Hello, everyone. How was your day? I got to drive all across the state to sit in court and quietly listen to a little man call me a liar twice, and then drive back again.
Briefly, today’s hearing was strictly procedural. Richard Carrier filed a defamation lawsuit in the state of Minnesota against me, after the statute of limitations on such suits had passed. He had to argue that tolling the statute was a reasonable thing to do do.
He had sued a bunch of us in Ohio, and failed because the venue was inappropriate — none of us lived in Ohio, and he had only just moved there himself1. Ohio basically told him they weren’t going to let him move to their state for the purpose of suing a lot of random people in other states. He argued that because, while he was out of the statute of limitations for Minnesota, but was still within the statute of limitations for Ohio, where he was ineligible to sue me, we ought to pretend the part of Ohio law that defines when you can sue someone in Ohio ought to apply here in Minnesota, and that because he was busy suing us in his failed effort in Ohio, that ought to have stopped the clock for purposes of his Minnesota lawsuit. It was very twisty. It must be fun to pick and choose pieces of different state laws to cobble together a legal justification for doing whatever you want.
Our lawyer, Marc Randazza, argued that that rather defeated the purpose of Minnesota’s statute, and that there were good reasons to limit how far back you can go to fish up mean things someone said about you and sue them for it, and it opened the door to endless suits. How can you apply an Ohio law to Minnesota when Ohio has already been determined to not have jurisdiction?
Another excuse Carrier had was that I had displayed the post he was suing me for in a YouTube video, and that should count as resetting the clock on the defamation. That’s interesting, because it means he gets to silence me no matter what — any mention of my accusation means he gets to sue me again. He even said that: if this hearing rejects his tolling of the limitations, he’ll just refile another lawsuit based on the last time I mentioned his banning. Infinite harassment! Yay!
I also learned what he specifically objected to in that post. It was this paragraph, and specifically the mention of “persistent, obnoxious sexual behavior in defiance of specific requests that he cease”2.
Whoops! Guess I just reset his imaginary clock again!
Anyway, Randazza pointed out that everything I said was a statement of what I’d been told, that it was even backed up by documents that Carrier himself put in evidence (the emails between Carrier and Dadhaboy are clearcut examples of persistent obnoxiousness, for one thing). The whole suit is going to get thrown out eventually, so why not cut it short? The judge said that his role there was just to make a judgment on merits of his procedural argument, unfortunately. Which is fair, even if these procedural technicalities allow him to carry on his legal harassment indefinitely.
That’s where it all stands, unsatisfactorily. Randazza made his arguments that Minnesota limitations apply, Carrier made his that he gets to bring in Ohio law, there was some discussion of the contents of the suit that Carrier brought in in his own filing, and the judge said he’ll make a ruling when his workload permits, which may be months and months away. So we wait. If the judge agrees with my lawyer, we’re done, the lawsuit is thrown out. If the judge decides to let Carrier have his way, the process will linger on, we’ll have a trial and discovery and all those fun things which will drag the sleaze in Carrier’s history into the light. Both have their advantages — Randazza would love to bring this to trial on first amendment grounds — but I’d rather just have it over and done with.
It’s not over and done with yet.
1He accused me of lying when I said I thought he lived in Northern California, where he had been living up to something like a week or so of filing suit. I guess he thinks I should know where all the bloggers here are living all the time*, especially him, because he’s so special.
2He accused me of lying and making that up, that it was just my opinion. Nope. It’s what I was told when I asked his accusers. We’ve got the receipts. They’re in his own legal filings, actually.
*I don’t have a clue, mostly. I put the tracking devices in their heads, like I was supposed to, but I told them they had to change the battery every year, at the same time they changed them in their smoke alarms. Just stick the AAA battery in their right ear, positive end first. They keep screwing it up! Wrong ear, wrong way around, I suspect some are stuffing the battery in a different hole altogether.
Don’t forget our legal defense fund!