Bad Month for Sandy Hook Truthers in Palm Beach, Florida: (1) James Tracy v FAU dismissed and (2) indictment in U.S. v. Lucy Richards

1st Amendment

In unrelated court proceedings in West Palm Beach, Florida, two Sandy Hook Truthers suffered losses resulting in a dismissal and indictment, respectively.  A university professor who writes blog posts denying the Sandy Hook shooting received a sternly-worded Order of Dismissal which gutted several of his claims while permitting his lawyers a chance to re-write the others.  Separately, a woman was indicted for making bizarre threats via phone and internet to the father of one of the Sandy Hook victims.

James Tracy is a former professor at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) who was fired from his tenured teaching position at the university located in Boca Raton, Florida.  He claims it was because of his ardent belief that the Sandy Hook massacre never happened.  His insightful comments rants on the topic populate his blog, Memory Hole (warning: Google Chrome blocked the site as infected with a trojan horse so we are not linking).

In April 2015, Tracy filed a lengthy lawsuit in federal court claiming that his First Amendment right was violated.  Our first post on the topic, with the links to the court documents, is here.  The Defendants filed their motions to dismiss, which we covered in June 2016, here.

On December 15, 2016, Judge Robin Rosenberg dismissed with prejudice a number of claims and dismissed without prejudice the remaining counts, permitting counsel the chance to re-write those portions.  Her order is here.  Specifically, the individual defendants appear to have largely won this first round with a number of claims dismissed with prejudice however the question whether he was fired for blogging remained a viable action.  A claim for denial of due process was also dismissed.

An Amended Complaint is due to be filed on December 28, 2016.  We’ll report then.  Meanwhile, the court also ordered discovery to proceed.

Separately, in United States of America v. Lucy Richards, a woman allegedly left threatening phone messages for the father of one of the Sandy Hook victims.  She does not appear to reference Sandy Hook directly in the chilling calls but stated, “death is coming to you real soon and there’s nothing you can do about it” and wrote (on social media), “LOOK BEHIND YOU IT IS DEATH.”

The indictment in US v. Lucy Richards is here.  We cannot verify the accuracy but you can hear the alleged voicemails here.

The Tampa Bay Times had some good coverage of the arrest and background, here.

The Sandy Hook shooting, in which 20 children and 6 adults were shot, occurred four years ago on December 14, 2012.

Photo credit: SandyHookAnalysis.blogspot

1st Amendment
Conspiracy Professor James Tracy v. FAU – Court Ruling and Answers in a “story of two competing narratives”

Professor James Tracy was fired by Florida Atlantic University in January 2016 and filed suit shortly thereafter claiming, inter alia, his First Amendment rights were violated.  This case, you may recall, involves a South Florida professor who made national news claiming that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.  Going back …

Edward Snowden: Humorous & Shocking Findings from the [Partially Redacted] House “HPSCI” Report

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released in December 2016 a partially-redacted copy of its September 15, 2016 report on its, “Review of the Unauthorized Disclosures of Former National Security Agency Contractor Edward Snowden” (“House Report”). The House Report describes Snowden in the same tenor and tone that the …

1st Amendment
Can Your Clients Be Convicted for Threats on Social Media?

A Florida high school student posted online, “Can’t WAIT to shoot up my school.”  “It’s time” and “School getting shot up on a Tuesday.” He was arrested for violating Florida Statute 836.10 (“written threats statute”).  Then he was convicted.  But the appellate court reversed. You can read the Florida Second …