Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bruce McCain: Who is Cameron Jordan? The Alvey Files Part 4: Making the Case Against Roger Alvey.

Roger Alvey's
Online Persona
In the past two installments of The Alvey Files, we took a closer look at Roger Alvey (here and here and introduction here) and his fake internet girlfriend Cameron Elizabeth Swindells Jordan. In this segment we will lay out for you the meticulous steps undertaken to expose this deception that had fooled, and in some cases hurt innocent persons.
As discussed earlier, several people were immediately skeptical of the reality of CEJ, and some had strong suspicions that Roger Alvey was the person behind her persona. But speculation and unproven theories don’t amount to evidence that could prevail in court. Most of these spats, arguments and debates occurred in 
various Facebook groups of which CEJ and/or Roger Alvey were members. But what led to the demise of Alvey’s scheme was a single email Cameron Jordan sent to me on December 23, 2011.


Roger Alvey's
Online Persona
Earlier that day, I had emailed CEJ, asking, “Please provide your mailing address and telephone number so I can talk to you and send you some documents. Thank you.”
Later that evening, I was engaged in a Facebook discussion with Roger Alvey about CEJ when Alvey suggested I ask CEJ my question directly. I replied that I had attempted to contact her, but she doesn’t seem to exist. A short while later I received an email from Cameron Jordan from the email account I had contacted earlier.






While the content of the email contained the typical comments we had come to expect from CEJ, I was far more interested is what did not immediately appear in the body of the email itself. I was focused on the email header, which is a hidden piece of code not normally visible to email users, but can be accessed, even from with email programs like Outlook. When I checked the header, it revealed CEJ’s email had been sent from Internet Protocol or IP 96.41.156.15. While those cryptic numbers may not mean anything to most people, I knew at that point, CEJ had left her digital fingerprint on her email. All I knew at that point, was that CEJ was somewhere in the vicinity of Coos Bay, Oregon. But it would still take several months before her specific location and identity would be revealed. I also knew Roger Alvey was likely visiting him parents for the holiday, and his parents live in Coos Bay.

McCain vs. John or Jane Doe
On January 20, 2012, CEJ published on her blog “A Girl Who Knows Her Own Mind” an article concerning me, entitled, “Slanderous, Insecure, Racist and Master of Self Promotion … your name is Bruce R. McCain.” The article featured an image of me in which my face was digitally placed in the center of a copy of a Warner Bros. “Looney Tunes” cartoon opening screen shot. A caption balloon was next to my mouth, uttering the words, “Your Wife is a Flying Russian Dildo.”
This blog article was very similar to one published three weeks earlier, on January 1, 2012, when CEJ published on her blog a nasty article entitled,“Is There Anything Genuine About John Kuzmanich Other Than His Anger, Dishonesty and Paranoia?” The article depicted the one-time GOP congressional candidate wearing a Photoshopped tin foil hat and mercilessly attacked Kuzamanich in the article.
In CEJ’s article about me, she described me as “[a] blight on law enforcement, and the legal profession (as if they needed his help) and a man so insecure and personally offensive even his own relatives avoid him like grim death.” But CEJ also wrote it took me three times to pass the bar exam and that I have “been known to lie to judges to access sealed and unsealed” court records. I filed a defamation suit five days later on January 25, 2012.
However, despite my deep suspicion that Roger Alvey was CEJ, I knew I had no evidence that would justify naming him as a defendant. Like other states, Oregon allows an unknown party to be named, as long as the real party in interest is substituted when the true name is discovered. So I began the painstaking and somewhat complex process of discovering whose fingers were tapping on CEJ’s keyboard.
Internet Subpoena Process
Discovering who is behind an anonymous internet blog is not a simple or easy process. In fact, it involves multiple steps and complying with internet privacy laws. But it can be done. The first step is to obtain the IP address and other forensic info related to the posting. But an IP address alone doesn’t tell you who owns the account or the physical address of computer. For that, one must obtain subscriber information from the telecommunications company itself, e.g. Comcast, Century Link, Qwest, etc.


My first step was to subpoena WordPress.com for all subscriber records related to CEJ’s blog, as described in the attached subpoena below.


You may notice that I requested records for not just the article about me, but also the Kuzmanich article, because I was operating on the theory that if CEJ was Roger Alvey, and Roger Alvey was visiting his parents for the holidays, then the New Year’s Day article on Kuzmanich may have come from the same physical location. I was correct.
While it may appear that I was gathering this info without Roger Alvey’s knowledge, quite the opposite is true. WordPress.com was required to notify the “affected user” that the company had received the subpoena and allow the affected user time to go to court to quash the subpoena. I actually hoped CEJ and her family lawyers would surface, but no one did. Of course, Alvey himself could not appear, because doing so would be tantamount to giving himself up. However, during this waiting period, CEJ was probing Facebook friends asking other what they knew about my lawsuit. After the period had come and passed, WordPress.com answered my subpoena with eye-opening answers.
The information returned from WordPress.com confirmed that the Kuzmanich article was published from IP 96.41.156.15, the same location as CEJ’s email to me on December 23. But that still did not tell me anything about the physical location or personal info of the author. But to my surprise, the article about me on January 20 was published from a completely different IP address of 71.221.87.211, which was located somewhere in the Eugene, Oregon area. The subpoenaed info also showed that some of the comments posted to CEJ’s blog articles also came from the same IP location, indicating that the author of the blog was also posting comments under additional false user names.


From a basic internet search, I knew the Coos Bay IP was issued from Charter Communications and the Eugene IP belonged to Century Link. So subpoenas were issued to each company seeking to narrow the search for CEJ’s identity. As with WordPress.com, Charter Communications was required to notify the affected user that the subpoena had been issued, giving them the chance to challenge it in court. Unknown to me at the time, but not surprising, Mr. and Mrs. Alvey in Coos Bay received such a notice from Charter Communication, resulting in their understandable confusion over why their internet account was now associated with someone named Cameron Jordan. But as the Charter letter to me indicates, IP 96.41.156.15 – from which CEJ sent her email to me and published the Kuzmanich article – belonged to the account of Roger Alvey’s elderly parents.


While the Charter subpoena produced expected results, the Century Link results were at first confusing. I asked for the subscriber info for IP 71.221.87.211 from January 20-23, 2012. The answer I received was that the IP address belonged to the Eugene Whitaker Youth Hostel in downtown Eugene, Oregon.
Thinking I had reached a dead end, on March 13, I called the youth hostel and spoke with the manager who confirmed that no one named Cameron Elizabeth Jordan has ever stayed at the hostel, but she did confirm that Roger Alvey stayed there during January 20-21, 2012 and brought his own desktop computer into the facility. Even more surprising, she told me she was expecting my call because Alvey had told the staff when he left that I would soon be asking about him and his girlfriend, who none of the hostel staff had ever seen or met. At this point, I had solid forensic evidence placing Roger Alvey at the Eugene Youth Hostel on the date and at the place where CEJ published he blog article about me. But Roger could always claim someone else was using his computer or some other excuse. I needed more proof before taking him to court.
That proof came to me on April 30, 2012 when I received two telephone calls the same morning from two different members of Roger Alvey’s family. First to call was Roger’s attorney brother Martin. An admitted lifelong Democrat, my politics and Martin’s are far apart. But he is a respected member of the Oregon legal community and as a professional, I had no reason to doubt anything he told me. First, Martin Alvey confirmed that neither he nor his sister, Elizabeth, had been at their parent’s Coos Bay home from December 23 through January 1. He also confirmed that his brother Roger had dated Elizabeth “Libby” Swindells very briefly while at Willamette, as we reported in Part 3. Finally, he told me he has heard of Cameron Jordan from Roger, but had never seen or met her. He closed by saying his mother would be calling me next, which she did.
Mrs. Alvey called me at my office that morning and told me she has no idea who this Cameron girl is or why she was receiving letters about subpoenas from her internet company. After I explained about CEJ’s emails and blogs coming from her home on those holiday dates, she confirmed for me that the only person staying at their home during those days was her son Roger, whom she saw using the computer. I thanked her, and told her she may have to repeat what she told me under oath, but I would ask to take her deposition by telephone if necessary.
After three and a half months of tracking down evidence, I had obtained subpoenaed evidence and witness statements showing:
  • CEJ sent her email and published the Kuzmanich article from Roger Alvey’s parent’s home in Coos Bay;
  • CEJ published her blog article and responses to it from the Eugene Whitaker Youth Hostel in Eugene, Oregon;
  • No one named Cameron Elizabeth Jordan stayed at the hostel, but Roger Alvey did, and was expecting my inquiries, having been alerted about the subpoenas from the providers;
  • Roger Alvey’s family confirmed he alone was at his parent’s home December 23 through January 1
The next day, May 1, 2012, I filed my amended complaint naming Roger Darnell Alvey as defendant. The Lane County Sheriff’s Office served him with his summons and complaint four days later at Guaranty RV, where he was working as a salesman. Having researched Roger Alvey’s court files in the past, I knew if nothing else, the next several months would test my resolve and the court’s patience in dealing with him.
Roger Alvey and CASP
The first thing Alvey did was fire off a blustery, threatening letter promising his assured victory and my inevitable destruction if I pursued my folly against him. [NOTE: Alvey tried the same bullying tactic this week by threatening Dr. Pamplin for allowing this blog to publish the truth about Alvey.] Alvey also assured me that, though he would be representing himself as he usually does when sued, he would be retaining the services of the California Anti-SLAPP Project or CASP, a public interest firm in California that specializes in helping defendants sued for defamation. Alvey warned me that his CASP attorneys charge up to $650.00 per hour, a claim he would repeat more than once in his court filings.
Unfortunately, Alvey apparently failed to notice on CASP’s website this caveat: “Please note: CASP can only assist on SLAPPs or subpoenas filed in California. Contact us if you are uncertain as to where the lawsuit against you was filed.” 
There is good reason why CASP limits its assistance to California, and not Oregon: none of CASP’s attorneys are licensed to practice law in Oregon, and that includes serving as Alvey’s “advisors” as he repeatedly claimed. For once I took Alvey at his word that he was being charged up to $650.00 per hour by his CASP legal advisors, none of whom were licensed in Oregon or had made an appearance in this matter as required. Based on Roger Alvey’s own representations filed with the court, the Oregon State Bar opened an unlawful practice of law investigation against CASP, result in a letter warning any further advice to Alvey in this matter could result in the Bar suing CASP for unlawful practice of law.


Despite the tempting lure of mandatory attorney fees awarded if he wins, Alvey was unable to persuade any of Oregon’s nearly 11,000 attorneys to represent him. But as a prolific pro se party, Alvey seems to relish the challenge of representing himself, so it’s unclear how hard he bothered to seek competent counsel to help him. But one thing was certain: we never heard anything more about Alvey’s $650.00/hour California lawyers.


A perfect example of Roger Alvey’s enormous, but misplaced confidence in his own ability is found on the do-it-yourself- internet site Findlaw where Alvey (whose actual email isRogerAlvey69@gmail.com) posted an inquiry as rogerisright69, asking complete strangers for help in dealing with the predicament he was in after the court ruled my requests for admissions were deemed admitted. This last-ditch effort to extricate himself came just five days before the case was settled and dismissed. Most telling is the first response Alvey received from user “adjusterjack”:
“Here's a couple of observations:

1 - That you even raised the 5th amendment in a civil case means you are in over your head and need a lawyer.

2 - Going up against a lawyer without one of your own is like bringing a rubber knife to a gunfight. You'll be the one to end up on the ground bleeding. And the other party's attorney has just drawn first blood.” 
 Alvey’s Admissions


As part of this litigation, I served on Alvey a set of written questions known as Requests for Admission, shown below.



However, Alvey refused to answer any questions related to CEJ, claiming to do so would violate his 5th amendment right against self-incrimination. Alvey’s refusal resulted in a series of motions and hearing to compel his cooperation, with the last hearing occurring December 11, 2012. At that hearing, Alvey argued unsuccessfully that he feared being prosecuted for felony identity theft or possible tax evasion if he admitted he was CEJ and did the things he was accused of doing.
The rules of civil procedure governing Requests for Admission are very specific regarding the effect of these admissions and what happens when a party refuses to answer. Specifically, ORCP 45 D says,
“Any matter admitted pursuant to this rule is conclusively established unless the court on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission. […] Any admission made by a party pursuant to this rule is for the purpose of the pending action only, and neither constitutes an admission by such party for any other purpose nor may be used against such party in any other action.”
I successfully argued that Alvey’s 5th amendment argument was without merit and did not apply here because the rule above makes clear that his admissions in this civil case could not be used against him in any other action – civil or criminal. For example, if he were to be criminally prosecuted for identity theft as he fears, the prosecution could not use his admissions in this case as proof of guilt in another. That doesn’t mean he can’t be prosecuted or convicted, only that the evidence must be independent. Likewise, if the Swindells family chose to sue Alvey for implicating their family and name in his scheme, their lawyers could use all the exhibits I obtained, but they could not use Alvey’s admissions against him.
When a recalcitrant party like Alvey refuses to comply with the court’s order, ORCP 45 C grants to the court the authority to order that the matters requested are admitted, subject to the limitations on their use described in ORCP 45 D above. That’s exactly what the court did on January 4, 2013, by ordering that my requests for admission are admitted and conclusively established for this civil litigation.


At this point, every element of my complaint had been conclusively established for this lawsuit, except for damages. But more motions were scheduled, with Alvey promising to appeal every one he loses – and he had lost every one so far. Satisfied with the court’s rulings, and confident that Alvey would declare bankruptcy before paying me a dime, I made him an offer he didn’t refuse. I agreed to waive the attorney fees the court had already awarded me and dismiss the lawsuit, while all he had to do was agree in writing to his admissions and not appeal the court’s decision. Exactly one year to the date of filing, McCain vs. Alvey, Multnomah County Circuit Court No. 1201-01056 was dismissed on January 25, 2013.
For those who have dealt with Roger Alvey, we can soon expect him to be protesting his innocence; arguing he admitted nothing and did none of the things alleged; and that he only agreed to admit to untrue things to stop the lawsuit. But the court record in this case is open for all to see. No documents are under seal. It took a solid year from start to finish, but the public record in this case is replete with evidence showing Roger Alvey was the man behind Cameron Elizabeth Swindells Jordan, capped by his admissions and his signature.


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