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Posted on Tue, May 10, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

Andrew Shirvell seeks dismissal of stalking complaint, adds counterclaims to Chris Armstrong's lawsuit

By Lee Higgins

A former assistant state attorney general is asking a judge to dismiss numerous allegations in a lawsuit filed against him that alleges he stalked and defamed the openly gay former student body president of the University of Michigan.

Andrew Shirvell has filed a motion to dismiss in federal court in Detroit, claiming the lawsuit filed last month by former U-M student body president Chris Armstrong lacks specifics the court would need in order to grant relief.


Andrew Shirvell

Marissa McClain | The Michigan Daily

In the May 6 filing, Shirvell also makes several counterclaims, including alleging that Armstrong pursued an unjustified course of conduct against him that resulted in him being improperly fired.

The filing comes in response to a lawsuit filed last month by Armstrong that alleges Shirvell stalked him and caused him emotional distress in 2010 with posts on Shirvell’s blog and Facebook. Armstrong was the first openly gay student body president at U-M and had been accused by Shirvell of pushing a “radical homosexual agenda.”

Armstrong's suit was initially filed in Washtenaw County Court, but is now pending in federal court.

Shirvell claims that he was engaging in activity protected under the First Amendment. He notes that Armstrong never alleged Shirvell "ever directly communicated" with him by email, instant messaging, over the phone or through other means.

Shirvell is requesting the court dismiss Armstrong's allegations of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, abuse of process, invasion of privacy and stalking.

Shirvell claims the allegations are too vague. For example, he alleges that Armstrong has "not alleged any specific pecuniary harm resulting from the defamation" or explained how "any reputational damage translated into economic harm."

Shirvell alleges that Armstrong is to blame for his firing. He claims Armstrong filed a "meritless request" for a personal protection order against him, demanded U-M issue him a trespass warning and put out a press release falsely claiming he was engaging in "reckless, bullying behavior."

Chris Armstrong.jpg 2.jpg

Chris Armstrong

Melanie Maxwell |

"Plaintiff's course of conduct was politically motivated and intended to make an example out of Defendant in order to deter others from criticizing Plaintiff's homosexual activist agenda," the filing says.

Shirvell is seeking relief from the court, claiming Armstrong's conduct has caused him to lose income and brought on emotional distress, depression and other issues.

Armstrong's attorney, Deborah Gordon, said Shirvell needs to "man up" and apologize.

"He really just needs to issue a complete and full retraction and apologize," she said. "He just needs to deal with this in an upfront way and move on with his life."

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at



Thu, May 12, 2011 : 1:51 a.m.

Mr. Shirvell and Armstrong were fortunate to draw Arthur Tarnow as the trial judge. He is a Clinton appointee who had argued many of the landmark criminal appeal cases in Michigan in the 1960s and 70s. Looking over the motion however, Shirvell made no First Amendment argument as of yet, which I believe is the major legal issue in the action. I hope that Mr.Shirvell gets some amicus curia intervention from the ACLU as the Westboro Baptist Church and Terry Jones did so that the constitutional defenses can be argued vigorously.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 9:05 p.m.

The classic illustration of the yiddish word "chutzpah' ( unmitigated gall) is the story of the guy who kills his parents and then pleads for mercy because he's an orphan. That longish metaphor can, as this story shows, be replaced by the simple word "shirvell" ( or alternatively "pakistan"...based on their self-righteous puffing and huffing in the aftermath of the osama raid which was successful in spite of them and their duplicity and incompetence).


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 8:53 p.m.

Part of Shirvell's response is that Armstrong must show that he suffered economic damages as a result of defamation, which he has not. Part of Shirvell's response is that Armstrong does not deny that he has never communicated directly with Mr. Shirvell by e-mail, texting, phone call or other means. Part of Shirvell's response is that Armstrong never asked for a retraction until long after the conduct had occurred and stopped. Shirvell's counter claims offer an interesting timeline of Armstrong's and Gordon's actions against Shirvell. They also allege a prior relationship between Gordon and the chief investigator from the AG's office and an ex parte communication between Gordon and the disciplinary committee. I am not a lawyer but it seems like a well reasoned response. It will be interesting to see how the court rules.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

This event, that Armstrong has orchestrated, is sad in that the militant left has really attempted to take over our city. In many ways our town of Ann Arbor is really more fascist than i thought. We, the regular folks, need to take our city back in much the same way our country is being taken back from the far left militancy that permeates the democratic party. Last November was just the start and I hope it continues. What we are seeing here, with the Armstrong situation, is the attempt by the militant left and the subset homosexual harassment and attempted intimidation of heterosexuals. This militancy has got to be stopped. We in this country need to be more aware of this militancy and call them out where we see fit. I think Armstrong should apologize -- the LGBT group needs to stop its militancy and we the regular folks need to stop allowing small groups to dominate the discussion.


Thu, May 12, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

The left becomes militant when they see discrimination against any segment of society. There is nothing wrong with being black, Jewish, Chinese, or homosexual. This is the way God made us. But when we see some individual bullying another individual because they are "not the same as the majority of us", it is time to step up.


Thu, May 12, 2011 : 2:14 a.m.

Poor David Briegel --- you are so confused. You must be a leading member of the militant left. Seeing you lose your grip is rather amusing.

David Briegel

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 11:58 p.m.

This event that Shirvell orchestrated is sad in that the militant right has really attempted to take over our city. In many ways our town of Ann Arbor is really more (right wing) fascist than I thought. We, the regular folks, need to take our city back in much the same way our nation is being taken back from the TeaPublican militancy that permeates the TeaPublican party. What we see with the Shirvell situation is the attempt by the militant right and the subset of heterosexuals harassment or homosexuals. This militancy has got to be stopped! Enough! Shirvell needs to apologize. It should not be acceptable to harass LGBT any longer. Right wing extremists need to be exposed for the haters that they really are!

David Cahill

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 7:32 p.m., thanks for posting Shirvell's motion! It looks like a loser to me. By the way, the downloaded .pdf contained a jumble of fonts. Was that "variety" in the original?

Jen Eyer

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 6:14 p.m.

A comment regarding our moderations policies was moved to the comment moderation thread: <a href=""></a>

Jimmy McNulty

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

How can one of the &quot;most popular&quot; comments have been removed? Obviously it was popular with many readers before the moderators thought otherwise. I'm so glad can think for us now, it saves me a lot of time and energy.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 10:33 a.m.

The word &quot;former&quot; begs the question of whether either is currently a local resident. If not, why is this story still being covered? Let them fight it out in court, but stop giving either of them the attention and forum they crave.


Thu, May 12, 2011 : 1:55 a.m.

I do not believe either lives in the area anymore. Since the alleged wrongdoing occurred in Ann Arbor and a number of third parties affiliated with the case still live here, it should be covered until its conclusion.

James Peron

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 8:47 a.m.

Anyone who has followed this case, and seen Shirvell doing interviews about it, knows the man is obsessed with Armstrong, almost like a five-year-old who thinks girls are icky but really has a crush on one in particular. He has acted in a manner that amounted to stalking, appearing outside Armstrong's home in the middle of the night, following him and reporting, often with great imagination, what Armstrong was doing on a very hateful blog. The man is more than a fanatic, he seems unhinged.

Peter Jameson

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 6:31 a.m., the first openly gay newspaper....

Donald Martin

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

Something wrong with being &quot;openly gay&quot;? Answer: No.

David Briegel

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

That's absurd! They just aren't bigotted.

Cendra Lynn

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

It would be unethical of me to point out the obvious about Mr. Shirvell. Presumably that is obvious to everyone else except possibly those who believe there is a militant group of radical leftists in town. Is this group those of us who have fought for civil rights for 50 years? Is it those of us who don't care about other people's sex lives? I'm still trying to figure out what a sub-set of pro-homosexuals might be. Perhaps a group that meets at a cafe regularly to discuss how great homosexuals are?? And they would do that why? It's hard to imagine left-leaning people trying to stop moderate voices. Leftists tend to believe everyone should have a voice. And if we're supposedly thrashing around trying to find relevancy, we are nothing to be worried about. What would it mean to hunt for relevancy, anyway? We work to solve human problems. That effort can never be irrelevant.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 1:49 a.m.

No apology needed here by Shirvell-- Armstrong and his backers owe Mr Shirvell an apology. What we have here is a very militant group of leftists in our town and a sub-set of pro homosexuals that are attempting to intimidate a heterosexual. This has got to stop. If, as I believe, that Armstrong loses and his lawsuit is thrown out -- this will be one more point of harassment by the militant left in our town. We just had another point of harassment during the law school graduation. These is very concerning events. The left is very active in its attempts to stop the moderate voices in our town as well as our country. The political correctness that has permeated our town for too long appears to be breaking down and the militant left is thrashing about attempting to find relevancy. These actions by Armstrong have been over the top and out of line and wildly self serving.

tom swift jr.

Thu, May 12, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

wow... I thought we did away with the white sheets and hoods...

David Briegel

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 11:48 p.m.

&quot;militant group of leftists&quot; &quot;sub-set of pro homosexuals&quot; &quot;attempting to intimidate a heterosexual&quot; &quot;harassment by the mililtant left&quot; &quot;attempts to stop the moderate voices in our town and country&quot; &quot;militant left thrashing about&quot; And these statements are not delusional because.........? How do the above statements apply to the student body president? And these scurilous allegations remain posted on this site because....?

Donald Martin

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

Apology needed here from Shirvell -- Shirvell and his backers owe us all an apology. What we have here is a very militant group of right-wingers and a sub-set of anti homosexuals that are attempting to intimidate a marginalized minority. This has got to stop. If, as I believe, that Shirvell loses and his lawsuit is thrown out -- this will be one less point of harassment by the militant right in our town. ... The right is very active in its attempts to stop any moderate voice in our town as well as our country. The unmitigated bigotry that has tried to permeate our town for too long appears to be falling apart and the militant right is thrashing about attempting to find relevancy. These actions by Shirvell have been (beyond) over the top and (far) out of line and wildly (beyond) self-serving.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 8:01 p.m.

Armstrong's radical homosexual agenda includes &quot;gender neutral bathrooms&quot;. I will tell you from personal experience that it is very discomforting for a man to sit in a bathroom stall and have a woman sit in the stall next to you. Why not just have single person bathrooms where needed.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

I assume this post is a joke.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 11:48 a.m.

Wow! So you think showing up at someones home at 1 am is &quot;moderate&quot;? Asking someone to stop posting harassing internet messages is &quot;militant&quot;? Exactly what is Armstrongs &quot;radical homosexual agenda&quot; anyway? Is he asking that the State outlaw marriage? Is he asking that landlords stop renting to heterosexuals? Yep, straight white Christian males just cannot catch a break from the militant left that controls the country! I am wondering HEARD, do you think these groups had it better back in the 30's, before the &quot;militant left&quot; arose:? 1: African Americans 2: Women 3: Jews 4: working children Wow, re-reading your post I almost have to take it as parody, or Orwellian double speak. Are you the same HEARDOC that wanted to go after the emails of UM faculty because they alleged;ly used public resources for political causes

tom swift jr.

Tue, May 10, 2011 : 10:15 p.m.

Shirvell is the classic example of: &quot;I think thou dost complain too much.&quot;


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 11:17 p.m.

Same with Armstrong.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

Man, just think, Paul Rubens might be at Zingerman's someday soon when he is in town playing the role of Andre Shirvell. They should settle out of court and make some agreement about royalties from the book and movie.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:12 p.m.

President Obama needs to invite Shirvell and Armstrong to D.C. for a meeting along with the vice-president over some beers. The whole thing would blow over.

Peter Jameson

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 6:34 a.m.

thats a quality gay joke!

David Briegel

Tue, May 10, 2011 : 11:27 p.m.

Great Pun!


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:05 p.m.

This guy should just go away.he is just outright embarassing.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:13 p.m.

Both of them

Doug Gross

Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:02 p.m. - please publish the emails and computer history logs from the State Attorney's office of Shirvell's actions while working on state-owned computers. This would serve as a warning to other government employees that spend their work time doing everything but what they are hired to do!


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

Hey, can somebody call the WAAAAAAMBULANCE for Andrew Shirvell?


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:16 p.m.

@Roadman Shirvell is the stalker, not Armstrong.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

Call that same ambulance for Armstrong as well.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:51 p.m.

&quot;Shirvell alleges that Armstrong is to blame for his firing.&quot; How typical! Shirvell preaches individual responsiblity but doesn't practice it.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

Once again the only person NOT responsible for what happens to Andrew Shirvell is Andrew Shirvell. If he was wrongly fired, he should go after the Attorney General who fired him. He's made his bed, but he shouldn't have to lie in it because, well, it's not his fault. He's made his choices and doesn't want to accept responsibility for the turn his life has taken. It's sad; pathetic and sad.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

The funny thing is that if Shirvell did this on his own time the Attorney General would have a very difficult time of upholding his firing.

Tom Joad

Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.

I'm sick of this story. It's a dispute between two private citizens. Neither is in any public position that merits this much attention.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

Agreed. LGBT advocates have tried to exploit Armstrong as some kind of martyr - which he is not. Shirvell is now trying to exploit the situation as well as a First Amendment icon - like Terry Jones. Hopefully both of these individuals shall get a life and move on.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

Wrong on all counts Tom. If you're sick of the &quot;story&quot;, you can always stop reading about the &quot;story&quot;. The story, or should we say - the reality - isn't just about two private citizens. One had a position with the Department of Attorney General's office. You may recall that this dispute spilled over into his hours on the clock, and with equipment that belongs to the State of Michigan. Both are paid for by the state - as in, many people who aren't &quot;sick of this story&quot;. Thus it has merit.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.

I think I'll scream if anyone says 'freedom of speech' again. This is about stalking: (d) "Harassment" means conduct directed toward a victim that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact that would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress. Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose. (e) "Stalking" means a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested. (f) "Unconsented contact" means any contact with another individual that is initiated or continued without that individual's consent or in disregard of that individual's expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued. Unconsented contact includes, but is not limited to, any of the following: (i) Following or appearing within the sight of that individual. (ii) Approaching or confronting that individual in a public place or on private property. (iii) Appearing at that individual's workplace or residence. (iv) Entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by that individual. (v) Contacting that individual by telephone. (vi) Sending mail or electronic communications to that individual. (vii) Placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by that individual. Michigan's stalking law has been ruled constitutional: Constitutionality: Michigan's anti-stalking law is not an unconstitutionally vague threat to freedom of speech. Staley v Jones, 239 F3d 769 (CA 6, 2001).


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 4:43 a.m.

That's a long list...why arn't all those telemarketers and flyer delivery folks in court?

David Briegel

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 3:47 a.m.

Yeah, that was a real gutsy call by Mr Mackie!


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:06 p.m.

The County Prosecutor issued a memorandum that found Shirvell's conduct to be outside the scope of the stalking law. One factor was the fact that Armstrong is a gay public figure and another was that Armstrong declined an offer from a police detective to impart that his conduct was unwelcome. Armstrong has been his own worst enemy from a legal standpoint.

David Briegel

Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:38 p.m.

Watch out Andrew, those radical gay agenda pursuers are everywhere. Watch out, they're coming to get you. They are a threat to your marriage, your masculinity, your dignity (you do have dignity, don't you?), your children. They are destroying our nation! There is one of the dreaded &quot;them&quot; behind every tree and bush. Watch out!!! Watch out, they are on the same side as Obama! Oh No!!

David Briegel

Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

Bye bye Andrew, Your 15 min of infamy is expired. Go make a name for yourself. Earn what you get and leave young men alone. Get a life!


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

Armstrong is long gone too - having graduated and his vaunted status as a purported victim of Shirvell wearing thin locally. Probably most are sick of hearing about each of these two chaps.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

Hint to shirvell: why not piggyback your case with those who think Bin ladens killing was unjustified and 'extrajudicial murder&quot;?? With Michael moore, Noam Chomsky , assorted local crackpots and a sizeable group abroad who are &quot;enthusiatic' and noisy ( at the least .) about their causes ( although their &quot;death to&quot; style of discourse is a bit problematic, p.r. -wise) , you'd be in fine and well-funded company.... but somehow i think you'd feel sort of at home.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

When one sets out to harm another, he only serves to harm himself. It's like spitting in the comes back to smack you in the face. I hope Mr. Shirvell gets the help he so obviously needs.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

So far, Armstrong has not collected a penny nor has he had one court victory over Shirvell. The PPO proceeding was dropped. The U-M trespass notice was largely downsized via a modification. The Attorney Grievance Commission has issued no misconduct charges as of yet. The fact the LGBT community was successful in persuading the Attorney General to investigate and fire Shirvell means that Shirvell lost a source of income to use as potential settlement funds to pay off Armstrong in this federal case. Armstrong is a long way from seing any collectible legal victory.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

Good move by Shirvell in filing a counterclaim containing federal questions and allowing for removal to the United States District Court in Detroit rather than the Washtenaw County Circuit Court where politics could favor Armstrong. Shirvell got above-average ratings by the Department of Attorney General in personnel reviews and can go toe-to-toe with Debbie Gordon, a renowned civil rights counsel. Debbie's between a rock and a hard place because Shirvell is likely uncollectible and these federal court proceedings could last years to sort out the various claims. Armstrong also has to bring in witnesses from out of state to substantiate many of his claims - e.g. the calls to the former House Speaker's office, which may be expensive and time-consuming. Debbie Gordon did not elect to join the Department of Attorney General, whose equipment was employed to allegedly harass Armstrong and who may have had prior notice of misuse of such office equipment but failed to take reasonable remedial action. This lawsuit is a win-win proposition for Shirvell, who could make landmark First Amendment case precedent as the obnoxious Westboro Baptist Church defendants did.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 1:17 a.m.

I do agree, however, that there is no cash in this. Any judgement Chris receives will be unrecoverable because of Shirvell economic state of affairs. This isn't about money, though, it's about getting Shrivell to publicly apologize and issue a formal retraction. In the end, I believe that is what will happen.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 1:14 a.m.

The two cases are really VERY different though. The dad actually had a pretty weak case against the WBC because, although he tried to argue it, he was not *really* the one who was defamed. He might has suffered as a result of it, but he had a weak basis from which to sue. The WBC are complete jerks and they disgust me, but legally they should've won their case. Chris Armstrong is DIRECTLY going after Shirvell for defamation. If Chris's dad were suing Shirvell instead of Chris because Shirvell somehow defamed the family name, then the cases would be much more alike. As it stands, the similarities between the cases are minimal at best.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

@Go Blue1984: Yes that is what I said. Matt Snyder's dad was the plaintiff and his son was the dead Marine in Iraq. The father sustained psychiatric injury from seeing his son defamed on the Internet WBC website and also claimed distress from seeing media reports of the funeral day WBC demostration several blocks away from the Snyder funeral in Maryland. There was various types of defamation alleged against the WBC. Based upon the WBC Supreme Court opinion, I expect most of the Armstrong complaint to be dismissed summarily. If any counts survive the dismissal motion by Shirvell and are genuine issues for trial, as decided by the Court, Shirvell may decide to make a modest settlement offer in lieu of trial. This case brought by Armstrong is going to create a lot of judicial rulings but not much cash in it for anyone.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 11:23 p.m.

Roadman, you appear to be very unfamiliar with how defamation cases work. In the case you cited, the plaintiff was the father (not the son -- he was not living at the time of the trial) and therefore a defense against the charges levied by the Westboro Baptist Church (that the son was gay) could not be wholly disputed. Furthermore, alleging that someone is gay is far easier to get away with (truth is the best defense against defamation and it's hard to prove you are or aren't gay) than stating that a specific person engaged in a specific activity at a specific time and place. The latter is what Shirvell did on his blog, and as I stated above, truth is the best defense. Chris wasn't even in Ann Arbor, and from what I read regarding this situation, he can prove it. Shrivell made a pretty big mistake publishing that post, and as an attorney, he is held to a higher standard than most. To put it in terms everyone can understand... Shirvell really stepped in it this time.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 11:15 p.m.

Oh, yes, of course. You meant the Huron Valey Greens co-chairperson. Maybe I'll make it out to SELMA soon for breakfast - but only if Steve Pastner can be there.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

nooo roadman..i didnt mean zach goldmith. i meant someone whose initials are &quot;a.s.&quot; ( special headgear also present) who you seem to adore. As to goldsmith---his target was very a specific individual with whom many nowadays seem piqued...not a whole religious/ethnic group / nation- state as in madam &quot;a.s's &quot; (and your) case.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

Go Blue1984: Read the full-text of the U.S.Supreme Court opinion (as I have) in Snyder versus Westboro Baptist Church. Defamation was alleged in stating that Snyder's son was a homosexual and further false statements alleged made included the alleged impropriety of Snyder's parents in raising him together. Snyder's son in actuality was a U.S. Marine who was neither homosexual nor was he raised by his father (the parents were separated). The Supreme Court found that the WBC statements were so unworthy of belief they could not constitute actionable defamation. While the claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress was made out, the First Amendment acted as an absolute defense to that claim, especially since the WBC was speaking out on matters of public interest - gays in the military. The case was not only about the public demonstration the day of the funeral - but about allegedly defamatory material Snyder came across on the Internet on a WBC website regarding his son after the funeral.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:35 p.m.

The Westboro Baptist Church was not falsely alleging that a specific person was involved in an activity. What that church does is despicable, but it is freedom of speech. Shirvell crossed the line by defaming Chris's name with posts on his blog depicting orgy parties going on at Chris's house. As it turns out, the day that party was said to have gone down, Chris wasn't even in Ann Arbor. Instances like that one are what are driving Chris's defamation suit and although it may be costly and time consuming to go through with, I fully anticipate Chris's family will take this case the entire distance. It's not about collecting a sum of money from Shirvell (Chris's family is rich), it's about getting Shirvell to retract his statements and apologize. I'm quite certain just about any court in the US will side with the Armstrong's position on this one.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:28 p.m.

@ GO Blue 1984: That may be the case. Armstrong will, however, have to win in court though with a freshly minted opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court in the Westboro Baptist Church case that is largely favorable to Shirvell. The Westboro Baptist Church case involved a plaintiff that sustained uncontested and medically documented mental and emotional injury and his position was supported by briefs of attorneys general of 48 states. The plaintiff lost his case. Billion-dollar companies lose in court much of the time, so do deep-pockets governmental entities - Debbie Gordon can tell you that.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

You mean bullhorn-toting Zach Goldsmith? His influence at commencement exercises was so slight that his follower's protests were barely detectible and his affiliations to pro-Israel political activism likely did not endear him to many that opposed Governor Snyder. Zach Goldsmith and Andrew Shirvell, however obnoxious each may be,are protected by the First Amendment.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:17 p.m.

Roadman, Chris's dad is a millionaire several times over. His dad is also an attorney. I don't think they'll have any problem seeing this through and putting Shirvell in his rightful place -- the unemployment line! :-)


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

Thanks so much for the attempted clarification roadman... but i'm still puzzled at your adulation, on other threads, for local noisy, bullhorny obnoxious types who ,on their websites, actually look to the Phelps family as a tactical role model for &quot;first amendment &quot; narcissism ( never mind their rhetoric which is often cloned from even more obnoxious...and lethal... sorts far far to the east.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

@bedrog: Yes, just like the gay activists who demonstrated outside of Senator Trent Lott's Mississippi residence after being bus-driven there by Michael Moore.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

sooo roadman ... you think the Westboro folks are obnoxious??? how refreshing and unexpected.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

His firing was proper - if not, he'd sue the state to make his point. His specific claims about the suit filed against him may be legally accurate and he may win. That being said, this guy's behavior is classic! Right there by the definition of &quot;bully&quot;. And this is how bullies react when they are directly confronted about their behavior. Shirvell's mad his privileges got taken away including the one where he got to use state resources to bully a college student. What I want to know is where did he run to hide and is he getting the psychological help he needs to be a better adjusted individual in this society.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

@Matt- The Ann Arbor police officer did not tell Mr. Shirvell to leave his property because he was on a public sidewalk and not on his property.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

A PPO proceeding does not involve the County Prosecutor. Indeed the County Prosecutor declined to charge Shirvell with criminal stalking largely due to Armstrong's own status as a public figure and foracting like the conduct of Shirvell was not unwelcome

Matt Cooper

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 12:10 a.m.

3. The PPO was dropped because both men agreed (with the prosecutors approval as I understand it) that Shirvell would make every effort to stay away from CA. 4. AS has been in the papers a whole heck of a lot more than CA making all sorts of unfounded accusations against CA.

Matt Cooper

Wed, May 11, 2011 : 12:09 a.m.

You apparantly haven't been following the story as well as you'd like to think. 1. His suit is totally in response to the unwarranted, abusive, stalking and aberrant behavior of Andrew Shirvell. 2. I don't knonw what you're talking about a police detective, but I do knnow that when Shirvell stalked Armstrong in the middle of the night (shooting videos of the going's-on inside Armstrongs apartment fonr the sidewa;l directly in front of CA's house), he did in fact ask the police to make Shirvell leave the property.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:38 p.m.

He appears wanting to make himself the LGBT version of James Meredith - whom he is not. Meredith was a student/hero. Armstrong directs a police detective not to impart that Shirvell's conduct is unwelcome when the detective offers to do so. Why? This was a key factor in the County Prosecutor in not filing stalking charges against Shirvell. Why did Armstrong drop a PPO proceeding against Andrew Shirvell if Shirvell was perceived as a danger or source of unwelcome conduct? Beside Anderson Cooper I recall an interview in the Michigan Daily - am I wrong? Armstrong has a lot of questions to answer in the federal court suit. Debbie Gordon will have her hands full.

Matt Cooper

Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:51 p.m.

Exactly how is Armstrong a &quot;publicity hound&quot;? I havent seen him setting up web pages extolling the evil morals of Andrew Shirvell. Nor have I seen him using the press to further his &quot;radical homosexual agenda&quot; that Shirvell so eloquently decried (note the dripping sarcasm). Nor has he held any press conferences to try his case in the press. Matter of fact, we've heard surprisingly little from Mr. Armstrong except for his (very) brief appearance last year on Anderson Cooper 360.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

I agree he may win as the Westboro Church defendants did in the U.S. Supreme Court. His conduct may be largely, if not fully, protected by the First Amendment. Armstrong is a publicity hound, though, as much as Shirvell is a bully.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

Shirvell is some lawyer... And to think we paid for him to waste our tax paid time on this sort of witch hunting and stalking. Than again wasn't he one of those Ave Maria grads? I guess that's all they were educated to do in the first place.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:50 p.m.

Ave Maria reportedly tried to deny him bar admission, so don't blame them. Blame Mike Cox who hired him despite an arrest record.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

LOL, good one, Jafo04! On a more serious note, Shirvell claims that he was just exercising his First Amendment rights (like Fred Phelps of the alleged Westboro Baptist &quot;Church&quot;). Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but by being openly gay isn't that all Armstrong has done all along - just exercised his First Amendment rights of not only free speech and expression but also freedom to be free from Shirvell's religious belief as well as the right to exercise his own? Just sayin' . Also, perception is reality. All Armstrong has done is accused Shirvell of being stalked. Not only in my opinion has Shirvell been guilty of stalking, but if Armstrong feels stalked, that's his perception and he has the right to make that accusation. If Shirvell had just ignored Armstrong in the first place, none of this would be an issue.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

Armstrong declined the offer of a police detective to impart to Shirvell that Shirvell's conduct was unwelcome - that was a key factor in the County prosecutor not pressing stalking charges - in addition to the fact that Armstrong was a public figure as MSA president that made his homosexuality a public issue. Armstrong also dropped his personal protection order proceeding against Shirvell. Why? .


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:09 p.m.



Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

This whole thing is just bizarre. There has to be more to this story than is publicly known.


Wed, May 11, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

Nope, no more than a public figure with an homophobia that crossed the line on many occasions. I am glad that Armstrong handled himself so well in light of everything that this radical conservative did to him. It is sad to waste taxpayer money on the lawsuits he brought on because of his bias. I wish he would be ordered to repay everyone! This case will NOT and should NOT be dismissed!


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

Doubt it. I suspect it's just what it looks like: Public figure harasses private citizen due to fear of HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST AGENDA. Quick, lock up the women and children!


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

Might have been a good idea to get that order of protection now, eh?


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 6:53 p.m.

Shirvell needs to take responsibility for his own actions of using his taypayer-funded work time to wage a hate campaign against Armstrong.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

Agreed. If there is one thing that Shirvell did that was reprehensible is employing taxpayer-funded office equipment and time to advance his own political agenda. But then again that is something that Ann Arbor pols are often guilty of.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 6:49 p.m.

I agree 100% with Ms. Gordon. Shirvell needs to apologize for his outrageous behavior towards Mr. Armstrong, beg him to forgive him and drop his lawsuit and then stop stirring the pot. Enough is enough Mr. Shirvell. You just continue to bring negative attention to yourself. It's embarrassing. You proclaim to be a Christian yet display extremely un-Christian-like behavior. Please take this time of unemployment to do a little (or a lot) of self reflection and try to figure out where all this hate comes from. I hope you get your life back on course for everyone's sake.


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

Wait until Ms. Gordon tries to collect any judgment against Shirvell.

David Cahill

Tue, May 10, 2011 : 6:42 p.m., how about posting the actual court filings, as you have previously in this case?


Tue, May 10, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

@Lee: Your file cannot be opened.

Lee Higgins

Tue, May 10, 2011 : 7:03 p.m.

Hi David, We added the motion to the bottom of the story.