Florida v. Brayshaw

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Criminal Charge

Date: 

05/01/2008

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Florida

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)
Subpoena Enforced

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Florida state authorities charged Robert Brayshaw with a misdemeanor for violating Fla. Stat. § 843.17 after he anonymously posted the name, address, and telephone number of a Tallahassee Police Department officer on RateMyCop.com.  Section 843.17 prohibits publication of a law... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Robert A. Brayshaw

Type of Party: 

Government

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Florida

Location of Party: 

  • Florida

Legal Counsel: 

James Green
Description

Florida state authorities charged Robert Brayshaw with a misdemeanor for violating Fla. Stat. § 843.17 after he anonymously posted the name, address, and telephone number of a Tallahassee Police Department officer on RateMyCop.com.  Section 843.17 prohibits publication of a law enforcement officer's residential address or telephone number with the intent to intimidate, hinder, or interrupt any law enforcement officer in the legal performance of his or her duties.  The Tallahassee police obtained Brayshaw's identity after subpoenaing records from RateMyCop.com and Brayshaw's ISP, according to Wired.

Prosecutors voluntarily dropped the charges on December 9 and then refiled 10 days later, according to an article on RateMyCop.com. The state court judge ultimately dismissed the charges with prejudice for failure to comply with Florida's speedy trial requirements. Brayshaw then filed a complaint in federal court in Florida, seeking a declaration that Section 843.17 violates the First Amendment. According to Brayshaw's complaint, the police officer's name and address are publicly available on the Leon County Clerk of Court's website.  On April 30, 2010, Judge Smoak issued a decision striking down Section 843.17 as unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Forum

Subject Area: 

  • Free Speech
  • Criminal
  • Anonymity
  • Publication of Private Facts
  • User Comments or Submissions
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Florida

Source of Law: 

  • Florida

Court Type: 

State

Relevant Documents: 

CMLP Information (Private)

Priority: 

1-High

CMLP Notes: 

EK - editing [10/23/2009]

EK - updating [11/13/2009]; also look at related entry State of Florida v. Ratemycop.com