UPDATE: October 1 2014 Hearing Transcript : https://www.scribd.com/doc/244181549/Robson-Oct-1-2014-Hearing-Transcript
Link to previous July 2014 case updates: http://www.dailymichael.com/lawsuits/robson-v-estate/276-robson-v-estate-case-updates
Civil case updates
Estate had filed two demurrers (dismissal request stating there’s no legal basis for a lawsuit) and parties are getting ready for the demurrer hearing. Most current documents (added September 24th) are Estate’s replies to Robson’s opposition to Estate’s demurrer requests. As I prepare this post court system isn’t showing Robson’s opposition documents (I’ll update this post if they become available) therefore this post is done based on what the Estate reply documents state about Robson’s opposition and their reply.
Hearing for these two demurrers is set for October 1st.
Doe1 (MJ) Demurrer
Estate had filed a demurrer to dismiss MJ as Doe 1 defendant on the civil case simply arguing Doe1 / MJ is deceased and no court has jurisdiction to have a case or have power to enter judgment against him.
In their reply brief Estate states Robson doesn’t dispute he sued a deceased person and court has no jurisdiction over deceased people. Estate states Robson’s claims that he sued MJ as a placeholder for Estate makes no sense as the Executors are already Doe4 and Doe5 defendants.
Robson apparently also argues Estate has no standing to bring a demurrer on MJ’s behalf. Estate disagrees as the Executors are representatives according to MJ’s will and according to the probate code they can defend actions and proceedings against the decedent. Estate state contrary to Robson’s argument, Estate is the only party with the authority to appear on MJ’s behalf.
Based on the documents - and quite absurdly I must add - Robson also argues he didn’t serve MJ with the complaint. Estate states this is irrelevant as parties can choose to appear in an action without being served and they also point impossibility of deceased MJ being served. Estate again repeats that the court has no jurisdiction over a deceased person.
Corporate Defendants Demurrer
Estate repeats corporate entities aren’t persons and they cannot engage in childhood abuse. Such abuse claims can only be made against natural persons and not entities. Any claims about corporate entities cannot be filed after plaintiff’s 26th birthday.
The reply brief gets very technical with focusing on 340.1 code and subsections. Robson in his opposition argues he doesn’t need to allege any duty of care or any intentionally tortuous act by the corporations. Throughout their reply Estate disagrees with this and cites the law and states it can only apply to parties who had a duty of care to the plaintiff.
Estate also points out again that corporate defendants had no control over their sole owner MJ. According to Robson’s allegations abuse started before Robson had any interaction with the corporations and there’s no allegation that the corporate defendants “knew or should know any unlawful sexual conduct by MJ”.
Second dispute arises from Estate’s argument that some of these claims (such as childhood sexual abuse) can only be brought against natural persons and not corporations. In his opposition Robson refers that he believes unnamed individuals are liable as direct perpetrators. Estate argues while Robson can try to identify those people, he has no right to keep corporations as defendants.
Probate Discovery issue
From the recent documents we also learn that on September 16, judge denied Estate’s motion to quash about 76 subpoenas served to Santa Barbara District Attorney and Sheriff’s office. This means Robson will be getting the discovery he wanted including the Neverland Ranch search report. Estate is also ordered to answer interrogatories. Documents mention Court instructed parties to meet and confer to draft a protective order. Email exchange shows that parties will be working on a protective order after September 24th.
A little note: There’s a little confusion about this discovery issue among fans. Robson is not seeking a discovery for a possible trial. He’s asking for discovery for his equitable estoppel claim. Robson claims he was subjected to mental manipulation by MJ and that’s why he couldn’t come forward within statute of limitations.
Possible extension in probate claim
As of now there’s a November 6 hearing set for Estate’s summary judgment motion about Robson’s probate claim. Robson’s lawyers wants rescheduling of this hearing based on judge’s September 16th ruling about discovery issues. Robson lawyers want several weeks to get discovery and prepare their oppositions. Estate isn’t agreeing with this request and state their motion argues there’s no legal basis for Robson’s claims and Robson lawyers doesn’t need any discovery for reply, they only need to argue the law. It’s very possible that Robson will ask for a delay / extension in probate case.
October 1st – Robson civil case hearing
November 6th- Robson probate hearing
November 19th – Safechuck probate hearing
Some tidbits from documents
Estate denying Robson allegations:
Estate referring to Chandler allegations as “largely discredited”: