Montana Man Challenges Electronic Harassment Law in Supreme Court

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A Montana antheral convicted of aggregate counts of violating an physics harassment instrumentality is asking the Supreme Court to invalidate the authorities law, arguing it is truthful sweeping that it violates escaped code rights.

Montana’s physics harassment instrumentality is akin to laws successful different states, meaning if the Supreme Court were to onslaught it down those different authorities laws could beryllium successful jeopardy.

The case, Lamoureux v. Montana, tribunal record 21-427, is an entreaty from the Montana Supreme Court.

William Frederick Lamoureux was recovered blameworthy by the Eleventh Judicial District Court, Flathead County, of 3 felony counts nether the state’s Privacy successful Communications statute. The statute criminalizes physics communications made with the intent to “harass, annoy, oregon offend,” utilizing “obscene, lewd, oregon profane language.”

The contented earlier the nation’s highest court, should it determine to perceive the case, is whether that “statute that criminalizes code intended to annoy oregon offend is unconstitutionally overbroad nether the First Amendment,” according to the petition for certiorari, oregon review, filed with the Supreme Court. “Virtually each authorities has a akin signifier of physics harassment law, with varying degrees of breadth,” the petition states.

In caller decades, courts person disagreed implicit whether laws forbidding code intended to annoy oregon offend interruption the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Eight authorities ultimate courts and 1 national tribunal of appeals person held that specified laws are “facially overbroad” successful usurpation of the First Amendment, according to the petition. Three national courts of appeals and six authorities precocious courts, including the Montana Supreme Court successful this case, person determined that they bash not tally afoul of the First Amendment, either due to the fact that they modulate behaviour alternatively than speech, oregon “because they bash not expanse successful capable constitutionally protected code to warrant facial invalidation.”

The U.S. Supreme Court “should resoluteness this enduring and worsening split” among the assorted courts, Lamoureux argues successful the petition.

“The question is 1 of large and expanding importance, peculiarly fixed the prevalence of akin statutes, the proliferation of physics communications that autumn wrong the scope of those statutes, and the anticipation of specified physics communications being covered by aggregate jurisdictions.”

The charges came retired of 3 threatening telephone calls Lamoureux made to 2 victims. Because helium had astatine slightest 1 anterior condemnation nether the instrumentality the 3 caller convictions became felonies.

An seemingly drunk Lamoureux called his ex-wife’s jewelry store demanding the telephone numbers of his ex-father-in-law and of 1 of the divorced couple’s children. The worker who answered the telephone refused to springiness retired the numbers astatine which constituent Lamoureux utilized profanity and said helium would get her fired, the Montana Supreme Court found successful its ruling, which was written by Justice Laurie McKinnon.

Lamoureux called the store again and demanded the numbers. The worker again refused astatine which constituent helium said helium would travel to the store and slap her. The worker closed the store aboriginal and contacted police.

On different day, a seemingly intoxicated Lamoureux called his erstwhile father-in-law and said helium would “kill” his girl and “stuff her successful a culvert for the skunks to devour her.” On yet different day, the erstwhile father-in-law received a telephone from Lamoureux successful which helium again said helium would “kill” her, enactment her successful a garbage bin and acceptable it connected fire. He besides threatened to pain the gathering lodging the jewelry store to the ground. The father-in-law called his girl and police.

It is unclear erstwhile the Supreme Court volition instrumentality action.

Montana Assistant Attorney General Jonathan M. Krauss, who is counsel of grounds for the authorities successful the U.S. Supreme Court case, did not instantly respond to a petition for remark from The Epoch Times.

Matthew Vadum

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Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative writer and a recognized adept successful left-wing activism.