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Rally lawsuit plaintiffs look to have defendant jailed again after he failed to appear for deposition

Plaintiffs in a longstanding Unite the Right rally lawsuit are looking to have defendant Elliott Kline arrested after he failed to appear for a deposition.

The federal Sines v. Kessler case, filed on behalf of a slew of Charlottesville-area residents against organizers and participants of the deadly 2017 rally, is headed for a multi-week trial in October. One of the defendants — Kline, aka Eli Mosley — repeatedly has run afoul of lawsuit requirements and was fined and briefly jailed for contempt of court earlier this year.

According to a motion to compel filed earlier this month, Kline similarly has failed to show up for his deposition with plaintiffs’ counsel. Kline is a “critical figure” to the conspiracy alleged, according to the filing.

After failing to appear for his virtual July 2 deposition, plaintiffs’ counsel attempted to contact him by phone, text and email, to no avail, according to the motion. Because of Kline’s history with non-compliance, counsel for the plaintiffs has requested a bench warrant be issued to hold Kline in custody until his deposition can be held.

“Plaintiffs have been forced to waste precious time and resources only to have Kline flout his obligations to plaintiffs and the Court,” the filing reads. “In light of Kline’s long history of noncompliance and nonparticipation in this case absent the threat of arrest and jail time, plaintiffs do not believe that Kline will appear for his virtual deposition without the Court’s assistance.”

Neither Kline nor the court has responded to the motion since it was filed July 3.

Another recent motion from plaintiffs’ counsel takes issue with defendant Jason Kessler’s request to depose two law clerks.

In earlier motions, Kessler requested the clerks be recused from the suit, accusing them of being friends with plaintiff Elizabeth Sines and conspiring against him and other defendants.

Last month, Judge Norman K. Moon denied Kessler’s motion as moot, writing that clerks had disclosed their connection to Sines early in the case and never assisted on the case.

In a July 7 motion, counsel for the plaintiffs argues that the defendants should not be allowed to depose the clerks, describing the request as “highly unusual and invasive.”

“The Law Clerks have already been recused and there is no basis in law to impute the Law Clerks’ supposed conflict to the Court,” the motion reads. “Further, the Court should lend no credence to any contention that the depositions are warranted because one of the Law Clerks might offer some marginally relevant fact testimony.”

The motion also has not yet been addressed by the court.


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