Chuck C. Johnson Is Now Suing Gawker in California; Anti-SLAPP Here We Come
Cyberstalker and vexatious litigant Chuck C. Johnson has now filed suit against Gawker Media in California, walking right into an anti-SLAPP statute that’s likely to get him in deep financial trouble. He proudly announced it on Facebook (because he’s permanently banned from Twitter) with a picture of his receipt from the court.
Johnson probably rushed into this because the statute of limitations is expiring on the case, and his Missouri lawsuit is likely to be dismissed because it should never have been filed in Missouri in the first place.
His filing is below, courtesy of @AdamSteinbaugh, who points out that Johnson is actually filing this pro se, which means he’s representing himself — and a corporation cannot legally file a lawsuit without a lawyer. So right off the bat our boy Chuck is in trouble; if the anti-SLAPP motion goes against him (which it almost certainly will), he’ll be on the hook for all of Gawker’s by-now very expensive legal fees.
But if you read this, and you remember what Johnson filed in Missouri, you’ll notice that he simply copied and pasted almost the entire document from his Missouri filing, even leaving intact several sections that refer specifically to Missouri! For example:
13. Per Quantcast, Gawker Media has over one million unique Missouri readers.
16. Gawker has over a million readers in Missouri, as evidenced Quantcast data showing Gawker.com’s web traffic.
18. Further, Deadspin.com, a Gawker media property dedicated to sports, famously, viciously, repeatedly, and continuously, attacked the St. Louis Cardinals recently.
And then there’s paragraph 2, which is basically an outright lie:
“Plaintiff Charles C. Johnson has never before initiated a lawsuit for defamation.”
Right, except for the one he filed in Missouri. Oops.
And just as in his Missouri suit, Johnson is actually trying to argue that Gawker is not protected by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, because they’re a government actor. “Far-fetched” doesn’t even begin to describe this argument.