“Proper authorities” fail the victim as
Haberman wins legal battles
Phil Haberman’s petition for the domestic violence injunction contained 39 false statements, according to his ex-wife. They ranged from his accusation that she owned swords and a knife (she does not) to his statement that “she just went to Europe with her daughter” (she did not).
- Proof that Haberman was not currently in the Florida National Guard
- Military documents that Haberman had forged
- Military discharge documents, indicating “other that honorable” discharges
- Confirmation that Haberman had received $17,000 in excess military payments
- Proof that Haberman had taken $5,000 from another female victim
- Proof that Haberman’s wages were being garnished
- Letter from Haberman’s employer stating that he was a fraud
- Records of civil and criminal cases against Haberman in Florida
She never had the opportunity to present the documents into evidence.
Police and court cases
Judge Robert Bennett told Rhoad that she should take her problems with Haberman to “proper authorities.” She had been trying to do this. Her efforts were futile.
• Rhoad alleges that Haberman attempted to murder her by administering an intravenous solution. At the time, Haberman was stationed at Fort Bragg. She spent five months trying to get the military to address the situation before finding out it was a civilian police matter. Rhoad reported the incident to the Henderson, Nevada police. The police made some phone calls to investigate but no charges were filed.
• While Haberman was in the military, he was obligated to send his wife $519.30 per month as a basic allowance for housing (BAH) payment. Rhoad alleges that on one occasion Haberman stole the postal money order from her and cashed it. A California police department investigator requested an arrest warrant. However, a postal inspector said that because Haberman had purchased the money order, he could cash it, even though it had been made out to his wife.
• Rhoad appeared in Las Vegas municipal court for the civil disobedience charge related to the incident after her annulment hearing. The city attorney had no evidence other than the bailiff’s statement. Videotapes of the incident and the statement made by a witness in support of Rhoad’s innocence disappeared. But she could not afford to go to trial, so she cut a deal, agreeing to community service. Although she wants to file a personal injury suit against the bailiffs, she has not found an attorney willing to represent her without a retainer.
• Rhoad filed a civil suit in California small claims court for the $3,116 in back BAH payments that she says Haberman owes her. The theft of one of the payments occurred in California. The military acknowledged Haberman’s residency in California and frequently sent mail to Rhoad’s address. The case was dismissed because Haberman claimed he never lived in California.
• On September 11, 2006, Rhoad filed a motion to modify or dissolve the domestic violence injunction with the Sarasota County, Florida court. The motion was denied without a hearing on September 13, 2006.
Other women warned
In her Florida court testimony, Rhoad said she posted information about Haberman to warn other women about him. She has heard from women thanking her for the information. So has Lovefraud.
Lovefraud received the following e-mail in May, 2006:
Ha, too funny. He started IM’ing me on AOL. I KNEW he was a psycho, so I did some research and found your article. His AOL screen name is Forcreconmarine. Too funny, what a psycho; and YES, he does have a temper. Saw it come out when I declined his offer for a home cooked meal, with a request that I wear stockings, garters and stilettos. I said, “You’re looking for a prostitute buddy,” and blocked him. He is still on though-constantly!!!
More information about Phil Haberman
Media Law Resource Center The Media Law Resource Center keeps a list of libel and related lawsuits against bloggers. Scroll down to Florida: Haberman v. Rhoad.
Judge rules for con artist and against free speech Commentary about this case in the Lovefraud Blog.
Shutdown: A bitter breakup leads to a controversial blog and a challenge to the First Amendment. Creative Loafing, a weekly newspaper in Sarasota, Florida, write about the case, and how it was a likely violation of the First Amendment. Haberman filed a request for an injunction against Creative Loafing, accusing the newspaper of violating the restraining order that the judge issued. The newspaper is no longer published.