Federici v Pignotti et al: Case Dismissed
Today, the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss was heard before Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in the Eastern District Court of Virginia in the matter of case number 1:2010cv01418, Ronald Federici v Monica Pignotti, Jean Mercer, Charly Miller, Advocates for Children in Therapy, Larry Sarner, Linda Rosa and John Does 1-10.
The good news for all the defendants is that Motion to Dismiss was granted and the case is completely dismissed. I will post more details when I obtain all the official documents on this case but in brief, the court ruled that Virginia had no jurisdiction over any of us and it is also my understanding from what I have learned so far, that the judge also commented on our Motion to Dismiss (Mercer and Pignotti) which was based not only on jurisdiction but also failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Since all I have right now is a verbal report on the proceedings, I will wait until the dismissal documents come out for specifics on that.
For those who are wondering how the case ended up in the Federal Court after being filed in the Circuit Court (formerly case number CL10-16657) of Virginia by Dr. Federici, the case was removed to Federal Court at the request of the defendants on the advice of our legal counsel and it turned out to be a good decision. Eastern District Court of Virginia is known as the Rocket Docket for its speed and efficiency at handling legal cases and also, Federal Court is a good option for cases where defendants are from multiple states. As I understand it, defendants who meet the requirements (e.g. coming from out of state and damages requested above a certain amount) have the right to remove their cases to federal court and this cannot be challenged by plaintiffs. We met those criteria and that is what we did.
The case, referred to by those other WordPress anonymous bloggers as a History Making Lawsuit, which posted many documents claiming to be for us that we were never served with (except for the initial complaint), is now dismissed, meaning that none of those interrogatories or subpoenas will be served on us, no discovery, no jury trial — not in the state of Virginia because it was dismissed on our initial Motion to Dismiss. He does have 30 days to file an appeal but it is my understanding that it is very difficult to have an appeal granted in a Federal case.
Suffice it to say for now that I consider this is a major victory in my opinion and I will post more details when I have the relevant documents, including the transcript of today’s proceedings in my hands. I am very grateful to my excellent legal counsel, Kristin Zech and Amy Owen of Cochran and Owen for doing an awesome job.
PS: Even though the case is dismissed, the offer I made on this blog to Ronald Federici remains open, as my intention has been, is now, and will always be, to be completely truthful in my presentation of facts and honest in my opinions expressed, all of which are sincerely held. Again, my offer is that if Dr. Federici or anyone else can identify any factual errors I have made on this blog or anywhere else, he is welcome to correct me. However, the correction must consist of actual evidence that the facts presented were incorrect, not mere assertions. Constructive feedback is always welcome here.
There is, unfortunately, certainly enough wrong with the mental health profession to provide me with more than a lifetime of material to criticize and I have no need nor wish to fabricate anything.