Sandy Hook families seek dismissal of Alex Jones bankruptcies

NEWTOWN — Eight Sandy Hook families and an FBI agent who won a libel case against conspiracy extremist Alex Jones have asked a federal judge to dismiss the bankruptcies Jones filed for three of his business entities, which has blocked lawsuits to award damages.

“These bankruptcy filings were filed to unduly delay these trials, attempt to liquidate the claims (of the Sandy Hook families) in this venue rather than by juries of their peers, and provide Jones and (its parent company Free Speech Systems ) all the protections of the bankruptcy process…without having to disclose relevant financial and business records,” writes the families’ attorney Ryan Chapple in the South Texas Bankruptcy Court. “They serve no valid purpose of bankruptcy, and they should be dismissed with prejudice as bad faith filings so that the (families) and other Sandy Hook plaintiffs can continue with their constitutional rights to have the damages liquidated. Jones inflicted on them by a jury of their comrades. »

The Sandy Hook families are asking Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez to dismiss Jones’ Chapter 11 filings as early as Friday because “the delay and expense that will be incurred given that a trial date has already been lost, and d Others could be at risk if the (families) are not allowed to settle their claims through a jury trial.

The families are challenging the bankruptcy filings of three Jones-controlled business entities last week that blocked lawsuits to award libel damages to the Sandy Hook families in Texas and Connecticut. The first of those trials for the parents of a slain Sandy Hook freshman was scheduled to take place Monday in Austin — the headquarters of Jones’ conspiracy-based website and streaming platform, Infowars. A second libel lawsuit was to follow in Texas for the parents of another slain Sandy Hook freshman, followed by a libel lawsuit in August for the Sandy Hook families who won a libel case against Jones in Connecticut.

Jones himself and his parent company Free Speech Systems did not file for bankruptcy because Jones feared his reputation would suffer in the conspiracy theory community, and it would diminish his ability to sell products to his base. auditors, his representative said in bankruptcy court last week. .

The Sandy Hook families in Texas cases last week asked the judge to dismiss Jones’ bankruptcy filings by joining their complaint with that of a Justice Department official who oversees bankruptcy cases in the Southeast. West Texas. That official, U.S. Administrator Kevin Epstein, said in an objection that Jones’ case “raises many questions — the answers to which may demonstrate that these cases constitute an abuse of the bankruptcy system.”

Jones’ lawyers disagreed, saying the cases were a legitimate use of bankruptcy protection laws for Jones, who spent $10 million in legal fees and lost $20 million in sales following the Sandy Hook libel cases.

“[T]The parties have worked very hard and in good faith to present a proposal to pay creditors and pay them equally,” Jones’ senior bankruptcy attorney Kyung Lee said in bankruptcy court last week. .

A decision could come as soon as Friday, when Lopez has scheduled a conference. Last week, during the first hearing on Jones’ bankruptcy cases, Lopez said he would take no action to sanction the bankruptcy process.

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