updated....April 26, 1999
Visit Judy Sammel's Homepage: www.pobox.com/~sammel

Get a Cable Modem......Go to Jail

I've just been through a truly bizarre experience with Comcast@home, and I thought the assembled readership might be interested in hearing about it.

Chapter 1: In Which I Learn About the Various Divisions of the District Court of the State of Maryland

Thursday, November 19, 1998: It's an ordinary day. I get home from work, picking up the mail as I walk toward my house.  I notice that the return address on one of the letters is the District Court of the State of Maryland. As I walk up the front steps, I think, "I just did jury duty last year; they can't be asking me to serve again so soon, can they?"  After I settle in at home, I open the letter and read, "You have been summoned to appear as a defendant in a trial..."   My first thought is that someone is suing me for something, but then I see at the top of the page 'State of Maryland vs. Sammel, Judith Lynne', and realize that this isn't a person suing me.  My second thought is that I've gotten a parking ticket that blew off of my windshield and has gone unpaid, or maybe a speeding ticket from the traffic cameras I've heard about.  It's too late to call the Court to see what the case is about, so I have to wait until the next day.

The next morning,  I call the telephone number that's printed on the letter, and a recording says something like "press 1 for Civil Division, 2 for Traffic Division, 3 for Criminal Division, 4 for information about specific cases," etc.  I choose the option for information about specific cases, and the person who answers the phone asks me to read her the case number.  After I read it, I hear her say, "Just a minute.  Let me transfer you to the Criminal Division."

"Whaaaaaaaaat?" I ask, but it's too late.  I'm on hold.

Someone else picks up the phone, and again I read the case number and ask what the case is about.

"Cable fraud, " she replies.

Chapter 2: In Which Comcast Cablevision's Administrative Offices in Baltimore are Informed that "At Home" is More Than Just "A Place They'd Rather Be Than At The Office"

Unfortunately, I think I know what the problem is.  I had signed up for Comcast@home cable modem service last March, but had not signed up for cable TV service.  (Last time I checked, this was legal.  In fact, it is mentioned specifically as a service in the FAQ list on @home's web site.)  But, when they came to install my @home service, they had neglected to install the filter (they call it a video trap) to filter out the video signal  from reaching my home.  (I live in a townhouse community, and there is a "pedestal" containing cable connections for several houses--this is a few houses away from mine.)  The installers had told me that they would return to install the video trap, and that I could enjoy cable TV service until they came back to do so--they said I should consider it an incentive to sign up for the service.  Well, they never came back to install the video trap.

Then, in early June, my @home service stopped working.  I made several calls to Comcast Cablevision and Comcast@home customer service.  Each claimed that it was the responsibility of the other to determine what the problem was, and fix it.  During my conversations with Comcast Cablevision and Comcast@home, I told them both that nobody had come back to install the video trap.  Finally, Comcast@home agreed to come out and see what the problem was.  I told them that they should bring a video trap with them when they came to repair the service.  Because of their schedule and my vacation schedule, they didn't come out to repair the service until late June.  The repair technician, when he arrived, said that the reason that my @home service stopped working was that someone had disconnected the cable in the cable "pedestal" on my street.  He said that it was likely that Comcast Cablevision personnel had done this, not realizing that I had Comcast@home service. When he'd reconnected my service,  I asked him about the installation of the video trap.  He said he hadn't brought one with him, but would take care of it later.  Again, nobody came back to install the device.

So, after I receive this letter from the District Court, I figure that Comcast Cablevision has been out to my neighborhood and has seen that I was connected up again (and again not realized that I had Comcast@home cable modem service.)  I call the administrative offices of Comcast Cablevision here in Baltimore, and explain the situation.  They say that they will have Comcast's attorneys call me to discuss it.  I also make the suggestion that they come out and install a video trap on my line so that this won't happen again.  They assure me they will send someone out that day to do it.  I get home fairly late that evening and find that the video trap hasn't been installed.  Since the Comcast administrative offices are closed by this time, I call @home customer service. I call at 10:30 PM and remain on hold until 11:15 PM, at which time a customer service representative takes the call. When I ask about getting a video trap placed on the line, his first response is that Comcast, not @home, should take care of that, and I should call Comcast customer service.  I explain to him that, based on my prior experience with Comcast customer service, if I call them, the following situation will likely occur:

He then agrees to talk to his supervisor.  He returns to the line to tell me that he will place a work order for a video trap to be placed on the line.

Chapter 3: In Which I Wait Not-So-Patiently for Comcast's Attorney to Call,  and for the Video Trap to be Installed

Saturday, November 21, 1998: After I place two calls to their offices, Comcast's attorney who is assigned to my case returns my call to assure me that the criminal charges will be dropped. I mention that the video trap wasn't installed the previous day.

Sunday, November 22, 1998: As of  Sunday morning, neither Comcast nor @home has arrived to place a video trap on the line.  I call Comcast customer service to ask about the status of this, and am initially told that since I am not a Comcast cable TV customer, I have to call @home to resolve any problems.  I explain that the situation is related to criminal charges that Comcast has filed against me, and ask the account executive to try to find a way to assist me from her location.   She asks for my name and address.  I give it to her, and she comes back on the line after a few moments and says that the only name she has listed at that address is that of former occupants of my home (from1989-1992).  I explain again that I am not a Comcast cable TV customer, but only a Comcast@home customer, so there would likely not be a record of my name, unless she has records of Comcast@home customers as well as Comcast cable TV customers.  She again asks me to hold the line.  When she returns, she says that she has checked into the situation with @home, and has found out that the video trap was not placed on the line because the part is out of stock.  She says that when parts are shipped, they will send an installer out to put it in.  She says that in the meantime, I cannot be held responsible for the signal coming into my home.

Tuesday, November 24, 1998: Comcast's attorney leaves a message on my answering machine saying: "I withdrew...did a request to withdraw those charging documents" .    I will soon find out the hard way that the "withdrew...did a request to withdraw" wording actually means something--Comcast doesn't have the ability to get criminal charges dropped on their own, even though they're the ones who got the court to file them in the first place.  Once the charges are "in the system", Comcast can only request that this be done.

Chapter 4: In Which A Police Officer Serves Me With  A Criminal Summons in Front of an Out-of-Town Houseguest on the Eve of Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 25, 1998: A uniformed police officer drives up to my house in his police cruiser and delivers the summons to me; it shows 4 counts of cable fraud, with the possibility of 6 months in jail on each count.  I had always wondered why, when someone commits what appears to be a single crime, you hear things about being charged with "10 counts" of something-or-other. In my case, Comcast's visit in June (when they cut off my service) was 2 counts--one for cable having been fraudulently hooked up, one for fraudulent receipt of service; and a subsequent visit they made in July, during which they saw that service had been reconnected, was again 2 counts.  I try to tell the police officer what Comcast's attorney has told me to tell him--that the charges are being dropped, and that he should call her to verify this--but he could care less about this--he just wants a signature on the papers and wants to leave.  A friend of mine, who has driven up from Virginia to spend the holiday weekend with me, is sitting nearby in my kitchen watching this sorry event; it's a really humiliating experience. Anyway, by the end of the day, I find that the video trap has finally been installed on the line.

Chapter 5:  In Which I Come to the Conclusion that Lady Justice is Not Just Blindfolded, But Actually Blind

Monday, November 30, 1998:  I telephone the State's Attorney's office to see if they have received and processed Comcast's request to withdraw the charges.  They tell me that it has been received, and that the State's Attorney's office has disapproved Comcast's request.  They tell me that no reason for the disapproval was supplied. I begin to feel like a character in a Kafka novel.  I call Comcast's administrative offices in Baltimore and tell them that the State's Attorney has denied the request to withdraw charges.  "They can't do that!" the employee that I speak to exclaims.  "Well, obviously they can, because...they have," I reply.

Chapter 6: In Which I Determine That an Excellent Way to Pique Someone's Curiosity is to Ask, "Do You Have any Recommendations for a Good Criminal Defense Attorney?"

No chapter here, but it's too good of a title to pass up.  Actually, I am told by some colleagues who are attorneys that even in a cut-and-dried case like this, I should expect to pay $750 or $1000 for an attorney if I need to mount a defense in court.

Chapter 7: In Which I Find Out that the Attorney for Comcast Actually Does Have a Sense of Humor

I speak with the Comcast attorney about my call to State's Attorney's office. She says she was unaware that State's Attorney has denied the request to drop the charges, and that she will write another letter to ensure that the situation is taken care of.  She also asks about whether the video trap has been installed and is working correctly. I tell her that everything is blocked except for 2 religious channels, 1 Spanish language channel, and the video portion of E! TV.  She says something along the lines of, "I guess the signal of the Lord manages to find its way through somehow."

Chapter 8:  In Which I Learn That the Cable TV Franchising Authority is Willing to Handle Complaints About Cable TV Issues--But Only Up To a Point

A friend of mine had suggested that I find out who the Franchising Authority for cable television in Baltimore County is, and that I ask them to assist in the getting the problem resolved. I find out that the Baltimore County Council is the local Franchising Authority. On November 30, I call the County Council's offices and speak to an employee who is assigned to handle cable television issues. I explain the situation; she says she will check into it. On December 1,  I speak to her again, and she says she had gotten in touch with the Assistant to the VP at Comcast Cablevision of Baltimore, and he will call her back with information.  On December 3, when I speak to her again, she says that the assistant to the VP had assured her that Comcast is working on the problem. She is satisfied with this answer, and encourages me to "call her back to let her know when the problem's been resolved".  It's nice to know that the employees of our local elected officials are really concerned about taking such a proactive role in ensuring that the problems of constituents are handled effectively.

 Chapter 9:  Boy, Do I Feel Like A Criminal

Thursday, December 3, 1998:  One of the other Comcast  attorneys calls me to say that the only person at the State's Attorney's office who can take care of the situation is an Assistant State's Attorney who is the Chief of the District Court Division, and that he has been out of the office all week.  The attorney gives me the phone number, and tells me I can try to reach him myself.  I call the number a few times during the day, and am alternately told that he is out of the office, or that "you're not allowed to call the State's Attorney, you're a defendant!".  I leave a message for him, but it is not returned.

Also,  around this time, I have a bizarre discussion with the Comcast  attorney to try to find out why the State's Attorney disapproved the request to withdraw the charges.  She explains that procedurally, they cannot withdraw the charges once the trial date has been set, and the summons has been served.  She tells me that I should have "avoided being served".  I never thought I'd ever get myself into a situation where I had to make a point of avoiding process servers. Anyway, it's true that the trial date had already been set (it was set on the same day Comcast applied for the Statement of Charges, November 17, 1998).  But, the summons was not served to me until Wednesday, November 25.  The State's Attorney disapproved the request for withdrawal of the charges on Tuesday, November 24, the day before I was served.  So, either the State's Attorney's office doesn't know its own procedures, doesn't bother to follow them, or perhaps there's something more nefarious going on; I'm still not sure.

Chapter 10: In Which I Get To Speak With Sandra O'Connor's Second-In-Command

Friday, December 4, 1998: No, not that Sandra O'Connor.  Baltimore County has its own, local, Sandra O'Connor.  She's the State's Attorney (an elected official) and I've actually voted for her.  I speak with her Deputy for Operations. Since he's responsible for the overseeing the District Court Division, he's the one that the Chief of the District Court Division reports to. I explain that Comcast said that the Chief of the District Court Division was the only one who could take care of the situation, but that he's been unavailable for several days.  I ask the Deputy for Operations if he can take care of the situation in his employee's absence. He tells me no--that I should wait until his employee returns on the following Monday. He tells me that there is nothing in my file to show that Comcast has done anything related to the case since November 24, and that, if Comcast has promised to get the charges dismissed,  I should be "on them" to take care of it.

Chapter 11: In Which I Get to Sit and Stew About This for Another Weekend Because the Only Person on Earth Who Can Apparently Take Care of this Situation is Either in Training, on Vacation, or Simply Out of the Office, Depending Upon Whom You Talk To

December 5-6, 1998: My demeanor begins to degrade into "don't get mad, get even" mode. I do some research on what the elements of a case of malicious prosecution are. (And, of course, I can do all of my research over the Internet--at cable modem speeds.)  Paraphrasing one article that I read, the elements are:
1.  The people that you sue for malicious prosecution have to be the one that got charges filed against you in the first place.
2.  The case has to have been decided in your favor, in one way or another.
3.  There has to have been a lack of probable cause.
4.  There has to have been malice.
5.  There have to be damages.

Although "malice" in this situation might be hard to prove, one article published on the subject asserts that malice can be implied from a lack of probable cause, and from inadequate investigation and research.  "Lack of probable cause" might also be difficult to prove here, but I believe that a good lawyer could argue that the fact that "cables have been connected and Comcast Cablevision was not the one who connected them" is no longer acceptable as probable cause, now that Comcast Cablevision has given @home (or its local affiliate, Comcast Online Communications) the authority to connect them.

Chapter 12: Things Finally Start Falling Into Place

December 7, 1998:  I leave a voice mail message for the General Counsel at Comcast's Corporate Headquarters in Philadelphia telling him I'm unhappy with the way the situation is being handled, and that I'm considering filing a case in civil court for malicious prosecution. I receive a conciliatory call back from him, and also from one of the local Comcast attorneys telling me that the situation is being taken care of promptly.  I finally get a call from the Chief of the District Court Division of the State's Attorney's office saying they will "nol pros" the case.  It's great; I'm getting to learn some Latin while I'm at it.  "Nol pros" is short for "nolle prosequi", which is Latin for "I will not prosecute."   I can't believe it's taken over two weeks just to get a verbal agreement from the State's Attorney not to prosecute a case that everyone involved clearly agrees was based on a Comcast error.

December 12, 1998: I receive a courtesy copy of a letter from the State's Attorney to the Judge, requesting that the trial date be moved up, and saying that they intend to nol pros.

December 22, 1998:  I call the District Court, and find out that the Judge has moved the trial date up to January 12, 1999, instead of the original date, which was in March 1999.

Chapter 13:  In Which I Get an Unsolicited Letter From a Local Criminal Defense Attorney

December 30, 1998:  I come home from work to find another interesting letter in my mailbox; this time it's from a local criminal defense attorney.   It reads, "Dear Ms. Sammel,  When you are charged with a criminal offense, not only can your freedom and liberty be taken away, a criminal record can affect you the rest of your life."  The attorney then proceeds to offer his services, and even provides me with a handy little reminder card with my trial date stamped on it.  Great.  I guess that since the court's records are considered public documents, anyone can come in and get copies of them.  I'm afraid to think about what kinds of mailing lists I could end up on as a result of this.  Will I start receiving notices asking me if I want to subscribe to Prison Life magazine?

Chapter 14:  In Which I Go to the Trial "Just In Case"

Although I've been told by Comcast that I don't need to show up in court on the trial date, I've never received notice from the District Court about this.  And, considering that the last paperwork I received from the court said "a warrant for your arrest may be issued" if you don't show up at your trial, I decide it would be best to show up anyway.

January 12, 1999: Just when I'm starting to think that Comcast's motto has been morphed  into "Comcast--Everything You Convict With", the court appearance is pretty uneventful.  I show up at 8:30 along with about a dozen other people who are involved in other cases in the same courtroom that morning. According to the list outside the courtroom, it looks like there are a couple of theft cases and a couple of drug cases on the schedule.  I'm actually starting to look forward to an interesting morning in court, hearing about all of this stuff, but the State's Attorney calls my case first.  I start walking up to the Defendant's table, and hear the State's Attorney say that he's entering a nol pros.   I've just reached the table when the judge says,  "your case is dismissed, you're free to go," and so I turn back around and leave the courtroom.

Chapter 15: In Which The Assembled Readership Gets To Find Out That I Never Got Sent To Jail, But Just Got Threatened With The Possibility Of  It

Sorry to disappoint those of you who were looking forward to hearing about that part.

I gave the "malicious prosecution" scenario a thought, but I'm not really a lawsuit kind of person.  Unless I find out that Comcast has been involved in a pattern of cases like these without regard to the consequences, I don't intend to follow up on filing a malicious prosecution lawsuit.  Besides, if I want to get my criminal record expunged, it looks like I will need to sign a waiver absolving them of liability for this incident.  I am hoping, however, that Comcast will reimburse me for the $30 fee involved in getting my record expunged.


Although everyone I dealt with seemed apologetic, and willing to help get this fairly outrageous situation taken care of, I believe that there are still some problems that Comcast and @Home management need to address.  For that reason, I decided to write to the Presidents of both companies, and ask them to respond to several issues.  A copy of the letter is below:

                                                                                                [address deleted]
                                                                                                January 13, 1999

Brian L. Roberts
President, Comcast Corporation
1500 Market Street
Philadelphia PA 19102

Thomas A. Jermoluk
President,  @Home Network
425 Broadway Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

Dear Messrs. Roberts and Jermoluk:

 I am a Comcast@home cable modem subscriber (sammel@home.com) who is not concurrently a subscriber of Comcast cable television.  Because of what I believe to be insufficient action by each of your companies, and insufficient coordination between them, I was recently criminally charged with cable fraud in the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore County ("State of Maryland vs. Sammel, Judith Lynne", case number 5C00097816).  I was charged because:

 Although, after a review of the facts of the situation, Comcast Cablevision convinced the State's Attorney to enter a "nolle prosequi" (a decision not to prosecute) in this case, I am requesting that both of your companies review their procedures for handling Comcast@home subscribers who are not concurrently Comcast cable television subscribers, to ensure that this situation does not happen to anyone else.  I would appreciate if you would both respond to me concerning the following issues:
  • What are the procedures used to mark the cable connections of non-cable-TV-subscriber customers of Comcast@home to ensure that Comcast technicians are aware that the connection is a valid Comcast@home connection? How do you assure that these procedures are being followed?
  • Who is responsible for installing protective measures to block out the cable television signal on the lines of non-cable-TV-subscriber customers of Comcast@home, and how do you assure that these protective measures are being properly installed?
  • I would like request that procedures be put in place, so that prior to submitting a request to any court of law to file criminal charges for cable fraud,  Comcast Cablevision will check the records of the @Home Network to see if the individual to be charged is a valid customer of Comcast@home.  I am also asking the Administrative Commissioner of the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore County (who will be receiving a courtesy copy of this letter) to ensure that these procedures are followed prior to the issuing of any summons for cable fraud in our county.  Perhaps the Court could require some type of affirmation that this check of @Home's customer records has been performed prior to determining that there is "probable cause" for a summons to be issued in any cable fraud case.  I firmly believe that if Comcast Cablevision has given @Home technicians the authority to connect/modify cable connections, they also need to accept some responsibility for having done so, and not automatically assume that any lines that Comcast Cablevision has not connected themselves have been fraudulently connected by the homeowner.
  • I would like to request that procedures be put in place by Comcast Cablevision customer support so that the records of non-cable-TV-subscriber customers of Comcast@home are available to them, and that they may be able to respond to customer service calls related  to the physical cable connections of Comcast@home customers (instead of insisting that only @Home customer support can handle these requests.)
  • I would like to request that procedures be put in place by both Comcast Cablevision and Comcast@home customer support, so that they are each fully aware of what their respective company's responsibilities are with regard to non-cable-TV-subscriber customers of Comcast@home.
  • I would like to note that every Comcast Cablevision and Comcast@home customer service representative I have spoken with has been extremely courteous, has seemed knowledgeable, and has conscientiously attempted to assist me within the bounds of what their positions allowed them to do.  This leads me to believe that the problem is more of a "systemic" one, that can only be addressed from a management level; this is why I am asking both of you to ensure that this never happens to anyone again.  In addition, I am requesting an apology for the unfortunate situation which has occurred.

    Please contact me at your earliest convenience to inform me about how each of the issues listed above is being addressed.  My mailing address and e-mail address are listed above, and my telephone numbers are [deleted].


                                                            Judith L. Sammel



    Thanks very much to attorneys S.A., S.B. (and her colleague H.), C.E., R.G. and B.H., who provided me with assorted legal advice. (Although, I imagine that "pro bono cable fraud work" won't really add much substance to your résumés.)  I'd also like to offer thanks to various friends and colleagues who assisted me with such useful comments as, "we promise we'll visit you in jail," and to my 'unindicted coconspirator' S.R. for convincing me to get cable modem service in the first place.


    25 January 1999:  I received a nice letter from Comcast's Baltimore Metro area Vice President, and the local General Manager of Comcast Online
    apologizing for these events, and outlining the steps they've taken to make sure this doesn't happen again.  They now have a procedure to note @Home subscribers without cable TV service in their cable service billing system, and have added some checks and balances to ensure that their cable fraud investigators will be able to identify this type of situation in the future.  This is a welcome change from the initial conversations I had with Comcast's attorney about this issue, where she insisted that no change in procedures was necessary, other than to ensure that the Comcast Online installers installed video traps in all installations where it's warranted. They graciously offered to pay the Court processing fees to get my record expunged, but I haven't gotten around to filling out the paperwork yet.  Since the court told me that it can take up to 120 days for the paperwork to go through one it's filed, I'm not in such a great hurry anyway.

    31 January 1999: The Multichannel News felt that this story was worth publishing in the February 1, 1999 edition of their magazine (on the front page, even!)  They snarfed my title, too.  They gave me permission to repost the articles on my web site: 'Get a Cable Modem...Go to Jail'  and Sammel's Tale of @Jail .

    2 February 1999:  I got home from work and found two notes attached to my door.  One was another letter of apology from the Baltimore Metro Area VP and the local Comcast Online General Manager, saying that they plan to extend my @home service for a year at no charge, along with a $50.00 gift certificate from Bibelot (my favorite bookstore!) The second was a handwritten note--they had apparently come by to deliver this in person, but I wasn't home.  This is a very nice gesture; I appreciate it very much.

    Does it make me feel bad for having contacted Multichannel News?  No; not at all--for two reasons:

    4 February 1999: I got a humorous surprise when I got home from work.  I had asked Multichannel News if they could send me a copy of the print edition of their publication, and it arrived in today's mail.  I found out that not only was my saga featured on the front page and the op-ed section, but there was a wonderful cartoon to go with it.

    7 February 1999:  Since Multichannel News updated their on-line edition,  I changed  the references for the articles they published about this case (see 31 January 1999 entry) to point to my reposts of their articles, instead.  Also, since the print version of Mike Farrell's article in last week's edition had some text missing, they've reprinted the article in the February 8, 1999 print edition. All of the articles are searchable in Multichannel's archives available from their home page.

    16 February 1999:  It appears that "Broadband Bob" picked up my story and published a brief version to their mailing list, and on their web page.  Also, a Brazilian has written an article in Portugese based on Mike Farrell's article in Multichannel News.

    I had a problem last Friday (February 12) with my cable modem service.  Everything was proceeding at a snail's pace--mail, news, web-browsing.  It continued for several hours, so I called to see if there was a problem in our area, or if they knew what might be wrong.  They tried some troubleshooting (Tier 1 and Tier 2), and they said there was an RF problem with my connection, and they'd need to send someone out to look at it. The first time they had available was Monday (yesterday).  They said "9:00 AM with a 4 hour window" for their arrival time.  At 1:40 PM, a technician showed up.  He did some testing at the cable modem (found a very weak signal), then at the connection where the cable enters my house (again, a weak signal), and then at the "pedestal" out on the street (again a weak signal--he said it was likely weak because there were two video traps on my line.  I don't know this for sure, but I strongly suspect that the Comcast@home folks still had the "order on the books" for the video trap to be placed (see Chapter 3 above), and did not get the word that one had already been installed by Comcast Cablevision; so they came by to install another one.  (So, not only don't the two organizations talk to each other, but they don't even recognize each other's handiwork?)  So, he removed one of the video traps, and the signal started coming through strongly, and my service resumed immediately.  I told him I wanted to make sure he didn't remove both video traps.  He seemed curious why I was concerned about that, so I showed him the court documents, and told him I wanted to prevent a recurrence of the bizarre situation I found myself in last November.  He said he couldn't believe that something like that had actually happened.  (Join the crowd!)

    Keep the cards and letters (well...the e-mails) coming.  One person has suggested that I post the titles of the books I purchased with the gift certificate Comcast gave me, in the hopes that I bought some books that were apropos to the issue at hand.  Honestly, I hadn't thought of that when I was book shopping, so I didn't specifically look for books that might be pertinent (Is there a "Malicious Prosecution for Dummies" book out?)  The books I got were:  The Pillars of Hercules, by Paul Theroux (a travelogue of his trip through the Mediterranean); Getting A Life, by Blix/Heitmiller (financial and personal strategies for voluntary simplicity); The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Home Repair, by David Tenenbaum; and, The Argument Culture: Stopping America's War of Words, by Deborah Tannen (of You Just Don't Understand fame).  Fairly boring--sorry to disappoint you.

    I mailed all the paperwork to the District Court to get my criminal record expunged.  It included the "General Waiver and Release" which says that I release and discharge Comcast and the Baltimore County Police "and any and all other persons" for any claims I may have for wrongful conduct related to this incident.  So, Comcast can rest easy about the legal aspect of all of this.

    9 April 1999:  I got an e-mail from Brian McWilliams at InternetNews, asking me to give an interview for InternetNews Radio.  I called and spoke to him, and voila--a couple of hours later, there's a segment on my story in Real Audio format on InternetNews Radio. (© 1999 Internet.com  Linked to with permission of Internet.com)

    10 April 1999:  There's a blurb about my saga  in the current issue of  Netsurfer Digest (Volume 05, Issue 11).

    13 April 1999:  My story is a "Tasty Bit of the Day" from Tasty Bits from the Technology Front.  Lisa Ronthal at WorldNetDaily has a paragraph and a link to my site in her Interscope column.

    16 April 1999:  The Macintosh world has discovered the story, and links to it appear on Macaddict, Macresource, and MacInTouch.

    25 April 1999:  I received a copy of the expungement order, dated 14 April 1999.  This means that the court has 30 days to serve the order on the Baltimore County Detention Center, The Baltimore County Police, the Msp-Cjis Repository (?) and the State's Attorney.  They each then have 30 days to expunge their records, and provide a Certificate of Compliance back to the court, and to me.  Now, if we can only expunge all records of my "criminal activities" from the Internet.  :-)  Someone has submitted my URL for the current issue (Vol. 20, Issue 33) of the Risks Digest which is available on the web, or on USENET as comp.risks .  Yahoo has also listed my site in their section on Bandwidth News.

    26 April 1999:  I've been "slashdotted".

    ©1999 Judy Sammel

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