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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY

,
MARYLAND

BRETT%KIMBERLIN,%
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Plaintiff,%
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v.%
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NATIONAL%BLOGGERS%CLUB,%et%al,%
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Defendants.%

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No.%CV403868%V%

MOTION TO COMPEL PRE-ACTION DISCLOSURE DIRECTING
INTERMARKETS INC. TO DISCLOSE THE IDENTITY AND ADDRESS OF
DEFENDANT ANONYMOUS BLOGGER ACE OF SPADES AND BLOG ACE
OF SPADES
Plaintiff Brett Kimberlin, in order to facilitate service of this lawsuit, hereby moves
this Court to compel pre-action disclosure directing order the Reston, VA based
company, Intermarkets Inc (“Intermarkets”), to disclose the identity of Defendants Ace of
Spades the Blogger, and Ace of Spades the Blog. The blogger posts on Ace of Spades the
blog anonymously. Intermarkets is closely connected to these Defendants and in fact sells
traffic to the blog, and Ace of Spades the Blogger is in charge of all accounting with
Intermarkets. This motion is governed by INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS, INC.v.
Zebulon J. BRODIE. 966 A.2d 432 (2009), which set forth the standards for courts to
consider when confronted with lawsuits against anonymous bloggers.

These are:
(1) require the plaintiff to undertake efforts to notify the anonymous posters that
they are the subject of a subpoena or application for an order of disclosure,
including posting a message of notification of the identity discovery request on the
message board; (2) withhold action to afford the anonymous posters a reasonable
opportunity to file and serve opposition to the application; (3) require the plaintiff
to identify and set forth the exact statements purportedly made by each anonymous
poster, alleged to constitute actionable speech; (4) determine whether the

complaint has set forth a prima facie defamation per se or per quod action against
the anonymous posters; and (5), if all else is satisfied, balance the anonymous
poster’s First Amendment right of free speech against the strength of the prima
facie case of defamation presented by the plaintiff and the necessity for disclosure
of the anonymous defendant’s identity, prior to ordering disclosure.

Background
1.

Plaintiff has filed a Complaint against Defendants Ace of Spades the Blogger and

the Blog for numerous torts, including defamation, false light, conspiracy, invasion of
privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
2.

The Complaint alleges that these two defendants and others have engaged in a

multi-year campaign of anonymous cyber defamation and tortious conduct against
Plaintiff, which included false allegations of criminal swatting,
3.

These false allegations posted by these defendants on the Ace of Spades highly

trafficked blog were meant to harm Plaintiff and his business relationships.
4.

Ace of Spades the Blogger is posting anonymously on the Ace of Spades blog.

Federal law, under 47 USC 223 (C), prohibits using a telecommunications device [which
is defined as including the Internet under 47 USC section 113(C)] “without disclosing his
identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person … who receives
the communications;”
5.

Ace of Spades the Blogger has used his Ace of Spades Blog to anonymously

defame, annoy, abuse, threaten, and harass Plaintiff.
6.

Plaintiff needs to know the identity of Ace of Spades the Blogger and Blog in

order to serve them with a copy of this lawsuit but cannot do so unless he knows their
name and his address, which is registered with Intermarkets Inc.

1. It is well established that persons cannot shield themselves from civil suit for
defamation, cyber stalking, Internet libel, and other intentional torts by anonymously
posting on the Internet. See INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS, INC.v. Zebulon J.
BRODIE (“viable causes of action for defamation should not be barred in the Internet
context”). See also, Beauharnais v. Illinois, 343 U.S. 250, 266, 72 S. Ct. 725, 735,

96 L. Ed. 919,932 (1952) (“Libelous utterances [are] not . . . within the area of
constitutionally protected speech . . . .”). See Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315
U.S. 568, 572, 62 S. Ct. 766, 769, 86 L. Ed. 1031, 1035 (1942) (recognizing that
defamatory and libelous speech “are no essential part of any exposition of ideas,
and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be
derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and
morality”). AOS’s limited right to anonymous speech is greatly outweighed by
Plaintiff’s right to know who has committed tortious conduct against him. In re
Anonymous, 661 F.3d at 1176 (recognizing “the great potential for irresponsible,
malicious, and harmful communication and that particularly in the age of the Internet, the
speed and power of internet technology makes it difficult for the truth to ‘catch up’ to the
lie”).
7.

Intermarkets’ privacy policy, to which bloggers agree to when becoming a client,

allows the disclosure of client information in response to legal action.
Plaintiff Has Notified Ace of Spades the Blogger and Blog Of The Complaint
And His Right To Defend
8.

Plaintiff has informed Ace of Spades of this lawsuit in different ways. First,

Plaintiff notified Ron Coleman, the attorney who represented Ace in this case in federal

court before it was transferred to this Court of the suit and asked him to accept service.
Second, Plaintiff informed counsel for Intermarkets that Plaintiff would be filing this
motion.
The Statements Made By Ace of Spades the Blogger of the Ace of Spades Blog Are
Defamatory

9.

A “defamatory statement,” is one “ which tends to expose a person to

public scorn, hatred, contempt or ridicule, thereby discouraging others in the
community from having a good opinion of, or associating with, that person.” Offen
v. Brenner, 402 Md. 191, 198-99, 935 A.2d 719, 724 (2007) (internal citations
omitted). To establish a prima facie case of defamation, then, the plaintiff must
show: “(1) that the defendant made a defamatory statement to a third person, (2)
that the statement was false, (3) that the defendant was legally at fault in making
the statement, and (4) that the plaintiff thereby suffered harm.” Offen v. Brenner,
402 Md. at 198, 935 A.2d 719 at 723-24.
10. The Defamatory Statements Were Published To Third Persons.
Clearly, Ace of Spades the Blogger made statements about Plaintiff to third
persons because he made and published those statements on the Internet for the
entire world to see. The statements made about Plaintiff were intended to and did
expose Plaintiff to scorn, hatred, contempt, thereby discouraging people from
associating with Plaintiff. In fact, Plaintiff has received threats because of the
postings and had to defend himself to business associates and supporters against
the attacks.

11. Ace of Spades the Blogger Was Legally At Fault In Making The
Statements—Ace of Spades the Blogger admittedly made the defamatory
statements and so is legally at fault for the torts of defamation and false light.
12. Ace of Spades the Blogger Has Made Repeated False Statements About
Plaintiff— As stated in Plaintiff’s Complaint Ace of Spades engaged in wholesale and
per se defamation against Plaintiff, not once, but multiple times. For example, he falsely
stated, imputed and published in five articles that Plaintiff committed the crime of
“swattings,” that he was involved with terrorism” and “murder,” that he was trying to
“kill” people, that he is a “thug” and “nefarious,” that he is running “scams,” that he is
engaged in “lawless vigilantism,” that he is involved with “ongoing crimes,” that he is
engaged in “alarming harassments,” that he is a “menace,” that he is a “one-man crime
wave,” that he is “escalating” his criminal activities, that he is engaged in a “crime in
progress,” that he is “abusing and corrupting” the justice system, that his life is one of
“escalat[ing] risk taking,” that he is “a dangerous man,” that he is engaged in “digital”
and “real life terrorism,” that he is a “malicious threat to society,” and that he is engaged
in “lawfare.” Not only did Ace of Spades make these defamatory statements and
publications, he demanded action by others, including Congress, to stop Plaintiff through
various actions including imprisonment and passing a bill of attainder. His publications
were a call to arms against Plaintiff based on defamatory hysteria—either stop Plaintiff or
terrible things will happen. AOS was using his defamatory statements to destroy Plaintiff
by any means.
13. Plaintiff Has Been Harmed By The Defamatory Statements
Plaintiff has suffered harm from Ace of Spades’ defamatory statements posted on his

blog. Specifically, Plaintiff has been subject to repeated questions from others asking
about the statements and has had to defend himself against them. Plaintiff has suffered
embarrassment and disrepute. Plaintiff has suffered emotional distress by having to read
and respond to the statements. Plaintiff has had to meet with law enforcement officials
about the statements made by Ace of Spades. Plaintiff has had to take additional security
precautions for himself and family. Plaintiff has suffered damage to his reputation.
%%%%%WHEREFORE,%Plaintiff%moves%this%Court%to%issue%an%order%to%disclose%the%identity%
and%address%of%Defendant%Ace%of%Spades%the%Blogger%and%Blog,%directed%at%
Intermarkets%Inc,%INTERMARKETS,%INC.,%11911%FREEDOM%DRIVE,%SUITE,%1140,%
RESTON,%VA%20190%
Respectfully submitted,

Brett Kimberlin

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I certify that I have emailed a copy of this motion to Stephen Fowler, Attorney for
Interemarkets Inc this 17th day of July, 2015.

Brett Kimberlin
8100 Beech Tree Rd
Bethesda, MD 20817