Imagine one morning in your Westwood home while you’re getting ready for work, your doorbell rings. You answer the door to find a handful of Somerset County cops yelling at you to let them in. They have a search warrant and they tell you if you don’t let them in, they will arrest you for obstruction. You discover that one of those cops is Westwood Police Detective Robert Saul, Jr.
You call your lawyer, then you reluctantly let them in.
When it’s all said and done, the police cart off 18 separate items of valuable personal property consisting of computers and computer related equipment and materials, plus an mp3 player, a cell phone and a digital camera.
Upon inspection of the search warrant/communications data warrant, you discover that the subject of the police investigation is your website exposé of Rutgers University and one of its directors, Amy H. Wollock, Esq.
The scenario described above happened to this website’s publisher one morning in November, 2009. In an effort to assert my news media status which entitles me to protections against searches and seizures of this kind, and to reclaim all of the seized materials, I filed a civil lawsuit in January 2010 against, among others, Bedminster Police Detective Nanci Arraial and Westwood Police Detective Robert Saul, Jr.
Though the statutory protections exist, there is no legal precedent in New Jersey for the protections I assert. Mine is a landmark case for news media status protections of an internet publisher, with some similarities to the recent Too Much Media vs. Shellee Hale decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court.
Read all about it on the page titled “Freedom of Speech Under Attack in Westwood.”