The following was originally written as a comment, but I think it deserves its own page. So I asked the author, who Nicole refers to as my “little lawyer friend, if it could be reproduced here. She agreed.
I present Lisa Luthi as a guest blogger on what is involved in a civil lawsuit.
Please note that all of the following is my opinion and is not to be construed as legal advice. AKA “don’t try this at home.” Think of this comment as an incomplete, quasi-tongue-in-cheek, potential outline of what civil lawsuits can be like.
Has anyone kept a list of all the people, agencies, counties and states that Nicole and Joe have said they are suing? It seems every week they add to the list. “The lawsuit papers are all filled out,” or something like that.
At an approximate $225 for filing fees and service per lawsuit the initial minimal costs can add up. It would appear from their statements that they have now entered their “litigation phase” and rather than spend time with their family, building their homestead, business or bridges with their community, they are going to spend the next several years purposefully and voluntarily gracing the courthouses of the commonwealth instituting and involved in what I believe are frivolous and wrongly motivated lawsuits.
It would seem that rather than using funds to improve the family situation they intend to expend those funds instead on chasing after their perceived “enemies” or anyone they imagine has wronged them be it based in reality or self-delusion. Priorities, I suppose. It may very well be time for me to look up who owns Hardee’s and buy some stock.
Might I suggest that some kind and gullible person Amazon gift them (don’t forget to use the affiliate program for the Sheriff’s Children’s Ranch-send a kid to camp please) a copy of Kentucky Rules Of Civil Procedure (approx. $400) and Kentucky Rules of Court (approx. $200).
They will most probably need several thousand dollars worth of gift cards for the printer company for all the screenshots they think they will need.
Hint: in circuit court you have to provide the copies to the court and opposing counsel of any evidence that you are allowed to submit. So triplicates of each screenshot if not more.
Hint: that “evidence allowed to submit” phrase is a loaded statement. That’s where the book regarding civil procedure comes in. Not quite as cut and dry as criminal law, civil procedure involves some pretty complicated concepts and a ton of cross referencing.
Hint: the costs of a lawsuit can be found in the copy room, man power, in expert testimony, private investigators, forensic accountants, court reporters for depositions, in all kinds of expenses that far exceed the paltry filing fees.
Hint: information that had heretofore been confidential or protected under other laws may become part of the lawsuit record and available to the public.
Might I suggest a careful perusal of the rules regarding authentication, discovery and hearsay.
Hint: playing a partial audio tape from your phone doesn’t cut it. Refusing to provide documents such as tax returns, bank statements, financial books, etc because you haven’t done them or don’t have them doesn’t cut it.
Hint: due to the ease of forging or “manipulating” evidence the law is rather persnickety about proper authentication. I can assure you that authenticating screenshots is not a cheap affair as even with a deep discount this has cost me a pretty penny during this kerfuffle and the company I hired has barely scratched the surface.
While Mr or Mrs “Kind and Gullible” are at it might I also suggest they gift any number of books regarding judgements and collecting judgements. Also a perusal of KRS Chapter 427 might be a good start.
While one might think that they have nothing to lose because they think they are judgement proof few people actually are. Unless they are willing to own absolutely nothing of any value, that is not exempt per the rules, into their dotage, or have an ownership or potential ownership interest in any real property, own a car that isn’t a beater, work or have a business (please see piercing the corporate veil and other relevant law) during the lengthy period that a judgement is collectible, nor have any bank accounts, PayPal, square, gofundme or any other for a number of years.
In Kentucky a judgement is good for 15 years, but then it can be renewed. It can be legally moved to another county or state following the debtors. Garnishments (KRS 425), attachments and judgement liens (KRS 426) , oh my.
Bankruptcy (see Federal law) has morphed over the years and is no longer the “get out of jail free card” too many think it is. Imagine every penny that comes your way having to be paid into the court and then the court paying your obligations. Many people simply fail at following through on a bankruptcy.
So yes, legally, you can get blood from a turnip for years and years if you are motivated enough.
Let us also not forget some fun legal concepts such as contempt, sanctions and punitive damages. A jury of your peers isn’t what you would think it is, imo. Either party can call any and all witnesses for deposition and trial if their testimony relates to the lawsuit at hand.
Of course there is that pesky thing call cross examination. Often where the wheat is separated from the chaff. The burden of proof far exceeds that which one would provide to a hand picked Facebook audience.
Also I’d like to note that attorney fees and collection costs are recoverable, and the interest rate on a judgement was 12 percent the last time I looked.
Last but not least, should the plaintiffs somehow manage to prevail on whatever causes of action they are trying to cook up, imo, in any of the myriad lawsuits threatened there is the question of provable, properly documented and legally recoverable damages. A rather high bar to hurdle, imo, when you seek the limelight only to find that you have made yourself infamous.