The Witchfinder has been keeping an eye on Gjoni’s appeal. The deadline for Zoe Quinn to file her response (the ‘red’ brief) has passed earlier this week. The Witchfinder explains what that means.
A while back your author reported that in response to Eron Gjoni’s appeal, Zoe Quinn had filed to discharge the injunction against him. The relevant court case page is here (today archive here). There is another page for the case here. Just a reminder that Zoe Quinn’s real name has been cited as Chelsea van Valkenburg or Valkerburg and that is the name for her on the case.
The court had yet to make a decision on hearing the case at the time of my last article, and whilst Eron’s brief (the ‘blue’ brief) had been filed Quinn’s (the ‘Red’ brief) had not. It is worth remembering the criticisms levelled by lawyers such as Mike Cernovich against the way the lower court judge handled the case.
“1. Gjoni wasn’t allowed to even make a free speech argument to the court
2. Gjoni was not allowed to cross-examine Zoe Quinn, in violation of the law”
The deadline for Quinn to file was 14/09/2015 – or Monday. Your author gave it a few days as sometimes court clerks may be busy and be late entering documents on the computer system but there is still nothing showing.
Courts really have a problem with late papers. The reason for this is it wastes court time, is unfair on the other side and can affect scheduling of other parties. Whether in the UK or US there are sanctions for lateness to deter this. I looked up the Massachusetts rules of appellate procedure to see what those might be.
Turns out the deadline rules are here, and they say –
“(c) Consequence of Failure to File Briefs. If an appellant fails to file his brief within the time provided by this rule, or within the time as extended, an appellee may move for dismissal of the appeal. If an appellee fails to file his brief, he will not be heard at oral argument except by permission of the appellate court.”
The penalty is simple – if the court agrees to hear Gjoni’s appeal Quinn will be required to sit in silence and say nothing unless it gives her permission to extend time. Given the nature of Gjoni’s complaints and the way he was treated in the lower court, the Witchfinder finds this deliciously ironic.
Of course there is still a possibility the appeal court will simply decline to hear the appeal as moot – but if not the prospect of a silent Quinn glowering whilst distinguished first amendment lawyers queue up to destroy her case is the kind of thing that could tempt people to fly to Massachusetts to watch.
[EDIT – UPDATE 17/09/2015] – Interesting and cool update. The online court system has been updated, and Zoe Quinn has indeed filed an opposing brief – only a day late. Most likely it will be accepted and the appellate Court will allow her lawyer to speak.
However, this is a very revealing occurrence because it suggests there is a chance this will go to a full hearing. If I were an appellate judge I would want to hear it, not so much to support either side but so I could scrutinise the lower court judge for not hearing from Gjoni on the 1st Amendment issues nor allowing his lawyer to cross-examine Quinn.
Looks like this could go all the way.