Portage, MI asked in Civil Litigation for Michigan

Q: Is there such thing as stalking a public figure?

I was charged with stalking a Superintendent of a public school. Pled no contest due to mistreatment in jail. I was wondering if this is even a fair charge or if I am protected due to free speech? I have a civil case against the Superintendent and if I win will I be able to introduce that as new evidence in my criminal case and get the charges overturned?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Brent T. Geers

Answered
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Yes, you certainly can be charged criminally for stalking public figures. It happens with movie stars as well as, apparently, local superintendents. Being a public figure does not remove all notions of privacy. Even constitutional rights have limits. You could show up at school board meetings and make public comments to your heart's content. You can stand on the sidewalk next to the superintendent's office with a picket sign. But there is a line there, that once crossed, moves into the criminal world. How and when you did that, we don't know without seeing the charging information.

I'm not sure how a civil action against the superintendent could be used to overturn your criminal conviction. You were convicted (and yes, a no-contest plea is a conviction) on your actions, not on what the superintendent was or was not doing.

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