Florida court order used to arrest Minnesota journalists that reported child pornography of missing child challenged - First Amendment cited by lawyer

Journalist arrested at courthouse

by Timothy Charles Holmseth on November 2, 2018 at 8:26 A.M. CST

The Broward County, Florida court order used to arrest a Minnesota journalist that assisted the FBI in a national profile child kidnapping case, after he legally recorded operatives of what appeared to be a child trafficking operation as they discussed kiddy porn and baby sales, is being challenged as unconstitutional.  

On October 24, 2018 attorney Gretchen Handy, Handy Law Group,  filed a Motion to Dismiss based upon arguments Florida lacked jurisdiction, as well as the argument the court order violated the First Amendment rights of Timothy Holmseth.

In 2011, a domestic violence court in Broward County, Florida issued an injunction against Holmseth, a Minnesota investigative author who had never been to Florida and had no relationship with anybody in that State. The court order, issued in a domestic violence court, demanded Holmseth retroactively remove material from the Web and turn over all his firearms to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

Holmseth has been arrested three times by police in East Grand Forks, Minnesota for publishing information that violates the Florida court order, as the city's attorney, Ronald Galstad, gave full faith and credit to the Florida order.


On October 24, 2018 Holmseth's attorney, Gretchen Handy, filed a Motion to Dismiss based upon arguments Florida lacked jurisdiction, as well as the argument the court order violated Holmseth's First Amendment rights.


On November 1, 2018 Holmseth arrived for a scheduled court hearing in Polk County regarding charges filed in February, 2018 that allege he violated the Florida order by publishing already-public court files on the Web.

Holmseth was arrested on a warrant by a Polk County deputy when he arrived for the hearing and was processed into the correctional facility. The warrant alleged Holmseth violated the Florida order on Friday, October 26, 2018.

Holmseth was brought to his court hearing in ankle shackles and handcuffs.

During the court hearing, Holmseth learned for the first time Handy had filed the Motion to Dismiss on October 24, 2018.

The court acknowledged receiving two motion filed on October 23, 2018 by Holmseth, which included a motion to disqualify the prosecutor, as well as appointment of new counsel.

After learning Handy filed the dismissal motion, Holmseth withdrew his motion to have her dismissed.

The judge described the nearly decade long matter as an 'interesting situation'.

The judge also stated she had read Holmseth's psychological evaluation, that head been requested by Galstad. The judge and all counsel acknowledged  Dr. Charles J. Chmielewski Ph.D., L.P., determined Holmseth was entirely competent.

Holmseth was released from custody.

Briefs are scheduled to be filed by attorneys and will be heard by the court in the near future.

East Grand Forks City Manager David Murphy was present in the courtroom and appeared to be observing.  

Go Back