“And next time, follow the damn rules.”
Federal Judge Charles Shaw ruled today that the hundreds of pages submitted by John C. “Jonathon” Burns on behalf of his client, Chuck C. Johnson, over the weekend be stricken from the record, and gave them until midnight Thursday to refile.
In his six-page ruling [see below for text], Shaw painstakingly reviews the filing requirements of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri for Burns, who practices in … Missouri.
Johnson is suing Gawker Media and two writers for Gawker, claiming libel and defamation, and is asking for $66 million in damages. Gawker responded with two motions: to strike the complaint under anti-SLAPP statutes and to either dismiss the suit or move it to a court in either New York or California.
Burns and Johnson asked for and received four extensions to file their response, culminating in an 11-th hour data dump beginning late Friday: a 111-page response and 800 pages of exhibits, including an affidavit by Johnson stating (in part) that he had never defecated on a floor or had sex with anything other than a human being.
Both statements are central to his complaint against Gawker, which had published stories about allegations of floor pooping and sheep raping, concluding that neither had any basis in fact.
Judge Show was apparently unimporessed by the boys’ all-nighter, and told Burns in detail what he did wrong and how he should refile to follow the court’s strict guidelines.
Plaintiffs (Johnson and his company Got News LLC) now have to file two separate motions, each not more than 20 pages long, each one addressing Gawker’s separate motions. All exhibits and attachments must be submitted separately, with a note on each one summarizing its contents and relevancy to the motions.
In other words, Burns and Johnson have a ton of work to do still.
Courtesy of Adam Steinbaugh, who like us is watching this slow-motion trainwreck from a safe distance, here is the judge’s ruling.