Mario M. Blanch, Esq. Overturns Harassment Conviction on Appeal


Mario Blanch defended the First Amendment rights of Defendant, Ms. Kathryn Riviello. Ms. Riviello is an animal rights activist who defends the rights of all animals to live freely and safely.  At a Ridgefield Town Hall meeting, Ms. Riviello filmed an individual who is seeking to oppress the rights of animals, specifically cats.

Ms. Riviello asked the woman why she dislikes cats and filmed the interaction.  The woman proceeded to file a harassment charge against Ms. Riviello.

The Office of Mario Blanch, using expert cross-examination was able to establish that the “victim” was often at town hall meetings and was a public presence at Town Hall meetings.  Despite, presenting a strong case, the Municipal Court Judge ruled against Ms. Riviello and found Ms. Riviello guilty of harassment.

Undeterred by an erroneous ruling, Mario M. Blanch, Esq. filed an appeal with the Superior Court to vindicate his client’s rights.  Our office showed the Superior Court that the “victim” was a limited public figure and had no right to privacy at a Town Hall meeting.  The Superior Court Judge ruled in Ms. Riviello’s favor and overturned the Municipal Court, finding Ms. Riviello “not guilty” of harassment.