Patterico's Pontifications


Kimberlin Loses, Again

Filed under: Brad Friedman,Brett Kimberlin,General,Neal Rauhauser — Patterico @ 6:39 pm

This time, he lost an appeal of a court’s refusal to hold Seth Allen in contempt.

The brief background is that Kimberlin sued a man named Seth Allen, who failed to respond to the lawsuit and had a default judgment entered against him. Allen showed up for the damages portion, and the judge found no causation of injury to Kimberlin, awarding Kimberlin only nominal damages after a hearing in which Kimberlin told multiple lies under oath. Using those lies, Kimberlin obtained an injunction against Allen defaming him or interfering with his business. Then Allen returned to writing things about Kimberlin — things that were true, like saying he was a convicted terrorist — and Kimberlin tried to have Allen held in contempt.

As Aaron Walker explained last night, the judge rejected all that in short order. And then Kimberlin appealed.

Now Kimberlin has lost the appeal.

Aaron has the full story here.

16 Responses to “Kimberlin Loses, Again”

  1. Pwned!

    EC (b35c6b)

  2. If past is prologue then Seth Allen will probably “shoot his wife” tonight.

    scrubjay (e1558f)

  3. Alright, when is Kimberlin going to be declared a Vexious Litigant and barred from filing suits and charges?

    PCD (66bba0)

  4. @3 My question is what are the rules of accusing a person to be a Vexious Litigant.

    Kaitian (da9520)

  5. Kaitian, its dependent upon the civil procedure rules of the jurisdiction.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. From Aaron’s post, the decision appears to be a procedural one, and something of a slam dunk at that. The Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code — which appears (to me as a lawyer only admitted elsewhere, in Texas) to be the collected general Maryland procedural statutes that govern such important (but generalized) topics as whether and when one can appeal particular types of trial court decisions — doesn’t permit someone who’s sought a contempt order to appeal the denial of such an order.

    That Maryland law would so provide does not surprise me at all, and I suspect that many, perhaps most, other states’ courts would reach the same result. In general, one can only appeal “final orders” or “final judgments”; that general rule keeps the appellate courts from micromanaging and interfering in the trial courts’ proceedings unless and until an appeal does become ripe and proper, which (in general) is only after the trial judge has finished his job. But the denial of a motion to hold someone in contempt is not that kind of a final result: Typically, as here, there’s an underlying court order (such as a civil injunction, i.e., a trial judge’s order that someone do or refrain from doing something) that the alleged contemnor has violated. When such allegations are made — when someone moves to have the alleged violator held in contempt — a judge may conclude that there hasn’t yet been an adequate showing of the violation, but the judge does not thereby undercut or invalidate the underlying order. And it’s possible that on a different, later day, with more and/or stronger evidence, the same judge might indeed find that there has been contempt of court and therefore impose sanctions upon the contemnor (such as a fine or jail time). When and if that happens, Maryland (and all other American jurisdictions) would typically treat the contempt order (which grants the motion to hold the contemnor in contempt) as a final order that can be appealed.

    So: As Aaron observes at his site, Kimberlin was indeed wasting his time and money in this attempted appeal. But this shouldn’t be read as any sort of broad statement by the intermediate Maryland appellate court on the substantive issues in the case, whether factual or legal.

    It’s just the system working correctly, normally — which includes dismissing attempted appeals for which the relevant statutes don’t create appellate jurisdiction.

    Beldar (ddf4d1)

  7. he buzzes like a fridge, this Kimberlin – he’s like a detuned radio

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  8. @ scrubjay (#2 — 6/26/2012 @ 7:11 pm): Any rational person who’s even minimally alert to contextual clues would conclude, as I and surely most all of Patterico’s readers already have, that your use of quote marks around “shoot his wife” was intended to signal not a real violent act, but rather a SWATting attempt.

    Sadly, there are those who are deliberately and willfully blind to context or sarcasm, and who will mislead and even lie outright, even under oath or in court filings, to make a statement like yours look as if you meant those words literally.

    As our host and Aaron have already been reminded by very unpleasant events, when discussing these subjects, one has to be ever-vigilant and very aggressive in self-editing, in order to anticipate and root out the ways in which one’s words will be twisted by these abusers of truth and the legal system.

    Beldar (ddf4d1)

  9. Maybe for our next everyone blog about Kimberlin day, we could all link to Glenn Reynolds picture holding that .50 Browning rifle with the same “I won’t be moving to an undisclosed location” picture.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. (Even when one is ever-vigilant and very aggressive in self-editing, they’ll make stuff up anyway. But to the extent possible, it’s still best to deny them footholds on which to construct their latticeworks of lies.)

    Beldar (ddf4d1)

  11. My reference, for those not following it, is that Kimberlin put in his incoherent response to Worthing’s motion for modification of the order an exhibit that was Glenn Reynolds photographed with a .50 BMG rifle and a big grin on his face.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  12. my reference was to a radiohead song

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  13. Also: If one’s purpose for litigation is vexation (rather than justice), then one only cares about winning and losing at all to the limited extent that losing may affect one’s ability to continue playing games in that particular forum and proceeding.

    And that’s a pretty limited extent, precisely because our system and rules are (quite deliberately) structured to give everyone broad access to the justice system.

    The true Vexatious Litigant “wins” so long as he’s permitted to continue litigating.

    Beldar (ddf4d1)

  14. If is declared a vexatious litigant in MD, he has only 56 other states to try to use. Well, 55 because Texas has a new policy where if a judge finds a suit to be “without merit” the person plaintiff pays the legal fees of both parties. I don’t expect to see him filing anything in Texas.

    But he could move to DC and wear out his welcome there, then move to PA, etc.

    crosspatch (6adcc9)

  15. “…..he has only 56 other states to try to use.”

    “But he could move to DC and wear out his welcome there, then move to PA, etc.”

    Well, maybe by the time he’s worn out his welcome in the current 50 states there will be 7 additional states. :-)

    Brandon (d777af)

  16. I had this vision of Bill Clinton prosecuting Kimberlin for perjury and nailing him on every lie. Too much irony to hope for, I guess.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

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