The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part XII: Brave Sir Charlie Ran Away

[All of our coverage of Charles Carreon's journey from relative obscurity to justifiable infamy is collected under this tag.]

Charles Carreon continues to be Charles Carreon, only more so.

Back in Chapter Eight I describe how the blogger behind "Censoriousdouchebag — a satirical diary about Charles Carreon" sued Carreon for declaratory relief in federal court in the Northern District of California. That was the most effective way to deal with Carreon's censorious threats to the blogger, which amounted to "I'm going to sue you at some point, in as inconvenient a location as possible, in as expensive a way as possible." Here's a reminder of that threat, directed to the blogger's pro bono attorney, Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen:

As far as when and where I will sue your client, be certain that it will occur if your client does not cede the domain, and advise her of ten things:
1. That there is essentially no statute of limitations on this claim, and the prima facie laches defense [ed. note: that's an equitable defense that asserts "you waited too long to file this."] would not kick in for at least three years.
2. That venue in this action can be validly laid in at least three places, maybe four, if she doesn't live in Arizona, Florida, or California.
3. That I am capable of employing counsel to handle my claim against her, who will incur attorneys fees and seek recovery of the same. I filed pro se against Inman simply for the sake of convenience and the need for speed, and not from a lack of resources.
4. That the law in this area cannot be predicted with certainty, will evolve substantially over the next three years, during which I will be using digital forensics to establish actual trademark damages in addition to seeking the maximum cybersquatting penalty of $100,000.
5. That a judgment that recites that the domain was obtained by fraud upon the registrar, in the form of a misrepresentation that she did not know of my trademark on the name, might well be non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.
6. That a judgment can be renewed indefinitely until collected, and that California judgments accrue 10% interest, which can compounded once ever ten years by capitalizing the accumulated interest.
7. That you cannot guarantee that Public Citizen will provide her with free legal services on June 1, 2015, when I may very well send the process server 'round to her door.
8. That I have the known capacity to litigate appeals for years (check my Westlaw profile, and of course, the drawn out history of Penguin v. American Buddha, now in its third year, having passed through the Second Circuit and the NYCA, and still hung up in personal jurisdiction in the SDNY).
9. That the litigation, being of first impression in virtually every Circuit, grounded in a federal question, involving a registered trademark, and dispositive of many open issues in the field of Internet commerce and speech, might very well continue for a decade.
10. That Public Citizen might well be unable and/or unwilling to provide her with representation until the resolution of such an extended course of litigation.

Despicably thuggish.

Once the blogger sued him, Carreon could have stood up — he could have come to court to defend his belief that he has a valid claim against the blogger. Instead Carreon has been doing what he can to hinder and delay the lawsuit by cowering and evading service. The blogger — ably represented pro bono by Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen and Cathy Gellis — has been attempting to serve Carreon, and Carreon has been going to ridiculous lengths to avoid being served. You can read Paul's brief describing Carreon's evasions here, and Paul's supporting declaration here. Or consider the judge's summary in an order from this week:

Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment that his satirical website does not infringe the trademark defendant has in his own name. Prior to filing a complaint, plaintiff’s counsel was in contact with defendant via email. After filing the complaint, defendant and his wife publicly discussed the pending litigation. Plaintiff’s counsel mailed defendant a request for waiver of summons to his address in Tucson, Arizona, which defendant did not execute. Instead, the entire envelope was mailed back to plaintiff, unopened, inside a second envelope. This same sequence of events was repeated after plaintiff filed an amended complaint. At plaintiff’s request, the Court issued a summons, and plaintiff hired an Arizona process service company to serve the summons at the residential address. On the first visit, the server announced himself and was told “No thank you,” and left with the papers. On the second and third visits, nobody answered. The process service company then tried to serve the summons and complaint by certified mail, but the package was never claimed.

During this time, defendant contacted the general counsel of Walgreens, plaintiff’s employer, stating plaintiff had used Walgreens’ computer equipment or internet access to create the allegedly actionable website, and implying he might make Walgreens a party to the litigation under a theory of respondeat superior. The demand letter sent to Walgreens contained the same Tucson, Arizona address and email address that plaintiff had been using to attempt service on defendant.
On September 25, 2012, plaintiff’s counsel again emailed defendant a copy of the summons, complaint, and amended complaint using both the address listed on defendant’s letterhead and the gmail address defendant had used to correspond with counsel for both plaintiff and Walgreens.

Plaintiff’s counsel requested defendant meet and confer about plaintiff’s intent to file a motion to declare service effective. Defendant has not responded.

Regrettably, even though Carreon knows about the lawsuit, has written about the lawsuit, has threatened the blogger's former employer about the lawsuit, has refused to accept service from a process server, and has returned the lawsuit unopened, the Court has ruled that the blogger must make further efforts to serve Carreon:

Because of the due process and personal jurisdiction concerns that arise with respect to proper service of a defendant, substituted service by email is not granted out-of-hand. While defendant is apparently making service of process difficult for plaintiff, in accordance with our traditional notions of due process, plaintiff must redouble efforts at traditional service of process before resorting to this Court for authorization of substituted service.

So: now the blogger must pay to have process servers hang out and try to catch Charlie the Censor to serve him. That's an expensive proposition — about $60 per hour, in an effort that can easily take tens of hours if Carreon continues to work to evade service.

The blogger doesn't have a lot of money. Though Carreon will eventually be ordered to reimburse his service costs, right now those up-front costs are a huge barrier to him being able to get justice. This is exactly how censorious lawyers like Carreon can abuse the system to suppress criticism.

Therefore, I'd like to ask for a favor. If you've enjoyed reading this series, please consider making a modest donation to Public Citizen for the purposes of paying costs in this case, including the cost of serving Carreon. Levy's post with the donation link is here. I understand that any excess funds will be used to pay litigation expenses in other Public Citizen online free speech cases. That's a worthy cause.

Perhaps you'll say, "Ken, why don't you put your money where your mouth is?" I'd answer like this: I believe strongly enough in this case that I donated the filing fees and other initial expenses — more than $700 — out of my own pocket. Please step up and throw in a few bucks yourself to help a blogger protect himself from censorious thuggery.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. Grifter says

    I don't have a lot of money. By that I mean "any extra".

    But I live in the area and I'd volunteer to be a "special appointment" server if they wanted some volunteers to save on costs of waiting around…

  2. Daryl Herbert says

    Since he's bragging about being a fancy-pants lawyer, doesn't that give you a clue as to where he will be? He can't hide from process servers when he makes a court appearance unless he does it by phone.

    You can send your process server to the courtroom even if he appears by phone, to ask the court staff where he can be found (as in, "I'm here looking for Charles Carreon. Isn't he going to come in today? I need to serve him with something"). If you make it known to the court clerks that he's ducking service, he'll drop a few points in their eyes.

  3. says

    Daryl: Maybe I'll respond after he's been served; for now I'm not going to say anything that will provide data that might assist him in evading service.

  4. Adam Steinbaugh says

    This whole thing is even more complicated by FRCP Rule 4(g).

    On another note, allow me to reiterate the fact that I'm bored and would be DELIGHTED to drive to Tucson.

  5. Michael says

    So… all I have to do to avoid getting sued is tell them I'm not interested? Sweet, I'll have to remember this.

    This is absurd.

  6. says

    This is the case that put on my RSS feed. Though the generally high quality and irreverent attitude keeps me here, updates are very much appreciated. I've put my money where my mouth is. I understand Mr. Carreon used to be a decent guy fighting a decent fight. If that's the case, it's too bad he's fallen so far from grace.

  7. TheOtherMatt says

    As I understand it anyone age >= 18 can serve process, so couldn't they do a crowd sourced thing and have people from teh Internet hang out at Brave Sir Charlie's until he shows up

  8. Jessica says

    Not to be a jerk or anything, but can't Matt pay the fees? I feel like he's gone to the well a bunch of times lately for money, and he's headed out on a book tour. I don't think he's hurting for money so badly he has to crowd source this one.

  9. Nicholas Weaver says

    What struck me as odd is that the Judge missed a couple of things in his denial of alternate service, namely that

    a: Charles has shown that he is not just aware that the case exists, but details of the case because he used the case number in his letter to walgreens.

    b: One of the email addresses used is the one specifically used by the Northern California Federal Court to send electronic communications to Carreon, who practices in that very court.

    I'm also surprised there aren't bar association rules that deal with lawyers ducking service.

  10. Shawn says

    @TheOtherMatt: I was thinking the same thing. Get some local rock bands to show up, do a 'benefit' concert, with a couple hundred people in the audience all with copies of the papers. Or just form a 'picket line' around his house, no body gets in until he's served!

  11. Shawn says

    @Jessica: This is not a case involving The Oatmeal. This is some one that made a blog site to make fun of Charlie the Censor during the whole Oatmeal thing.

  12. plutosdad says

    It's amazing that he can avoid being served when he has talked about the lawsuit and obviously knows about it, yet if you are poor and owe money to someone, the credit agency can MAIL you a summons and since you probably moved you will end up with a warrant for FTA.

  13. says

    @Nicholas, I imagine that the Bar would be VERY interested in a complaint that Carreon is violating California Code of Civil Procedure. It appears that California has case law which specifically establishes that evasion of service process so violates the code and constitutes contempt of court:

    It's fascinating. Does Carreon think he'll EVER get hired again?

  14. says

    All that said, though, I just read the judge's denial, and it seems like he paved the road to at least two or three ways that service can be effected within a VERY short period of time.

  15. Nicholas Weaver says

    Jason. Yeah.

    But for alternate service, I'd personally vote for a billboard truck, parked outside Chuckles's house for a week, playing La Cucaracha with the case information written on the side, since I think that can be reasonably expected to be noticed. :)

  16. This is Not Legal Advice says

    FRCP 4(e)(1) – you can serve based on the law of the state where the district court is (i.e., California law, because the suit was filed in CAND)

    Cal Civ Pro 415.40 – you can serve someone at their out-of-California address by sending the summons/complaint via U.S. mail (return receipt requested, postage prepaid). Meaning you can mail it to Carreon's AZ address on file with the California state bar.

    M. Lowenstein (1978) 80 Cal.App.3d 762 – it doesn't matter if the person has an in-state presence. Even if Carreon has a presence in California, that doesn't take away your ability to use certified mail to serve him.

    So congratulations, you've already raised enough money to serve him 100 times over.

    Disclaimer: I don't claim to be an attorney licensed in any state. I don't certify that this post is accurate. I don't certify that any of those statutes/cases are still good law. Rely on it at your own risk.

  17. This is Not Legal Advice says

    By the way, I won't be offended if you choose not to publish the last comment, because you don't want to tip off Mr. Carreon that you are choosing to serve him in that manner.

  18. Jon says

    I have to think that an average, non-attorney, person would not get the leeway to return an envelope unopened, and upon hearing it is a servicer answer "ain't no one here but us chickens!", not to mention trying to get the plaintiff fired quoting the case to the employer…
    Am I wrong to think that the judge asking the plaintiff to keep trying is atypical and absurdly beyond reasonable?

  19. J Mortimer says

    I wonder how much it would cost to have a bomber air drop a few hundred thousand Xeroxed copies of the process over his house?

    Or maybe we could papiermache a ton of them into a ball, construct a giant slingshot and launch the thing through his living room window?

    Or we could borrow some of the owls from the Harry Potter movies and have them harass him until he opens one of the damn things?

    ………..If only we were millionaires.

  20. Dan Weber says

    Adam wins with FRCP Rule 4(g). Please tip your Public Citizen server, he'll be here all week.

    I totally understand why the court wants to be sure its bases are all covered with regards to serving papers, but I don't understand how someone can continue to be a lawyer after refusing to participate in a critical part of the legal process.

  21. Roger says

    Jessica, Matt is not the blogger suing Carreon. (Now, could he donate a little money as a random citizen? Sure, and I suspect he has.)

  22. Anglave says


    Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk is the case that brought me to Popehat, and I've received many hours of entertainment as a result. I donated to BEARLOVE, and I'm happy to donate for Satirical Charles.

  23. En Passant says

    I'm not an expert in process serving, but I've heard tales from people employed in process serving and skip tracing.

    First, I reiterate what the court in the instant case Recouvreur v. Carreon noted:

    Rule 4(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the methods by which service may be effected. Rule 4(e)(1) permits service by any means permitted by the law of the state in which the case is pending, or the state in which the defendant resides. Alternatively, Rule 4(e)(2) allows service by: (1) personal delivery of the summons and complaint to defendant; (2) leaving a copy of each with a person at the defendant’s residence, or (3) leaving a copy of each with an agent authorized to accept service.

    That gives considerable latitude to the server — any of two states' rules or Federal rules.

    As far as I know, deception as to the server's identity or purpose is not forbidden, nor is stealth. For example, a server could employ a barber to place the papers into defendant's hands when he went to get his hair cut.

    Unless Charles the Slippery is holed up in his castle with no contact to the outside world, service can be done. Even if he is holed up, he or a member of his household must occasionally venture outside for various necessities, or have them delivered. For example, a process server posing as a pizza delivery (from the very shop he ordered from) could accomplish service (and even deliver the pizza at the same time). All he must do is utter the magic words "you have been served" and certify under penalty of perjury that they place the papers in defendant's hands or on his person.

    Although such methods may be expensive, they can be very effective against process dodgers. They even have the bonus psychological effect of causing dodger some butthurt for having been gullible or off-guard.

  24. James Pollock says

    "Am I wrong to think that the judge asking the plaintiff to keep trying is atypical and absurdly beyond reasonable?"
    You don't want to leave any opportunity for a successful appeal. A court that the defendant does not actually reside in has to be very careful on the matter of obtaining jurisdiction over the defendant, as those are the ones scrutinized the most.
    Best case scenario: crowdsource enough process serving to keep Carreon in his house until he has to do something on a legal matter, and then either serve him or get him for UPL in Arizona.

  25. En Passant says

    Jason wrote Oct 18, 2012 @8:50 am:

    It appears that California has case law which specifically establishes that evasion of service process so violates the code and constitutes contempt of court: [citation omitted]

    It is important to understand that the case you cite, In re Holmes (1983) 145 Cal. App. 3d 934 [193 Cal. Rptr. 790] is about avoiding subpoena service, or detaining a witness or party in an ongoing case already in court. It has nothing to do with service of summons and complaint upon defendant or avoiding service of summons and complaint.

  26. Shawn says

    I won't be commenting on any legal analysis of service in here.

    @Ken: If not here, then where? take all our fun away!

  27. Nicholas Weaver says

    Shawn: Charles reads this. Thus its right that Ken only comments after the filings are smacked down…

    And then ken won't have to comment because they will be up in all their glory on Pacer.

  28. Nicholas Weaver says

    For the non lawyers like me, the joke is FCRP 4(G) which I looked up(emphasis added):

    (g) Serving a Minor or an Incompetent Person. A minor or an incompetent person in a judicial district of the United States must be served by following state law for serving a summons or like process on such a defendant in an action brought in the courts of general jurisdiction of the state where service is made. A minor or an incompetent person who is not within any judicial district of the United States must be served in the manner prescribed by Rule 4(f)(2)(A), (f)(2)(B), or (f)(3).

  29. Jon says

    @James I guess that makes sense…I just hope that when he is finally served it is scented with eau de taint, assuming lack of proximity to Ken.
    (If anyone actually makes "eau de taint: the discerning scent of contempt" I want royalties to be paid to Popehat.)

  30. says

    Submitted for your LOLs, if only tangentially-related: I was adding feeds to my new RSS feeder. Tried to add Carreon's and (unlike when I added it awhile ago), was asked for an email address. Then I noticed the name of the RSS feed: CouplesClickTV.

    Which appears to be a swingers' site?

  31. Jacob Henner says

    Does anyone know if this is the type of thing that would be admissable in a potential future trial? That is, can the obvious evasion of service be brought up, say as evidence of bad faith/awareness of unethical behavior/frivolous litigation?

  32. BNT says

    @Adam: That screencap leaves me wondering if "wearing patent leather shoes" is a euphemism of which I'm blissfully unaware.

    I'm going to pretend it's not. It's funnier that way.

  33. Art says


    It's understandable that you can't comment now but could you provide us with some delicious legal analysis when the dust finally settles on this debacle? I know there will be open records and such but we're not all fancy-pants lawyer types and it is great to have someone competent go through 'em and point out the important/fun parts with a generous helping of snark.

  34. Matthew Cline says

    Wait, so if you want to avoid a lawsuit, all you have to do is refuse to take the service papers? That doesn't make any sense.

  35. Jay Z says

    I will contribute some $ when I get home. It's crazy that it's so hard to serve him. Is that just AZ law being stupid and obtuse (as usual), or is this pretty common place?

    (I know you might not be willing to answer right now, but it would be interesting to hear your thoughts after he's been served)

  36. tilrman says

    Ethically and legally speaking, can the papers be posted publically so that someone who happens to bump into Sir Charlie can serve him with a copy? His knowing that any stranger (or less-than-friendly acquaintence) on the street might hand him papers at any moment would at least partly turn the tables in the waiting game.

  37. says

    @Jay Z: it's based on Federal and CA law, not AZ in this instance. It's a reasonable ruling that leaves the door open to substituted service — that is, service by email or other means — if Carreon keeps dodging service. That said, it doesn't sound like the judge is keen on allowing email service, but it's not out of the question.

    This ruling is likely preferable to the judge granting permission to serve via email and thereby giving Carreon a chance to litigate this phase of the case up through the appellate court. Because that's his express strategy: delay consequences and drive up the cost (in time and money) to protect the blogger's rights.

  38. James Pollock says

    I've only a general understanding of the rules, but vague memories from civil procedure class suggests that service by publication should become available soon, if it hasn't yet. Look for the ad in the Tucson newspaper…

  39. KronWeld says

    It would be great if The Oatmeal posted this request as well. Anyone know how to actually get a hold of him and suggest it? There is no e-mail address on his page and he asks to be contacted on Facebook, but not through messaging. I don't do Facebook so that rules me out.

  40. John Pomeroy says

    Just paid for some guy to hang around for half-an-hour. Chuck'll have to come out sooner or later, no?

  41. Aaron W says

    Since Ken isn't commenting on the legalities surrounding service, perhaps another attorney would weigh in?

    It seems like Mr. Carreon, as an officer of the court, would have an obligation to not obfuscate or otherwise attempt to prevent service of court orders, correct? So is Carreon paving the way for an ethics complaint against him?

    (And perhaps, if we're very lucky, that's why Ken isn't commenting?)

  42. Joe Pullen says

    Given all of the recent examples of the benefits of maintaining one's anonymity, etc. I think I'll zip out tomorrow and buy a few pre-paid cards and hit the tip jar for a few days of process server time skulking around in hopes of pinningI down Chuckles. The pleasure of seeing CC having to face up to the mess he has created would truly be a real fine brandy and cigar type of moment.

  43. En Passant says

    @Aaron W Oct 18, 2012 @7:30 pm:

    I'm not "weighing in" because I know not from Shinola about AZ law and process service. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    But here is a recent AZ appellate case, somewhat on point, that would appear to bode well for Public Citizen's efforts in the long run. Especially on the issues of due diligence and impracticability standards under AZ law.

  44. Jay Z says

    @Adam Steinbaugh: Ahh, that makes sense, thanks!

    @Ken: How many hits did you get from Oatmeal fans? (for the record, the first time I came for the oatmeal coverage, stayed for the insightful first amendment commentary)

  45. Sari Everna says

    Count me among those who came for the Carreon, and never left. I've been keeping my dad in the loop about the continuing saga of Carreon, and we had some amusing thoughts, his first being "If he keeps this up, maybe they should ask the judge to declare him dead!" and I can't deny that the thought of the aftermath appeals to my sense of schadenfreude. And what other reason could there be for him to be impossible to reach? His other suggestion was to blockade the house. After all, if you won't allow anyone in or out until he's served, well, he has to get food somehow. Of course, I personally like the idea of getting him via pizza delivery. You'd just have to intercept the delivery guy and have the papers in a plastic bag. And then Carreon would have been served pizza!

    Of course, it's all more tongue-in-cheek than anything, but it's amusing to think up ways of ferreting out that rat.

  46. AlphaCentauri says

    If the other residents of the house are clearly helping him avoid service, and since they have been made it clear on line that they take a personal interest in this entire mess, can they be added as defendants — so that anyone who comes to the door gets served?

  47. Nate says

    AlphaCentauri – it's my understanding they members of the household don't need to be added as defendants in order to be served on his behalf. IANAL of course, I'm just going off what someone quoted above.

    Consider a donation made, all the way from the UK, in thanks of the many hours of entertainment and lulz this & SC have provided.

    I can understand why Ken is keeping quiet, he doesn't want to give away plans to CC. I am partial to the pizza guy idea, but I am now imagining CC cursing those "illuminati nazi's" because now he can't even order pizza/take out. I suspect these process servers have so many more tricks up their sleeves yet, which is probably why the judge denied the request. I'm quite amused by how (much more) paranoid this must all be making the Carreons. Hell, we don't even need someone intent on serving the papers sitting outside the house…just random people taking it in turns to very obviously sitting there. Onnnnnn second thoughts…doesn't TC have a shotgun. Ummmmm…pizza box it is.

  48. perlhaqr says

    I can understand Ken not wanting to comment, for fear of giving away the strategy and letting Carreon thereby avoid service. But I also like the idea of just naming every possibility, so that he has to be paranoid about … well, everything! And then it sounds like Dr. Seuss.

    "We could serve him in a box.
    We could serve him with a fox.
    We could serve him on the train.
    We could serve him in the rain.
    We could serve him at his house.
    We could serve him mail-by-mouse.
    We could serve him in the dark,
    we could serve him at the park.
    We could serve him with a goat,
    we could serve him on a boat.
    We could serve him here or there,
    we could serve him anywhere!"

  49. Dan Weber says

    "If you think a professional is expensive, wait until you pay for an amateur."

    $60 sounds expensive, but it doesn't surprise me as the market clearing rate for someone willing to walk up the whack-jobs and give them very bad news.

  50. Nicholas Weaver says

    but it doesn't surprise me as the market clearing rate for someone willing to walk up the whack-jobs and give them very bad news.

    Especially for someone willing to represent the Buddhist/CIA Illuminati conspiracy.

  51. James Pollock says

    The fun part is that the server him- or her-self makes nowhere NEAR $60 an hour. In the job postings I've seen, they're offered a flat rate (but this may be a regional difference) but it still doesn't add up to much more than $12-15 per hour.

  52. says

    If only I could run into Carreon in the street with a copy of these papers. I'd hand them to him, put on a pair of sunglasses, and then say, "Carreon – you just got served."

    Also, donated $10. :-)

  53. Kelly says

    Why does it not surprise me that he is still acting like a 5 year old? Will donate as soon as I can. If anything, he provides amusement.

  54. Artor says

    I had an interesting experience serving papers once. There was a man running his business in a small town, but a guy lived across the street from the shop who was a raging antisocial asshole. The boss wanted to by him out so he would go away, and offered earnest money for the sale of his house through an intermediary. Mr. Asshole took the earnest money and signed an agreement to sell, but reneged and refused to return the money, so a lawsuit ensued and papers had to be served. The interested parties can't serve their own papers, so they asked me to do it for them.
    I was extremely hesitant, as Mr. Asshole had pointed a gun at me for straying over his unmarked property line before, and to knock on his door would involve going around the back of his house & inside his gate. I refused for a couple weeks, but something had to be done, so one morning, I agreed to do the deed.
    Fortunately, the boss had just handed me the papers, and I saw Mr. Asshole getting in his car to leave. There was my chance to meet him without a gun in his hands! I ran out into the street in front of him and called out as he tried to swerve around me, "Mr. Asshole! You have been served!" He wouldn't stop to take the papers, so I tossed them to land on his windshield. It was a dewy morning, so the manila folder stuck flat, right in his field of view, with the official court markings staring him in the face as he tried to peer around them and navigate down the road.
    He did eventually sell the house and move, but as you can guess, he was an asshole every step of the way.

  55. says

    You know, back in the prehistory of the internet, when the email protocols were being invented, they included both delivery and read receipts. Spammers ruined this by harvesting those receipts as a means of scraping addresses of the innocent in a quest to sell larger penises to unsuspecting minors.

    So the receipts for email are dead.

    So they have some sort of gate on their house… I wonder what a waterproof envelope and a whole heck of a lot of nylon wire tires might accomplish… I mean even if they hired someone to remove the zip ties and envelope, that someone would be their agent and on their premises…

    The problem with trying to catch Chuckles the Clown out doing is lawyerly business is that he isn't licensed to practice in the state where he lives, so he _doesn't_ go out for that purpose lest he be jailed for contempt.

    Once the freaky cult closes its compound things can be a little unlike normal human interaction.

    Censorious Calamity is very like Phred Phelps… it's wacko Waco all the way to the edge of the property.

  56. marc says

    May I suggest you have someone hang out at the Sky Bar on Wednesdays in Tuscon? From what I have read on the Nader Library (Tara and Charles rant and rave outlet) they hang out there quite a bit to annoy the crowd gathered there. It should be pretty easy to serve him papers there, he'll have his guard down a bit, or at least he'll be more receptive to being approached.

  57. says

    @Ken re: . Uhm… I could sort of make some kind of sense out of most of that swamp[1] of consciousness rant, but I am lost at the link between studying Thomas Paine and "fascism, sadism, and madness". Isn't Thomas Paine pretty much the antithesis of "fascism, sadism, and madness"?

    I am trying to make sense of the ravings of a madwoman. What does that say about my own sanity?

    [1]As opposed to stream.

  58. Analee says

    @perlhaqr: Between your Carreon Seuss comment and Jon's "Eau de Taint" comment, I lost two mouthfuls of water to near back-to-back spittakes.

    I only wish that I didn't have rent due on November 1st, because if I didn't, I'd toss an hours' worth to a good cause. I hate that living paycheck to paycheck renders me unable to contribute to all the good causes I want to support. :(

  59. Adam says

    Pencil me in as another in the "came for the Oatmeal, stayed because it's great" popehat readers.

    @Robert White: I believe you're wrong about e-mail read receipts. Both delivery success and read receipts are relatively new standards compared to SMTP. It turns out (unsurprisingly?) that e-mail is exceptionally complicated. begins to address the mess that *just this little corner* of internet messaging turned into.

    The most effective read receipt is the easiest to use now: embed a tracking code into an image signature, and most people will load it, verifying their receipt of the mail.

    If anyone knows where I can read about legal precedents regarding proof of e-mail receipt (or lack thereof) I'd love to read about it. I ain't no lawyer, but I could probably be an expert witness about e-mail, sadly.

  60. Joe Pullen says

    @Ken – Jon • Oct 18, 2012 @11:34 am

    I got the idea from Jon and Analee's posts. The artwork and concept execution is mine.

  61. Joe Pullen says

    @Adam, @Robert White. Interesting fact I learned a few months ago from our use of – there is a HTML email feature that embeds a "cookie" in the email. While there are a few email systems sophisticated enough to strip it out apparently they are few and used by only a few large corporations. Once the email is "read" my understanding is the cookie sends a read receipt back to the email record on I suppose you could sign up via credit card for a few months at $65 a whack and – presto – proof he has read it. Although I'm not certain this would work in a court of law since you'd have to prove he is the only one with access to his email and someone else didn't actually read it.

  62. Adam says

    @Joe Pullen: The "cookie" you're describing is the image technique I alluded to. If you send an HTML e-mail with an IMG tag that includes a unique identifier, you can tell from your web server logs whether it was loaded.

    A significant fraction of spam uses this technique as well. Due to this, many e-mail clients no longer load images by default. Gmail does not, for example. If your e-mail client loads images by default, get a new one.

    This technique works better when you're receiving e-mail from someone you know. I know I stand a greater chance of clicking the "load images in this mail" button when I suspect no foul play is going on. I do this all the time for marketing e-mails from Newegg and various other websites. I know they're tracking me, but I want to see the deals. Give and take.

  63. Mark says

    This is too funny: Sir Charlie has hired services of a whois privacy service company … IN AUSTRALIA (

    Very conveniently out of reach of US subpoenas I guess.

    Just try a whois of his usual domains (e.g., and see for yourself.

    I distinctly recalled doing a whois in the past and receiving all his AZ address/email address just fine. Just proves that we probably should screenshot and archive everything about this guy.

    … I wonder if this is related to avoiding being serviced… (/sarcasm)

  64. Joe Pullen says

    Ah yes heard from Satirical Chucky that Sir Charles had gotten served the other day. More fun to come I'm sure. Getting the Holiday popcorn ready.

  65. Mark says

    Here's what CC had to say about this, according to the documents:

    I have no interest in litigating this matter, and accordingly will not consent to or expose myself to service. There is no case or controversy, and your client has no Article III standing to file this suit, which is simply some bizarre form of harassment in which you play the role of officious interloper.

    The irony is strong with this one.

  66. Grifter says

    Can someone explain how a lawyer can say:

    "I have no interest in litigating this matter, and accordingly will not consent to or expose myself to service."

    and not be bashed by the Bar for it? It seems that a lawyer who admits that he is avoiding service, and doing it solely because he doesn't wanna have to deal with the case, should face sanctions as an officer of the court, no?

  67. V says

    There's a request to award lawyer and service costs (that were made while trying to serve CC with papers) to the blogger.
    CC wants more time to respond to that request, because he says he has been busy trying to negotiate with the blogger's team to make the suit go away and will be busy the upcoming couple of days. He says the blogger's team declined to give him more time to respond to said request, so now he's asking the court.


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