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Rally lawsuit defendant again found in contempt, fined

An organizer of the 2017 Unite the Right rally was again found in civil contempt of court on Monday and fined for his continued failure to comply with previous federal court orders in the discovery phase of a lawsuit against him and other organizers of the deadly rally.

Last month, Elliott Kline, a.k.a. Eli Mosley, was found in civil contempt of court for not providing a slew of discovery requests. He was given until Dec. 2 to comply or risk incurring a $200 fine for each day he was not in compliance, as well as potential jail time.

Despite these threats, Kline did not properly comply and gave a variety of reasons Monday for why he had not met the requirements.

Specifically, counsel for the plaintiffs took issue with Kline not providing credentials for two email accounts, a declaration under oath that he lacks credentials for any relevant social media accounts, and incompletely answering interrogatory documents, which are questions answered under oath that are used in civil cases to narrow trial issues.

As in previous hearings, both telephonic and in person, Kline claimed he did not have access to several email and social media accounts the plaintiffs had requested. Because he used burner email accounts to set up several Twitter accounts, Kline said he did not know the credentials needed to access them.

“I believe I’ve done as much as I can,” he said.

Kline, who is currently representing himself, appeared confused by much of the process, including having to sign under oath that the documents and interloculatories he was submitting were accurate.

During cross examination, counsel for the plaintiffs walked Kline through a list of discovery requirements he had been ordered to comply with following the Nov. 25 hearing. One by one, Kline admitted to not meeting any of the requirements by the Dec. 2 deadline.

Following cross examination, U.S. District Judge Norman K. Moon asked Kline why he had only submitted a single document related to planning the rally. Kline said that during his search of the emails he had access to, it was the only document he had, as much of the planning had been done by individual groups and through the Discord app.

“We weren’t a professional organization, so a lot of the planning and stuff was decentralized,” he said.

Following a brief recess, Moon ruled that Kline was still in contempt of court, having not purged himself of contempt in the three weeks since ordered to do so.

“The court is troubled by the amount of time [Kline] took to start purging himself of contempt — it took him more than 10 days from the last hearing to start trying to comply,” the judge said.

Moon fined Kline $600 for the three days it took him to begin responding after the Dec. 2 deadline. Additionally, Moon ordered Kline to report to the U.S. Marshal’s Office at noon on Jan. 6, where he is to remain until he properly completes his discovery requirements.

“The only person who can tell you not to be here is me,” Moon said. “Only a written order from me can tell you otherwise; nothing else.”

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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