2023-2024 California Mock Trial Competition Case Download
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People v. Klein
False Report of an Emergency and Criminal Threat - Featuring a pretrial argument on the First Amendment
People v. Klein is the trial of Reagan Klein. Reagan is charged with two felony counts: making a false report of an emergency (in this case, commonly referred to as “swatting”) and making a criminal threat. The prosecution alleges that Reagan threatened a coworker, Sawyer Smith, via a social media post and that Reagan had animosity against Sawyer because Sawyer had become a rising social-media influencer and because Sawyer was responsible for Reagan being fired from the restaurant where they both worked. The prosecution further argues that Reagan made a false “text-a-tip” to the police requesting police respond to a “hostage situation” at Sawyer’s residence. A SWAT team responded to the call, and Sawyer was seriously injured.
The defense argues that Reagan neither threatened Sawyer nor made the false text to the police. The defense further argues that Reagan had no more animosity toward Sawyer than other coworkers who all disliked Sawyer’s influencer personality and who had all engaged in the cyberbullying of Sawyer.
In the pretrial motion, the defense will argue that Reagan’s social media posts were not a “true threat,” and it is therefore protected free speech under the First Amendment.
Exhibits: People v. Klein Exhibits A-E (pdf)
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