An attorney representing the founder of a neo-Nazi website who is being sued by a Whitefish woman said in a new court briefing that his client is out of the country and pursued by a "phalanx of enemies," refuting a claim that he was spotted at an Ohio grocery store in December.
Jay Wolman, one of the Las Vegas-based lawyers representing The Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin, renewed his request that Tanya Gersh’s lawsuit be dismissed in a court filing on Thursday, reiterating the stance that Anglin is living abroad and outside of the court’s jurisdiction.
In April, Gersh filed a lawsuit against Anglin saying that in 2016 he told his followers to harass Gersh and her family over the Whitefish woman’s dealings with the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer.
In her suit, Gersh said Anglin bears responsibility for the hundreds of threatening messages she received in the following weeks.
Her attorneys — including those with the Southern Poverty Law Center — had difficulty formally serving Anglin with the lawsuit for months after it was filed because it was unclear where Anglin was living.
Gersh’s attorneys have maintained they believe Anglin is still living in Ohio, and a process server hired to find him said he found and followed a man he believed to be Anglin at an Ohio grocery store in December, according to court records. When he asked for the man’s name, he allegedly left the store quickly.
Anglin’s attorneys have requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, saying their client is not a resident of the United States, has lived out of the country for years with no intent to return and that therefore the court lacks jurisdiction over him.
In court filings, Anglin’s lawyers say their client moved to the Philippines eight years ago before heading to Greece and eventually Cambodia shortly after Gersh’s suit was filed.
On Thursday, Wolman submitted a brief saying the process server’s story about potentially locating Anglin lacks credibility.
“With activist organizations looking for him, plaintiffs chasing him, and the press searching for him, Mr. Anglin has taken great pains to keep his whereabouts a secret,” Wolman wrote.
He said it defied logic to think that, given Anglin’s secretive stance, the process server would find him shopping at the grocery store, which Wolman termed the “first place that this phalanx of enemies would begin looking for him.”
And if the server was so sure the man he pursued was Anglin, why didn’t he take a picture of him with his phone to provide some evidence he had in fact located the elusive neo-Nazi? Wolman wondered.
“(The process server) is either lying or incompetent,” Wolman wrote.
Wolman said the same process server also “went so far as to stalk” another of Anglin’s attorneys who had recently been in Ohio for a “wholly unrelated case,” in an attempt to locate Anglin.
Last week, a U.S. magistrate judge in Missoula — where the case is being heard — signed an order telling Anglin he has until Feb. 16 to turn over documented evidence of where he is living to the court.
Anglin has previously not disclosed specific information on his whereabouts, with court filings saying he has been receiving “credible” death threats.
The judge will review the evidence in private before deciding whether it should be filed publicly, as well as issue a decision on Anglin’s motion to have the lawsuit thrown out for a lack of jurisdiction.