skabooshka defense fund

$116,345 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 554 people in 1 month
Created April 20, 2019
I am Lawrence J. Fossi, and wrote at Seeking Alpha under the pseudonym of Montana Skeptic.

I learned today that Tesla Inc. has obtained an ex parte (only one side represented) temporary restraining order against $TSLAQ member @skabooshka.

What will follow over the next two weeks or so is "discovery" (depositions, written questions) and an evidentiary hearing to determine whether Tesla can obtain a temporary injunction. Tesla alleges @skabooshka is a dangerous person. I believe he is a seeker of truth who has done valuable work and deserves a vigorous and capable defense.

Tesla's TRO application was triggered by @skabooshka's effort to determine the true nature of the forthcoming "Investor Autonomy Event". I believe important First Amendment rights are at issue, and urge you to support his effort.

Funds will be used to pay @skabooshka's legal expenses in defending against the Tesla legal action, and in bringing any appropriate counterclaims. Any and all excess funds will be donated to a good related cause, with full disclosure about the recipient or recipients, and proof of donation sent to all donors.

Many thanks.

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Update 9, May 21, 2019, 9:30 pm

An interesting day at the court house, but in the end a bit frustrating.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey S. Brand had a congested docket of cases to hear. For Judge Brand, I am pretty confident, that is business as usual. By the time Tesla, Inc. v. Randeep Hothi finally was called, there was not enough time to hear testimony.

Judge Brand called the lawyers to the bench, apologized that he would unable to hear the matter today, and worked on a new schedule. Between the Judge's constraints and those of the lawyers, the earliest hearing date that could be agreed upon was July 26. So, back we go on July 26.

It was not all for naught. Mr. Hothi's counsel, Gill Sperlein, told Judge Brand that with the extra time we have, we would like to conduct some limited discovery. Tesla's counsel, Zachary J. Alinder, objected, saying that discovery is not typically allowed for temporary injunction hearings.

Mr. Sperlein told the Court, in essence, Look, Judge, you told us when you granted the continuance that we could either agree to discovery or we could take the matter up with you at this hearing. We sent some very narrow discovery requests to Tesla. Tesla has video footage of the February incident in the parking lot. The police have it. But we don't have it.

As for the May incident, Tesla's Model 3 had eight integrated cameras, and two more mounted on the roof, and several people in the car with cell phones. Surely, all that video will reveal whether, in fact, Mr. Hothi was, as Tesla claims, endangering the Model 3's occupants. Yet Tesla declined to produce any of that video.

The Court instructed Mr. Sperlein to submit a letter brief detailing the discovery he wanted and why he needed it. I have no doubt Mr. Sperlein will do so in a matter of days.

Let me close with two more points. First, in Mr. Alinder, Tesla has found the ideal legal counsel. The Reply Brief Mr. Alinder filed today was misleading in recounting the facts and made spurious legal arguments. Elon was no doubt proud.

Second, despite the delay, Randeep Hothi remains buoyed, optimistic, and determined. And, most of all, appreciative to everyone who has so kindly and thoughtfully and generously supported him.

I offer my sincere thanks as well, and the thanks of Gill Sperlein.
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Update 8, May 20, 5:00 p.m.

The hearing on Tesla's request for a temporary injunction against Skabooshka is scheduled for tomorrow at 1:30 pm California time in the Alameda County courthouse in Oakland. This will be Ska's first opportunity to be appear before the Court.

(Tesla obtained its TRO without notifying Ska, so Ska had no opportunity to present his side of the story. It's always much easier to succeed in litigation when you make sure your opponent can't show up.)

Over at Twitter, @PlainSite has posted the docket in Tesla, Inc. v. Hothi, at which you can find the Response filed on Friday by Ska's attorney. Click on Document 11 ("Response to Petition for Workplace Violence Restraining Orders filed for Randeep Hothi"):


Once I know the outcome of tomorrow's hearing, I will post another update. In the meantime, the extraordinary outpouring of support here has been a tremendous testament to the character and generosity of the TSLAQ community, and is deeply appreciated by me, Ska, and Ska's trial counsel, Gill Sperlein. All three of us thank you.
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May 14, 2019

Shoutout to @DonnaHWalker1 & @AviGeller for their terrific support. Donna created some magnificent $TSLAQ art work, and Avi was generously determined to be high bidder.

The temporary injunction hearing is set for May 21. Gill Sperlein is hard at work, doing a capable job. Skabooshka is ably assisting in his own defense. And Tesla's attorneys are being as obstructive and uncooperative as you might imagine they would be.

There is no possible way for me adequately to express my appreciation, or the gratitude of Skabooshka, but please know that we are deeply and forever grateful for your support.

More updates as we approach the hearing date.
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Update May 1, 2019

Today, Mr. Hothi's attorney, Gill Sperlein, filed a request that the Court allow more time before the injunction hearing (originally scheduled for May 7) so the parties can conduct discovery.
Dana Hull at Bloomberg has written an informative story about Mr. Hothi's request:
You can find the request filed by Mr. Hothi here as entry 6 on the Court's docket (thank you, @plainsite):
I encourage you to read the first few pages of the request, which clearly and powerfully set forth Mr. Hothi's position.
The Court has granted the motion, and has reset the hearing for May 21. The Court's order is docket document 7.
A crucial point made by Mr. Hothi in the pleading he filed is that this case is about issues far greater than his own circumstance:
"This restraining order has implications for the general public, reporters, and investors who rely on citizen journalists and investigators to uncover the truth about a company that routinely misrepresents important information, attempts to keep negative information from coming to light, and intimidates those who seek to thwart its efforts to deprive the public of important information. The more Tesla causes harm to its critics through legal process or other methods, the less likely people will be willing to put their necks out to uncover and disseminate the truth."
Thanks to your magnificent support, Mr. Hothi has been fortified in his resolve to put his neck out. With the assistance of his capable legal counsel, he is determined to carry the battle forward.
Mr. Hothi has asked me to again express his profound appreciation for your astonishing generosity. He is heartened that, finally, he can begin to tell his story. He and his counsel are eager to conduct discovery so that they can show the world exactly what the facts really are in this matter.
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$116,345 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 554 people in 1 month
Created April 20, 2019
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