend against the baseless and vexatious case.

The public policy that supports the action for malicious prosecution is the discouragement of vexatious litigation. This policy must compete against one that favors the freedom of law enforcement officers, judicial officers, and private citizens to participate and assist in the administration of justice.

In most jurisdictions an action for malicious prosecution is governed by the common law. This means that the authority to bring the action lies in case law from the courts, not statutes from the legislature. Most legislatures maintain some statutes that give certain persons immunity from malicious prosecution for certain acts. In Colorado, for example, a merchant, a merchant's employee, or a police officer, who reasonably suspects that a theft has occurred, may detain and question the suspect without fear of liability for slander, false arrest, false imprisonment, unlawful detention, or malicious prosecution (Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-4-407 [West 1996]).

An action for malicious prosecution is distinct from an action for false arrest or false imprisonment. If a person is arrested by a police officer who lacks legal authority for the arrest, the proper remedy is an action for false arrest. If a person is confined against her or his will, the proper remedy is an action for false imprisonment. An action for malicious prosecution is appropriate only where the judicial system has been misused.

Elements of Proof
To win a suit for malicious prosecution, the plaintiff must prove four elements: (1) that the original case was terminated in favor of the plaintiff, (2) that the defendant played an active role in the original case, (3) that the defendant did not have probable cause or reasonable grounds to support the original case, and (4) that the defendant initiated or continued the initial case with an improper purpose. Each of these elements presents a challenge to the plaintiff.

The Original Case Was Terminated in Favor of the Plaintiff
The original case must end before the defendant or respondent in that case may file a malicious prosecution suit. This requirement is relatively easy to prove. The original case qualifies as a prosecution if the defendant or respondent had to appear in court. The original case need not have gone to trial: it is enough that the defendant or respondent was forced to answer to a complaint in court. If the original case is being appealed, it is not considered terminated, and the defendant or respondent must wait to file a malicious prosecution suit.

To proceed with a malicious prosecution claim, the plaintiff must show that the original case was concluded in her or his favor. Generally, if the original case was a criminal prosecution, it must have been dismissed by the court, rejected by the grand jury, abandoned by the prosecutor, or decided in favor of the accused at trial or on appeal. If the original case was a civil suit, the respondent must have won at trial, or the trial court must have disposed of the case in favor of the respondent (now the plaintiff).
If recovery by the plaintiff in a civil action was later reversed on appeal, this does not mean that the action was terminated in favor of the respondent. However, if the plaintiff in the original case won by submitting fabricated evidence or by other fraudulent activity, a reversal on such grounds may be deemed a termination in favor of the respondent. A settlement between the plaintiff and the respondent in a civil suit is not a termination in favor of the respondent. Likewise, courts do not consider a plea bargain in a criminal case to be a termination in favor of the defendant.

The Defendant Played an Active Role in the Original Case
In a malicious prosecution suit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant played an active role in procuring or continuing the original case. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant did more than simply participate in the original case. False testimony alone, for example, does not constitute malicious prosecution. Moreover, witnesses are immune from suit for defamation, even if they lie on the witness stand. This is because the concept of a fair and free trial requires that witnesses testify without fear of having to defend a defamation suit owing to their testimony.

An action for malicious prosecution focuses on the abuse of legal process, not on defamatory, untruthful statements. If a person helps another person launch a baseless case or takes action to direct or aid such a case, the first person may be held liable for malicious prosecution. The defendant must have been responsible in some way for the institution or continuation of the baseless case. This position of responsibility does not always include criminal prosecutors and civil plaintiffs. For example, if a prosecutor bringing criminal charges is tricked into prosecuting the case by an untruthful third party, the deceiving party is the one who may be found liable for malicious prosecution, not the prosecutor.

The Defendant Did Not Have Probable Cause to Support the Original Case
The plaintiff must prove that the person who began or continued the original case did not have probable cause to do so. Generally, this means proving that the person did not have a reasonable belief in the plaintiff's guilt or liability. In examining this element, a court will look at several factors, including the reliability of any sources, the availability of information, the effort required to obtain information, opportunities given to the accused to offer an explanation, the accused's reputation, and the necessity in the original case for speedy judicial action.

A failure to fully investigate the facts surrounding a case may be sufficient to prove a lack of probable cause. The termination of the original case in favor of the original defendant (now the plaintiff) may help to prove a lack of probable cause, but it may not be decisive on the issue. The plaintiff should present enough facts to allow a reasonable person to infer that the defendant acted without a reasonable belief in the plaintiff's guilt or liability in beginning or continuing the original case.

In a criminal case, an acquittal does not constitute a lack of probable cause. A criminal defendant stands a better chance of proving lack of probable cause if the original case was dismissed by prosecutors, a grand jury, or the court before the case went to trial. The criminal process provides several safeguards against prosecutions that lack probable cause, so a full criminal trial tends to show the presence of probable cause. Civil cases do not have the same safeguards, so a full civil trial does not tend to prove probable cause.

The Defendant Initiated or Continued the Original Case with an Improper Purpose
In a malicious prosecution, the plaintiff must prove with specific facts that the defendant instituted or continued the original proceeding with an improper purpose. Sheer ill will constitutes an improper purpose, and it may be proved with facts that show that the defendant resented the plaintiff or wanted somehow to harm the plaintiff. However, the plaintiff does not have to prove that the defendant felt personal malice or hostility toward the plaintiff. Rather, the plaintiff need only show that the defendant was motivated by something other than the purpose of bringing the plaintiff to justice.

Few defendants admit to improper purposes, so improper purpose usually must be inferred from facts and circumstances. If the plaintiff cannot discover any apparent purpose, improper purpose can be inferred from the lack of probable cause.
Hodges v. Gibson Products Co.

Hodges v. Gibson Products Co., 811 P.2d 151 (Utah 1991), contained all the elements of a malicious prosecution. According to Chad Crosgrove, the manager of Gibson Discount Center in West Valley, Utah, store money was noticed missing during the afternoon of September 4, 1981. Both Crosgrove and part-time bookkeeper Shauna Hodges had access to the money, and both denied taking it. On September 9 Crosgrove and Gibson officials went to the local police station, where they lodged an accusation of theft against Hodges. Crosgrove was not accused. Hodges was arrested, handcuffed, and taken to jail. After a preliminary hearing, she was released on bail and ordered to return for trial on May 12, 1982.
After Hodges was formally charged, an internal audit at Gibson revealed that Crosgrove had embezzled approximately $9,000 in cash and goods from the store. The thefts had occurred over a time period that included September 4, 1981. Gibson still did not charge Crosgrove with theft. Instead, it allowed him to resign with a promise to repay the money.

The night before Hodges's trial was to begin, and almost two months after Crosgrove's embezzlement was discovered, management at Gibson notified Hodges's prosecutor of Crosgrove's activities. The prosecutor immediately dropped the charges against Hodges. Hodges then filed a suit for malicious prosecution against Gibson and against Crosgrove.

At trial Hodges was able to prove all the elements of malicious prosecution to the jury's satisfaction: (1) She had been subjected to prosecution for theft, and the matter had been terminated in her favor. (2) She had sued the correct parties, because Gibson and Crosgrove were responsible for instituting the original proceedings against her. (3) She had ample evidence that the original prosecution was instituted without probable cause, because Gibson failed to investigate Crosgrove until after she had been arrested, and because the prosecutor dismissed the charges against her. (4) Finally, there were enough facts for the jury to infer that both Gibson and Crosgrove had acted with improper motive: Gibson had acted with an apparent bias against Hodges, and Crosgrove apparently had accused Hodges for self-preservation. The jury awarded Hodges a total of $88,000 in damages: $77,000 from Gibson, and $11,000 from Crosgrove. The verdict was upheld on appeal.

The plaintiff in an action for malicious prosecution can recover money from the defendant for certain harms suffered. Typical injuries include loss of reputation and credit, humiliation, and mental suffering. If the original action was a criminal case, additional harms often include discomfort, injury to health, loss of time, and deprivation of society with family.

If the plaintiff suffered an economic loss directly related to the original action, the plaintiff can also recover the amount lost. This includes attorneys' fees and court costs incurred by the plaintiff in defending the original case.

Finally, the plaintiff may recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are imposed by judges and juries to punish misconduct by a party. Because an action for malicious prosecution requires proof of improper intent on the part of the defendant, punitive damages commonly are awarded to malicious prosecution plaintiffs who win damages awards.

Other Considerations
Actions for malicious prosecution must compete against the public interest in allowing parties to pursue cases unfettered by the specter of a retaliatory case. Very few civil or criminal cases result in an action for malicious prosecution. This is because it is difficult to prove that the defendant procured or continued the original case without probable cause and with an improper purpose.
Another difficulty for the plaintiff in an action for malicious prosecution is immunity. Generally, the law protects witnesses, police officers, judges, prosecutors, and lawyers from suit for malicious prosecution. Witnesses are given immunity because justice requires that they testify without fear of reprisals. Law enforcement and judicial officers are given immunity because they must be free to perform their duties without continually defending against malicious prosecution cases.

There are exceptions. If a law enforcement or judicial official ventures outside the bounds of official duties to instigate or continue a malicious prosecution, the official may be vulnerable to a malicious prosecution suit. For example, a prosecutor who solicits fabricated testimony to present to a grand jury may be sued for malicious prosecution. The prosecutor would receive only limited immunity in this instance because the solicitation of evidence is an administrative function, not a prosecutorial function (Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259, 113 S. Ct. 2606, 125 L. Ed. 2d 209 [1993]).
Private parties may also at times enjoy immunity from actions for malicious prosecution. For example, a person who complains to a disciplinary committee about an attorney may be immune. This general rule is followed by courts to avoid discouraging the reporting of complaints against attorneys

Date: June 6, 2008
Stanley J. Caterbone, Pro Se
1250 Fremont Street
Lancaster, PA 17603



39 West Chestnut Street
Lancaster, PA 17603


City of Lancaster
120 N. Duke Street
P.O. Box 1599
Lancaster, PA 17608-1599

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