Saturday, June 27, 2020

Litigation Update: General District Motions Court and Other Legal News



Motions court was today for the case involving the diocese, Bishop Goff, and the parish was today. The results were a mixed bag.

On the plus side, we had an extensive discussion about Bob Malm’s perjury, the diocese’s willingness to turn a blind eye to Bob Malm’s perjury and lies, and the fact that Bishop Goff and other church officials now want to argue the “sleeping beauty” defense. The church is all about welcome, inclusion, and the Way of Love—so what’s a little perjury among friends?

On the down side, Judge Haddock clearly did not understand the tort of abuse of process. In Bob Malm’s case, the key element is not Bob’s perjury. Rather, it is his attempt to use the protective order process as a strategic lawsuit against public participation, or SLAPP. That said, because it is not unusual for plaintiffs to have improper or mixed motives when bringing a lawsuit, the tort requires more — it requires a showing of an act not proper in the ordinary course of the proceedings.

In Bob’s case, the improper acts include, most notably, his perjury. In addition, they include his improper withholding of evidence harmful to his case during discovery, his misuse of process in Pennsylvania, and more.

The outcome was that the court sustained the church and diocese’s demurrer, but granted leave to amend my pleadings. That said, I don’t know that it’s worth the time and effort to further pursue things at the general district court.

In terms of next steps, my plan is to appeal to the circuit court, although I may file a motion for reconsideration in the meantime.

On other fronts, I transferred the defamation cases against Lindsey Anders and Leslie Malm to circuit court. Also, I met Bob’s attorney, Wayne Cyron, who seems like a genuinely good guy. I told him I have no objection to a change of venue in the suit against Kelly Gable, but will oppose a change of venue for the cases against Lindsey and Leslie. And I am working to finish up my pleadings for leave to amend to include Bob Malm’s defamation.

For the record, I am far from done. And in just a few weeks we’ll have the hearing in the Pennsylvania case.

Stay tuned! And when you hear Bishop Goff bloviating about the “way of love,” just remember: Perjury is okay.

Just don’t get convicted.