Balitmore’s Gag Order Struck Without Prejudice And Other Stuff

It’s no big deal, but because of some people promoting it as a lost for Baltimore’s State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, I thought it important to write this so those interested can discern fact from ignorance.  It’s easier for me to understand the structures of courts than how Baltimore has its own State’s Attorney because in most states, State’s Attorneys are elected to represent a county and not a city.


Marilyn Mosby

Each state has its own court structure, and that structure can differ from state to state. For example, California has Superior Courts that in other states, are considered Circuit Courts. Pennsylvania has courts of Common Pleas, Commonwealth Courts, Superior Court, and a Supreme Court. In Maryland, there are District Courts and Circuit Courts. District Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.

The jurisdiction of the District Court is concurrent with that of the circuit court in criminal cases that are classified misdemeanors and certain felonies, in which the penalty may be confinement for 3 years or more or a fine of $2,500 or more. The District Court does not conduct jury trials.

The Circuit Court for Baltimore City is a State trial court of unlimited jurisdiction. It handles all types of cases and is divided into four main divisions: Family, Juvenile, Criminal, and Civil.

This photo provided by the Baltimore Police Department on Friday, May 1, 2015 shows, top row from left, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero, and bottom row from left, William G. Porter, Brian W. Rice and Alicia D. White, the six police officers charged with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray. (Baltimore Police Department via AP)

This photo provided by the Baltimore Police Department on Friday, May 1, 2015.

The charges against the six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray were filed in the District Court. It is in that court that State’s Attorney Mosby filed a motion for a gag order. However, the officers were indicted and the cases transferred to the Circuit Court on May 21, 2015.

District Court Judge Charles J. Peters ruled that the motion lacked standing in an actual proceeding because the cases are now before the Circuit Court. Judge Peters’ ruling does not preclude the filing of the motion in the Circuit Court, because Judge Peters, a District Court judge, does not have jurisdiction to decide for the Circuit Court.

The Baltimore Sun uses the word “struck” in its report regarding the motion for a gag order. That’s important. To “strike” a motion is not the same as denying it. Striking is when the court has no jurisdiction, and can enter no judgment. In other words, the judge cannot deny nor grant the motion. He can’t say if the motion has merit and law to grant or deny it. It would be like going to a dentist for a diagnosis for a brain injury based on x-rays taken of the brain.  The dentist cannot give such a diagnosis. It would be completely dishonest to say that the dentist denied that there is a brain injury, but that is what some folks allege with Mosby’s motion for a gag order.

Mosby’s office is stern that they are not going to litigate the case in the media, nor discuss their trial strategy. The protective order that Mosby seeks, commonly called a gag order, is to prevent the release of Freddie’s autopsy report and other sensitive documents to the public. Emphasis: TO THE PUBLIC. It does not prevent the release of that information to defense attorneys. However, that is the spin already made by an attorney for one of the officers who accuses Mosby’s office of trying to hide something. Defense attorneys will be provided with all discovery, but a gag order would prevent them from releasing it to the public.

scales-of-justice-tippedOne of the things that we experienced with the George Zimmerman trial is that there is a segment of the public, particularly on social media, who will use discovery, such as autopsy reports, to place the victim on trial. They even misrepresent the contents, or present it partially to paint the victim as a burden on society deserving death.  That makes it more difficult on the court to select a jury because it has to be aware that such information can taint the jury pool, even if potential jurors do not read social media.


While I’m in the mood of correcting misinformation, let me address the event in McKinney, Texas this weekend regarding the pool party. There is misinformation spreading about to demean the residents of color in that community as being Section 8 residents, and painting Section 8 as “public housing.” I don’t know if the people involved are Section 8 tenants or not.  The point is that Section 8 is subsidized housing. It is not “public housing.”

Those people who qualify for Section 8 vouchers must have income. There are special circumstances, but most Section 8 voucher programs require that the income is “earned” or received from social security.

We have recently read reports that those earning minimum wage

Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

cannot afford rent. This is the purpose of Section 8, so that those working but not earning enough to pay rent for decent housing can have their rent subsidized by the federal government.  It should be noted that most of the agencies that administer Section 8 housing do not do so continuously. Some have very limited funding and have not issued Section 8 vouchers for years. There are people who have been approved for vouchers who have been on the waiting list for years.

While counties can own Section 8 properties, most Section 8 properties are privately owned. Landlords must keep the property up to certain standards. Landlords must qualify to rent Section 8 and inspections or those properties are routinely conducted.

Section 8 participants do not receive money from HUD. Rather, HUD pays rents directly to the Landlords. The Landlords receive the financial benefit. They save on having to run credit checks and verify income because the housing authority does that in approving applicants for Section 8 vouchers.   When applying for Section 8, criminal background and credit checks are conducted. The Landlord only needs to verify the voucher, contact the agency that administers Section 8, and pass inspection.

An important function of Section 8 housing is that it eliminates crowded conditions. Most cities have ordinances and some states have laws regarding the number of bedrooms necessary based on the number of family members. For example, a couple that has two children, one boy, and one girl, will qualify for a 3-bedroom apartment because the children are different genders requiring a separate bedroom.

There are Landlords who run businesses renovating houses for the specific purpose of renting them to Section 8 tenants.

If anyone thinks that it’s easy qualifying for Section 8 housing, they should read the rules that agencies must comply with to determine eligibility.


Posted on 06/09/2015, in Cases, Freddy Gray, Potpourri and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 41 Comments.

  1. Two sides to a story

    People have some odd ideas about Section 8 housing. Of course, there are large “projects” in some large cities that are all Section 8 tenants, but in many places, Section 8 is as you describe, Xena. My parents owned a small apartment building in S. Cali and had both Section 8 tenants and tenants paying fully out of pocket – same building, same conditions. In fact, the conditions for Section 8 housing are often more stringent, as you say. They liked the Section 8 renters because these tenants were often long-term and paid rent more reliably. And it was a nice middle-class neighborhood situated across from a nice park and between an elementary and a middle school.

    I also love all the splodey conservative heads and speculation about Mosby. They loved it when there were gag orders in the Z case that benefitted Z but hate it when there are gag orders to protect people who aren’t their big heroes. : /

    • Yes, Two sides. I know someone on the Board of a housing authority and the only thing that housing authority does is administer the Section 8 program. It allows tenants an environment where identified sexual offenders and felons are not allowed and thus, is also a benefit to Landlords not having to be concerned of the background of tenants.

      Regarding gag orders, I’ve asked what did newspapers and the public do before the internet where the info would be made available? Answer; we waited for the trial.

  2. Thank you for explaining what to strike means in legalese with the case involving the murder of Freddie Gray.

    Regarding the ‘Texas pool party’ I understand the Bank of America FB site is being flooded with comments regarding their employee who attacked the child of color.

    • Mindyme, there was so much info coming out about the pool party incident that I couldn’t keep up. Funny you mentioned Bank of America. I know of someone who is considering a class action suit against them for breaching their reported stolen card agreement. Looks as if they are going to need one heck of a public relations campaign. LOL!

      • They’ve denied the woman is their employee, but acknowledge she does work for them as a sub contractor. I absolutely love living in the age if social media. Thankfully Casebolte is no longer employed with the McKinney PD

        • Mindyme, I read on Twitter that she has been terminated. Also read that several gofundme pages were opened for Casebolt AND CLOSED.

          • Like an onion, there are a lot of layers to this pool party story. But, in the end, the actions of this cop was out of control. You can even tell the other officers where trying to stop him when 2 others rush in when he pulled out his gun.

            Something triggered the anger in him, whether it was his initial trip and fall or other factors, but someone who gets so easily angered does not need to be a cop.

            I wish there were more of an official policy in which the resignation of the officer wouldn’t matter….meaning that an investigation continues into his actions, charges if appropriate, but the biggest thing….removal of their ability to hold a law enforcement license. I find it disturbing that a cop with an anger issue is able to resign and reapply to any other agency.

  3. yahtzeebutterfly

    Wow. Thanks, Xena. I never would have guessed what “gag order struck without prejudice” meant without your explanation…simply that the district court did not have jurisdiction, in this particular instance, to rule on the motion.

    So glad also that you explained Section 8 housing.

    • Hey Yahtzee! I caught on to the misrepresentation of presenting an order striking the motion, as an order denying the motion, and thought I’d render a public service. LOL!

  4. Hat tip to Glenn.
    Officer David Eric Casebolt resigned Tuesday from the McKinney Police Department after almost 10 years on the force. His resignation was confirmed by his attorney, Jane Bishkin of Dallas. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow.

  5. scrodriguez

    Anybody notice how the Media is making a big deal out of Mosby instructing law enforcement to focus on that area?
    Just because Mosby instructed them to focus on that area does not mean that Mosby gave them the authority to break a mans spine while apprehending him she didnt give law enforcement permission to violate anybodys civil rights in fact just because she said that does not give Law enforcement a green light to break the law themselves……
    People will grasp for anything wont they?

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      I thought that was Mayor Rawling-Blake who gave that instruction.

      • scrodriguez

        Media is stating it was Mosby if Rawling-Blake gave that instruction well thats the media for ya isnt it.

        • yahtzeebutterfly

          Thanks for that. I don’t watch TV.

        • yahtzeebutterfly

          I have been searching past news articles and realize I was incorrect thinking that Rawling-Blake had given that instruction.

    • Just because Mosby instructed them to focus on that area does not mean that Mosby gave them the authority to break a mans spine while apprehending …

      Exactly! Also, Freddie was not arrested and charged with dealing drugs, which is what Mosby wanted the police to focus on. The defense is really reaching for straws trying to get her recused. She’s not a witness, neither a judge. I think the defense is working at theater rather than zealously representing their clients based on facts.

      Turn the positions around for a moment. Let’s say that a cop was beaten by a drug dealer while making an arrest and died from his injuries. Can you see defense attorneys asking that Mosby recuse herself from prosecuting the suspect?

      • scrodriguez

        The defense needs to start working on their defense rather than pointing the finger at Mosby, Protestors etc… these officers killed a man, the law should apply to everybody the same in fact I believe Police officers who commit acts like this should be held to a higher standard and the punishment should be more severe

        • When defense attorneys start out by asking the court to make the State’s Attorney dismiss the charges, then you know they have no defense.

          • Agreed the moment you see the defense looking for any sign of a technicality you already know the defense is in trouble.

            • Santiago, right. People look for technicalities to have the case dismissed because they do not want to litigate on the merits, because the facts and/or the law is against them.

  6. Here’s something else that you might read — a dismissed lawsuit does not mean the plaintiff lost. The majority of dismissals are because the case settled. In order to properly speculate on a reason for dismissals, see if the docket sheet contains a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment by the defendant with an order of the court granting the motion. If not, there’s a 99.9 percent chance that the case settled. The other .1 percent is when plaintiff’s voluntarily dismiss to refile later.

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      That I did not know either. Thanks.

    • scrodriguez

      This would be wise for those who think reaching a settlement when your being sued equals victory to read, No it doesnt it actually means you have no defense and its best to settle out of court rather than take it all the way to trial.

      • There are benefits to settling anytime that the case can proceed to a jury trial. Juries are unpredictable.

  7. Wow, Xena! I can now say, without question, that you are the smartest person I know! You have clearly explained so many things that would otherwise leave me befuddled.

    • Linda, thanks for the compliment. When I came to the internet after Zimmerman was arrested, I mistakenly thought that anyone discussing legal procedures would know them or in the least, research them. What I found was that people on the other side were either ignorant, or intentionally misleading. Glad I could help clear this matter up before the “bad guys” got a foothold.

      • Tell me about it! I can’t believe how many people are STILL insisting that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman, bashing his head into the sidewalk! What really kills me is that these people (and I use the term tongue-in-cheek) are allowed to vote! No wonder our country is so screwed up! I’m sure our Founding Fathers would be proud. NOT!!!

        • Speaking of Zimmerman’s head, even “I” was carted to the hospital by ambulance and had to get 4 stitches (and a tetanus shot) and all I did was slip on a wet floor at Sears! Heck! Sears paid for EVERYTHING. I’m sure they smelled a lawsuit!

          • Linda, ABSOLUTELY! One would think that if Zimmerman was afraid for his life, his heart would be racing, his head hurting where he wanted pain medication, and x-rays. Not only did he not go to the hospital, but he moved out of his townhouse when leaving the police station and subjected himself to Shellie’s skills of applying knuckle bandages to his head and between his eyes.

        • Linda, you’re right. There was lots of debate over Zimmerman’s head boo-boo’s, and prosecutors made a decision that actually helped promote the cell phone photos of his boo-boo’s. That goes towards procedures. This is what I mean. Jon Manalo took a photo of Zimmerman’s head, his flashlight, and Trayvon’s body laying face down. At one point, Zimmerman said that he rolled Trayvon over on his back. So, here was Corey and her office having to decide if they accept Jon’s photos into evidence or not. They could not accept just one — they had to accept all.

          Thinking it would be an advantage to show Zimmerman’s lies about his actions with Trayvon after he shot him, the prosecution accepted all of Jon’s photos into evidence, and that included the head-shot with GZ on the phone. LE on the scene had opportunity to take photos of GZ’s boo-boo’s, but they did not. Procedurally, the prosecution could have objected to the entry of all of the photos, and there was a good chance the court would sustain their objection.

          That would have left O’Mara and West with the photos taken of GZ’s head at the police station that DID NOT have a shock factor.

          • I’m still hoping (am I delusional?) that this jacka$$ gets what’s coming to him.

            • Linda, I think he has, which is his disappointment. If we think back to the weekend before his arrest, to this day, all of his plans have gone downhill. Had he been found guilty, he would be in prison and would not be the subject of his continuous actions that get him involved in courts and the law. Maybe, just maybe, Shellie would not have filed for divorce either. When I hear him cry about living place to place, no job, being afraid, I think that’s what he get. Zimmerman has no productive future and proceeding against Apperson places him in the witness box.

  8. here’s mckenniy cop’s FOP & lawyer talking about how much poor barrel roll has had it lately
    note the 2 suicide calls stressed him much he decided to go crack some skulls & the teen pool party.
    (Can you spot the difference about the ‘suicide’ calls)

    • Shannon…not sure what you mean about spotting the differences in the two suicide calls.
      1st one had committed suicide already when he responded, 2nd one had threatened to but had not.
      1st one had committed suicide by shooting himself in his head in a public place, 2nd one was sitting on parent’s roof, threatening to jump.
      1st one was an AA male, married with children, 2nd, no race given, was a female teen.

      I used to work with some who couldn’t handle plane crashes…say they were traumatized. I remember on woman who had to take trauma leave when an emergency plane landed, lost control, and skidded into a line of other planes on a ramp. The pilot and passengers walked away with no injuries. I couldn’t understand why she was so upset about a crash in which no one was hurt and she did nothing wrong.

      She told me I would understand if I had something like that happened to me, well it has. I have had planes crash on me, occupants killed, some planes never to be found (flights to Bahamas in which no trace of crash was found). I’m not a cold person, but I will review in my head…did I do something wrong? could I have done something different? If my answers are no then I go about my job. Sometimes you just can’t control the actions of others. I had been asked by a reporter before about how I can handle a job in which I had the lives of so many people in my hands. I told them I have conversations with 1 pilot, not the 200 passengers. I never took trauma leave in the aftermath of a crash.

      Some people can’t get past that. Some people let the things they can’t control eat them alive. I’m not defending the actions of Casebolt…..he was out of control. If he was so traumatized about the suicide calls he went on then he shouldn’t have gone out on any more calls. He couldn’t control the actions of the first man to stop him since he had already took his life. He could talk the teen out of her attempt and get her the help she needs. But even if she did jump in front of him, he couldn’t control what she did. But he can control his response in the aftermath. If his emotions were still in overdrive then he should have taken leave and sought help for his own issues of not being able to deal with a situation in which he has no control. He should never have responded the way in which he did to those teens. He was out of control and if he loses control so easily then he should not be a cop.

      • I’ll admit, i’ve become super sensitive about spotting racism these days. i’m suspicious of EVERYTHING, its so extreme sometimes i’ll question my own judgment! that’s when i’ll ask other ppl if they noticed the same thing I did.

        and i know when it comes to the cops killing of someone I’m less likely to give them the benefit of doubt & more likely to jump to the defense of the dead. but I’m simply not going to believe a cop until I see proof. we’ve been lied to so much its illogical to believe a cop’s narrative..
        Its like trusting a boy/girlfriend who’s been caught cheating 2x (tho personally i don’t believe i’d stay with anyone who cheated on me 2x)
        but we prolly all know someone who has stayed with their boyfriend only to constantly question every single thing they’re boyfriend does to an annoying extreme..ya know what I mean…? that’s how I feel now! LMAO the cops have cheated on me too much~

        about the video: there was a lot of nuance in that presser I think.
        What compelled the lawyer to note the race of the black man but not the teen girl? Casebolt had to tell his lawyer to specifically mention that. why??
        it doesn’t really matter because whatever the reason, whatever their legal strategy, criminal or civil, it was gratuitous & manipulative. because why would the race be relevant in any case?

        She went on about the black man’s case, that Casebolt “assisted the responding officers w/securing the scene, photographing the body, collecting statements& spent a considerable time consoling the grieving widow.”
        I think they used that story to make him seem sympathetic towards ‘black ppl’. basically to garner some sympathy.
        but then the second case seemed to give him a pat on the back for HIS heroic actions! because according to him, he & he ALONE literally talked a distraught (obviously white) teenager girl off a ledge.

        and even if what he did that day happened exactly the way it was portrayed, (& I’m much more inclined to believe it was highly exaggerated if not entirely misrepresented) it was all irrelevant in my mind& if anything made him sound worse!
        his lawyer going on about his ‘stressful job’ doesn’t change the fact that he terrorized innocent teenagers both emotionally and physically!

        • Shannon… are most likely correct in that the lawyer specifically mentioned the man’s race and how he consoled the man’s family was an attempt to show how he isn’t racist and cares about everyone.

          I was looking at it beyond all that when the attorney mentioned how those cases affected his state of mind. That is why I was focusing on that…..if he can’t handle the stress of dealing with his previous calls and snaps when teens mouth off and run from him then he shouldn’t be in that job.

    • Shannon, what I found interesting is that Cobalt, all emotionally distressed from 2 suicide calls, did not bother to answer the call about the pool party when he thought it was just a run-of-mill disturbance. He choose to interject himself into it when he heard of the physical altercation. There is no justification for pulling his gun out in a group of kids.

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