Yesterday was another bad day in court for Susan Henderson. Having just recently lost in her legal imbroglio with Katina Dunn over the dissolution of Deuxamis Publishing, Inc. (something that resulted in a settlement involving $10s of thousands of dollars in penalties plus the loss of the right to the storied Sierra Madre name "Observer"), Susan again returned to those hallowed halls of judgement in hopes of having any and all information from the trial legally suppressed by the Superior Court of the State of California. Susan apparently feeling that in her case the findings of this court were something not to be shared with the public as is usually the case in free societies. Quite obviously the Founding Fathers would not have been amused.
But what could very well have been a dramatic day in court went south rather quickly for the peppery and purposeful publisher. According to several eyewitnesses (who phoned The Tattler with their exclusive reports), the Judge sent out a Research Attorney to deal with Ms. Henderson's issues. This Court employed lawyer then gathered together the few immediately concerned and quickly ushered them out into the hall for a little heart to heart. A five minute conversation ensued, after which all returned to the courtroom. At which time this Research Attorney informed the visibly crestfallen Ms. Henderson and all who cared to listen that the trial was already over and that there was absolutely nothing more to be done here.
And that was it. As one eyewitness to the event later put it to me, "They basically told her it was finished."
Now in her preparation for this non-event, Ms. Henderson, once again acting as her own attorney, prepared a 7 page document detailing what she felt were the reasons why this Court should put the kibosh on all the evidence and findings from the Deuxamis Trial and hide them someplace dark and forbidding. That is, if she could have gotten the Court to listen. And I do have in my hands a copy of this extraordinary document. I won't post all of it here today, but will pull out a couple of salient phrases that I found to be somewhat interesting.
"Comes now Defendant Henderson to this court requesting the following extraordinary relief."
I like that language! Comes now Defendant Henderson to this court. The only thing missing was a "Hear Ye" or two. Comes now Sir Eric to this Mac to write stuff for his blog. And then Ms. Henderson continued:
"1. Defendant preys to this court for an order prohibiting Plaintiff and/or her attorneys and other representatives from disseminating information obtained via Form and Special Interrogatories."
Now I am no lawyer, though I do hold a B.A. in History from an obscure New Jersey State College sometimes snidely referred to as "The Harvard on the Highway." And even I know that one never "preys to this court." Prey is something the lion is about to turn into a rump roast. Do you think it wise to call the Judge a rump roast? I don't. You'd assume that a Berkeley educated attorney would have known that. There are five requests for "orders prohibiting," and all of them use the sadly inappropriate "preys."
Then comes this rather perilous statement:
"I, H. Susan Henderson, am the Defendant in the above referenced matter and declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California, that the following is true and correct."
And in the very first statement after this perjury bit she shares the following:
"Information was leaked to the Sierra Madre Mayor who announced at a televised Council Meeting that the City of Sierra Madre should be hesitant to continue its contract with the Mountain Views-Observer because he had received information that an 'adverse ruling against the paper' had been made that would effect the contractual relationship between Grace Lorraine Publications, Inc., owner of the MVO and the City of Sierra Madre."
You know, for Susan's sake it was probably a good thing that the Court refused to deal with this document because, as anyone who witnessed the City Council meeting in question can tell you, that is one big old stinking heap of hoot she's peddling.
There are 5 other hopelessly reasoned attempts here at explaining why the Court should suppress the details and findings of this trial, and in them the words "blog" and "internet" are used 4 times. I can only wonder what that is all about. Maybe Susan will take some comfort in knowing that Sarah Palin doesn't much like blogs, either.
You know, I am starting to believe that Susan Henderson is really upset about there being some new competition in town. And I am beginning to think that what this is really all about is her apparent belief that being the publisher of the Mountain Views Observer somehow affords her the privilege of having a monopoly on the dissemination of information here, and that anybody not sharing in this leap of faith is somehow engaged in a conspiracy to discredit her. And that she actually thought senior California Superior Court officials would join her in this is, well, just not reality based.
An unfettered press is important, and that is why free speech is a cherished and Constitutionally protected right in this country. Competition in the news marketplace is how ideas are tested and strengthened, and in the end only the people can decide what information is truly worthy of them. Courts were not put here to help individuals hide information that they find inconvenient, but rather to help preserve our precious freedoms. Case closed.