I now have a hard copy of the $20,000 judgment that neighborhood leader Michael "Kip" Browne won against Peter "Spanky Pete" Rickmyer, a frivolous litigant whose garbled court filings have long been the bane of the Jordan Neighborhood in North Minneapolis, and beyond. I do not yet have a PDF copy of the judgment. When I can get one of those, I will share it.
An actual fat monetary judgment against Rickmyer represents a turning point in the battle against Rickmyer's one-man-war-via-frivolous-court-filings against decent people in North Minneapolis, as I discussed (in a rather creative way) in my previous blog post, click here.
The December 13 judgment makes clear Rickmyer not only richly deserves to pay $20,000 but...
The way I read the order and attached memorandum, the judge may have been willing to grant as much as $36,925.00 in attorney fees, but Browne's attorney only requested $20,000. A total of $61,250.00 in attorney fees were actually expended. That's just for Michael Browne. There are other defendants, including this blogger.
Yes, I should mention something about that. A key portion of the memorandum attached to the order discusses a letter sent by my attorney, Paul Godfread, on my behalf.
On October 10, 2012, Paul A. Godfread, attorney for Defendant John Hoff, sent a letter to the Court questioning the efficacy of the removal (to federal court) and expressing his concern that Plaintiff filed the Notice of Removal to avoid an award of attorney fees.
On October 12, 2012, the Court issued an Order Regarding Removal to Federal Court ("Removal Order"). The Removal Order directed Plaintiff to clarify whether he intends to pursue this action in federal court while noting that, in any event, the Court would "retain jurisdiction over Defendant Michael Browne's pending application for an award of attorney fees." With the issuance of the Removal Order, the record was closed, and Defendant Browne's application for attorney fees was submitted.
In the great courtroom tournament of The People vs. Spanky Pete, I feel like Paul Godfread should get credit for an "assist" on Browne's victory.
The court noted the hours spent by Browne's attorneys and their hourly rates are quite reasonable, "particularly in light of the voluminous Complaint and the host of issues underlying Browne's motion to dismiss." In a footnote, the court noted the voluminous pile of crap in question (I paraphrase the Honorable Court) was 47 pages long and contained 289 paragraph.
The Honorable Court did not express outrage for the trees. That's a job for bloggers.
A footnote to the order mentions Spanky's objection to paying Browne's attorney fees "based on (Spanky's) speculation that the fees are being paid by an insurance company rather than Browne." The court answered the fee-shifting provision in the anti-SLAPP statute does not require "that the fees be paid by the moving party in his individual capacity."
How Spanky (who appears to live off public assistance) will pay these fees is quite a mystery. Stay tuned in the months, nay, YEARS to come.