Acton v Goodman: Judge Rules On Amended Complaint

In breaking #LARPwars news, there’s some good news for George Webb’s brother today. Pundits like Defango and Marcus Conte reported with glee that his case in the Southern District of New York had been tossed out of court for being a “ridiculous conspiracy theory“, and that if Dave dared to re-file he would be hit with expensive sanctions. Dollar figures for this were even discussed.

I told you that was #FakeNews and in fact the judge had invited George Webb’s brother to re-file his complaint and had helpfully outlined for Dave some of the specific things she was looking for.

Judge Valerie Caproni obviously felt that Dave’s 2nd Amended Complaint was just fine, because she has ordered the case to move to Pre-Trial discussions under Magistrate Judge Stewart D Aaron.


Here’s the full 2nd Amended Complaint:


Last week I did a quick video discussing the case:

Thanks to Lift the Veil for promoting this post and reminding me that Marcus Conte went so far as to directly contact the Judge in this case giving her information about Dave Acton and accusing him of wasting the Court’s time – while simultaneously demanding that the Judge watch his hour+ YouTube video.

Conte also tried to report Acton to the FBI. They said they get a lot of crazy people trying to call them reporting stuff like this.

In response, Dave Acton wrote at his blog covering this case that he had reported Marcus Conte to the FBI for intervening in a Federal Court matter.

Dave Acton has also sent a letter to Jason Goodman, copying the Court, seeking his support in a Temporary Restraining Order against Marcus Conte and Denise Matteau, aka Truth Convoy.


This case is also being covered at Tracking The Leopard Meroz:

Previous coverage:

LARP Wars Part 1 – Proliferation of Lawfare

LARP Wars Part 2 – Moving the Goalposts

Acton v Goodman – Judge Invites Plaintiff to Re-File

Acton v Goodman – Affidavit for Disqualification SDNY

Acton v Goodman – Monkey Business

Acton v Goodman Was Charleston Dirty Bomb Hoax an FBI Operation?

Steele v Goodman 159, 160, 161

Acton v Goodman – Judge Rules, Off to New York

Dave Acton Sues Jason Goodman

Insane in the Ukraine – J.Go Like You’ve Never Seen Him Before

Insane in the Ukraine Part 2 – The Spin Begins

Jason Goodman’s Conspiracy Theory

Jason Goodman, Religious Victim?

CryptoBeast #16 – Queen Tut Spills the Beans

CryptoBeast #2 – #Clownsource The #Peabody

Quinn Michaels “Burning Man Sits on Top of a Massive Underground City”

Short Bus Physics with Quinn and J.Go

ReverseCSBS Investigation: David Hawkins

Anti-Burner Judge Gets Spanked by Appeals Circuit for the SEVENTH Time

0511-0709-0620-2149_Judge_With_His_Gavel_clipart_imageBurning Man announced today they won their appeal. Burners were left scratching their heads, without Propaganda Czar Will Chase there to put the usual spin on things. What does it all mean? Who’s suing whom? And will this affect ticket prices?

Here is the full text of the ruling. And here’s a summary in one paragraph:

Basically, Pershing County wanted Burning Man to pay for their police presence. BMOrg said no, we pay the Feds, we pay Washoe. Pershing said pay up, and we don’t like nudity around children. Burning Man said “fuck you! free speech! We demand nudity!” and sued Pershing. Pershing responded by making life very difficult for Burners, partnering with the Feds for an unprecedented police crackdown. Sniffer dogs were brought in from the Mexican border. This was the beginning of “we’ll pull you over for the slightest thing and the dogs will search your car”. Burners were understandably pissed. Some of the more vocal DPW crew formed a group called RIOT and threatened to strike. BMOrg decided that maybe they should just pay the extra hundred grand or so to the cops. They agreed a deal, and both parties took it to the judge. The judge went apeshit and threw it out of court, telling the prosecutor to go back to law school. Near the end, romors of a negligence and malpractice law firm in Chicago getting involved pro bono, but the case settled before it could get that far.  It seemed like it was all sorted it out, but it obviously wasn’t because of this appeal. The one judge sounds a little loco, and his Boss Judges in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seem to agree.


This has nothing to do with Burning Man’s other matter, objecting to the Live Entertainment Tax. So no effect on ticket prices. They will probably keep going up, and new things like Vehicle Passes and handling fees on Vehicle passes will be introduced to drive revenues further.

Here’s our previous commentary on what’s been going on in the case, in reverse chronological order. The headlines kind of speak for themselves:

Today’s coverage by Scott Sonner (AP) in the Sacramento Bee was much better than the BJ or Burning Man in-house reporter Jenny Kane’s sales pitch for Will’s job piece at the RGJ.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned another ruling by the same conservative federal judge in Nevada, criticizing his unorthodox handling of a Burning Man lawsuit and taking the extraordinary step of ordering him off a case for the fifth time in two years.

U.S District Judge Robert Clive Jones had no legal basis to reject a deal lawyers for Burning Man and Pershing County reached in 2013 to settle a dispute over security costs and First Amendment rights at the annual counter-culture celebration in the desert about 100 miles north of Reno, the appellate court ruled on Wednesday.

Jones — who recently shifted to senior status on the Reno bench — inappropriately mocked the lawyers during a hearing, accused both sides of malpractice, described one lawyer’s comments as “mealy-mouthed,” suggested another should return to law school and “noted his own laughter on the record,” the three-judge panel said.

“We have in the past expressed concern over the district’s court’s handling of a number of cases that have reached this court, and we unfortunately must do so again here,” Chief Circuit Judge Sidney Thomas wrote in a unanimous four-page memo issued Wednesday in San Francisco.

Thomas said in granting the Burning Man lawyers’ appeal that he was remanding the case back to district court and instructing Nevada’s chief U.S. district judge to assign the case to a different judge. He listed six cases in which the 9th Circuit reluctantly has issued similar orders involving Jones since 2012 — five in just the last two years.

Read the rest of the story at the Sac Bee.
Although the case has to go before a different judge again, given that both parties have agreed a settlement and are getting along swimmingly in the new integrated Tier 1 Unified Command and Control structure, that should be just a formality.
How can this Judge tell lawyers to “go back to law school” when he gets slapped down unanimously by the Appeals Court – 7 times in 4 years? He must have some powerful friends in the Wild West of Northern Nevada. Pantsless Santa tells me that Federal Judges are appointed for life, and it would be no surprise if one was part of the old boys network.

Masks in the Cibolo Creek hunting lodge, where Bohemian Grove spin-off the Order of St Hubertus hosted Burning Man-connected Judge Antonin Scalia's mysterious demise. Image: Wayne Madsen Report, via Fellowship of the Minds

Masks in the Cibolo Creek hunting lodge, where Bohemian Grove spin-off the Order of St Hubertus hosted Burning Man-connected Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s mysterious demise.
Image: Wayne Madsen Report, via Fellowship of the Minds

Judge Backs Off Pershing Roadblock: Deal is Done

Judge Jones in Reno, who said the settlement deal cut between Burning Man and Pershing County was “illegal, unenforceable and absurd“, and suggested the lawyers involved should go back to school – has issued a new ruling on the case. Once again, he’s accused both sides of collusion, fraud, breaking the law, and abuse of process. The judge also acknowledged that he lacks the jurisdiction to void the contract – maybe it was him who went back to law school? However, he is still trying to get the nudity in front of children shut down:

He ordered the federal case closed but not before he again accused both sides of collusion, fraud and an abuse of process, and repeated his concerns about exposing children to public nudity

judge_turn_off_cell_phone_240245The judge said that the settlement was illegal – but he passed it into law anyway.

In a typical display of BMOrg humility, Burning Man’s lawyers told the media “the judge’s ruling has no legal effect” (wow!)

Here’s the full story, from Associated Press

RENO (AP) — A federal judge who refused to affirm a settlement agreement between a Nevada county and Burning Man organizers because he says it is “illegal, unenforceable and absurd” has issued a new ruling declaring the county the winner in a First Amendment fight that both sides insist was over long ago.

Lawyers for Burning Man’s Black Rock City LLC and Pershing County say they settled their differences in October over a proposed ordinance governing the counterculture festival and had been asking U.S. District Judge Robert C. Jones since then to give their agreement his blessing.

Both sides said late Friday they believe the deal intended to head off a legal showdown over constitutional limits on obscenity remains intact without Jones’ endorsement. Burning Man’s lawyers consider the judge’s latest ruling to be moot, while the county continues to review any potential legal ramifications.

Jones, who dressed down both sides’ lawyers and accused them of fraud before refusing their most recent request in his Reno courtroom Nov. 29, acknowledged in the new written order earlier this week he lacks jurisdiction to void the contract.

He ordered the federal case closed but not before he again accused both sides of collusion, fraud and an abuse of process, and repeated his concerns about exposing children to public nudity at the festival in the Black Rock Desert about 100 miles north of Reno.

young drunk stupid judgeIn an unorthodox move, he also granted a motion the county had filed July 31 seeking approval of its right to enact an ordinance banning children from attending the event. And he renewed his sharp criticism of the county’s legal team’s willingness to negotiate a deal that he says ensures no such ban will take place under a new 10-year-law enforcement agreement.

The annual weeklong celebration of self-expression and eclectic art leading up to Labor Day draws 60,000 free spirits to the desert playa, where costumed characters perform guerrilla theater and dancers spin — sometimes sans clothes.

Black Rock City filed suit in 2012 arguing the county’s proposed ordinance would be unconstitutional if it banned children, or prohibited “obscene, indecent, vulgar or lewd exhibitions” protected under the First Amendment as free speech.

Jones said in his ruling on Monday the county should have stuck to his guns because he would have upheld their right to pursue such rules.

“BRC, in collusion with the county’s counsel, filed and prosecuted this contrived, pre-textual lawsuit in order to obtain its new and illegal agreement with Pershing County, and in doing so, committed a fraud on this court, Pershing County and the Nevada Legislature,” Jones wrote.

County counsel mimicked BRC’s charade, encouraging its client to settle on such obviously unfavorable and illegal terms,” he said. “It raises serious questions regarding the county’s decision to settle.”

Jones said the agreement implies the county cannot prevent minors from attending the event “even when state and local laws concerning child endangerment, child delinquency or child trafficking are implicated.”

Such a contract is obviously illegal and no court would enforce it,” he said.

Jones said he recognizes he lacks jurisdiction to void the contract but that he does have jurisdiction “to declare an abuse of process and the commission of fraud upon the court in the filing and prosecution of this federal action.” He also said the county could revive the case in state court.

Annette Hurst, a San Francisco lawyer for Burning Man, said Jones’ order has “no legal effect” and the contract “remains valid, binding and in full effect.”

“BRC has every intention of performing in accordance with its terms,” she said in an email to AP on Friday.

Pershing County District Attorney Jim Shirley said he has not taken an official position on the effect the order has on the agreement, but believes Hurst is correct.

“At present time, there is an agreement in place and the parties intend to comply with the agreement,” he said.

The “moral” of this story? Money trumps the judicial process, in Northern Nevada.

Now that the deal’s been done, Pershing County gets paid $$$ per Burner, and traffic concerns have supposedly  been addressed…don’t be surprised if we end up with a larger population cap this year.