What First Amendment? Broward Clerk of Courts Brenda Forman Accuses Blogger of Stalking.





Thumbing her nose at the First Amendment, Clerk of the Courts Brenda Forman filed a stalking complaint against a well-known courthouse blogger William (Bill) Gelin.

A lawyer who operates the JAABlog, Gelin was accused of following her around the Courthouse while he tried to talk to her and take her picture.

Since when is that a crime? Isn’t interviewing and taking pictures what bloggers do?


Bill Gelin 


“He has violated my rights as a Public Servant to the courts by harassing and following me throughout the facility,” Forman wrote in the complaint. 


Forman wants a judge to prohibit Gelin from coming within 500 feet of her.

The Clerk’s complaint against Gelin comes after she used the courts in a futile effort to snatch her ex-husband Howard Forman’s pension and savings. 

“This is the second frivolous law suit she has filed,” a courthouse source opined to Browardbeat.com.  

Forman also filed a complaint with the Florida Bar against Gelin.  

The bad blood started in October, according to the stalking complaint and sources.

Gelin approached Forman and her top aide Diane Diaz with a question about a case involving one of his clients. 

Gelin referred to Forman during the discussion as “Brenda.” 

“She is ‘Madam Clerk,’” interjected Diaz, who is the wife of Broward County Judge Bob Diaz, a target of Gelin’s blog.

After the exchange with Diaz and Forman, Gelin attempted to take a picture of the clerk. 

So it began.


Brenda Forman


“I stated you cannot take a picture of me and I turned quickly towards the opposite direction,” Forman recounts in her complaint. 

When Gelin attempted to follow Forman, she asked a court deputy “to intervene,” the complaint states. 

Forman was forced to enlist other court deputies to block Gelin when he tried to talk to her or take her picture on other occasions, her complaint states.

“Mr. Gelin has gotten into my face on several occasions trying to intimidate me and to provoke me into violence. He has no respect for anyone,” her complaint concludes. 


Reading the complaint one might believe Gelin behaved like a paparazzi who stalked celebrities.  

Not true. 

Although the author of an often-combative blog criticizing judges and others, Gelin is a greying lawyer in a suit wielding nothing more than an iPhone. 

And Forman apparently doesn’t understand that asking questions and taking pictures are protected under the First Amendment. Paparazzi are protected. So are bloggers like Gelin. 

Nothing Gelin is accused of in Forman’s complaint is illegal. Nothing justifies clogging the court with ridiculous allegations.

Brenda, you are a public elected figure. If you can’t stand the scrutiny of folks like Gelin, you need to find another line of work.

What makes this case even worse is that the stalking law was designed to protect victims of domestic violence. For a political figure to use that law to restrain a blogger is a disgrace.  

Meanwhile, the office Forman were elected to run is a mess, Browardbeat.com was told.  Case files have gone missing. Some members of the staff are accused of rudeness. Etc. 

Is this another case of the voters electing someone who clearly can’t do the job? 

Exhibit one: Brenda Snipes, the recently departed Supervisor of Elections

Exhibit two: Brenda Forman, who still plagues us.

This latest Forman fight in the courts has taught us a few lessons:

(1)  Brenda Forman, or as she prefers “Madam Clerk,” needs to grow a thicker skin.

(2)  Brenda Forman  needs to spend more time running her office.

(3)  Brenda Forman needs remedial lessons in the Constitution, starting with the First Amendment.

13 Responses to “What First Amendment? Broward Clerk of Courts Brenda Forman Accuses Blogger of Stalking.”

  1. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    In 60 plus years dealing with historical research in County Clerks’ offices across the US I HAVE NEVER SEEN OR HEARD OF A FEMALE CLERK OF THE COURTS REFERRED TO AS ‘MADAME CLERK”.

    THE TERM MADAME BEFORE AN OFFICIAL TITLE IS LINITED TO CABINET SECRETARIES, SPEAKERS OF LOWER HOUSES OF LEGISLATURES in English Speaking Countries. I have heard informally of Prime Ministers referred to as “Madame Prime Minister” because a Cabinet Minister is equivalent to a State n Federal Cabinet Secretary. I suggest tbe County Clerk’s Assistant learn English.

  2. Las Olas Lawyer says:

    This is a woman who has inflated views of her own importance. She’s a loser who exploited her husbands good name and then tried to take his money.

  3. Just Saying says:

    “Madam Clerk” is a foolish and fake title. If it was real, male clerks (including her ex-husband and Bob Lockwood) would be referred to as “Mister Clerk.” Never once has that occurred. “Madam Clown” would be a more appropriate title if she continues to insist upon using a made-up title … albeit one that better fits the current incumbent.

    As for Gelin, he may be a jackass … but the first amendment exists to protect jackasses too.

  4. Thomas Tooger says:

    Judges should appoint their own chief clerk.

  5. A reader says:

    Both Brendas suffer from illusions of grandeur.

  6. The Long Black Robe (ret) says:

    Gelin’s blog is obnoxious with endless FAKE comments by people who appear to be mentally ill, including a former judge who was unmasked recently in the Sun-Sentinel.
    He still is covered by the First Amendment and common sense. What happened to the phrase “sticks and stones can hurt my bones, but words an never harm me.”?

  7. Zowie says:

    So who was the mentally ill judge?

  8. Beth says:

    The day I went for jury duty she came out to introduce herself and said “I am Brenda Forman. That Brenda Forman. Yes, I really do exist.” Her office then proceeded to mess up the jury pool for the day and had to toss 25% of the potential jurors called on that day for an attempted murder trial. Good job that Brenda Forman.

  9. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Another debacle caused by Broward Democrats electing incompetents and worse. And the machine keeps churning them out.

  10. Blogger Posers says:

    I struggled with this one. I think that Brenda Forman should be called to account for her performance at the polls and not have someone following her around with a cell phone. There is no legitimate journalistic purpose here. It’s just another irresponsible Blogger engaging in sensationalism. The problem with the situation these days is that Bloggers are not capitalized and have no meaningful exposure for their conduct. Whatever they write or do gets posted on the Internet wantonly destroying peoples reputations and families. When they are proven wrong no retractions or apologies are ever forthcoming. They just move on to the next piece of red meat. Having personally been victimized by this kind of behavior, the idea that bloggerism gets equated to journalism just makes me sick. I sincerely hope that Ms. Forman is not re-elected, but that does not mean that we should put up with this sort of circus behavior by Mr. Gelin.

  11. Just Saying says:

    Sorry, Charlotte. There is no more “Democratic machine” in Broward. You’ve been away from here for too many years. Yes the Democrats totally dominate Broward in registration and voting, but there hasn’t been a functioning machine in years. The condos are dead as a primary powerhouse, the old condo bosses are literally long dead. It is now just chaos. Anyone runs, anyone can win (particularly wealthy self-funders).

    As for Forman, her name helped a bit but the real reason she won was that she was the lone black candidate in a multi candidate primary, and blacks are roughly 40% of the countywide vote these days in a Broward Democratic August primary. That’s just math.

  12. paper pusher says:

    I file maybe a thousand papers a year with the Broward clerk and rarely if ever run into a snag…the staff is friendly…things no longer are getting lost so I’ve got no complaints

  13. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    No one cares about government except people who get or want something. Same thing in the coin n stamp clubs here – dominated by boards of small time dealers who use them n their shows to buy cheap n sell out of town. BROWARD HAS NO DISINTERESTED COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS EITHER IN POLITICS OR CULTURE/ARTS.