Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Eva Temple was a quality analyst at the IRS with a serious anger management problem. After harassing and threatening her landlord, Temple was arrested. She was abusive to the arresting officers and threatened them with audits. Then, when the IRS fired her for unrelated reasons, she left threatening voice mail messages for the person responsible for terminating her. Temple was charged with acting under color of law to threaten the officers with audits and with forcibly intimidating the IRS decisionmaker, and the jury convicted on both counts.
After the verdicts, the district court ordered a judgment of acquittal on Count 1, and both parties appealed. The Second Circuit concludes that the lower court got it entirely wrong: it should have let the verdict on Count 1 stand but should have entered an acquittal on Count 2. Forcible intimidation requires an immediate threat of harm, whereas there was no evidence here that Temple intended to take immediate action on her threat that she was "gonna f–k up" the recipient of her voice mail....