In his latest ruling, State District Judge John Chupp ordered all parties to attempt to resolve the ongoing defamation lawsuit brought by Dragon Ball Super: Broly voice actor Vic Mignogna against Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, Ron Toye, and former employer Funimation, through mediation.
In the September 17th hearing, Judge Chupp began the proceedings by distributing printed copies of death threats allegedly received by Judge Chupp due to his initial dismissal of a majority of the charges brought by Mignogna against the defendants, stating that these threats were presented to inform the present counsel of the risk of “potential threats to you as lawyers or your clients.” (Related: Dragon Ball Super: Broly VA Vic Mignogna’s Civil Case Against Jamie Marchi Dismissed, Judge Ruling on Defamation Charges Against Monica Rial, Ron Toye, and Funimation Within 30 Days)
According to The Dallas Morning News, one threat read:
Hello, I just wanted to let you know that judge Chupp is a braindead moron and I sincerely hope someone accuses him of rape. You are the cause of school shootings … suicides … hate and violence. Judge Chupp just let a group of open criminals go free, shame on your kangaroo court. When people start uprising I hope your court is the first thing targeted.
A pair of Tweets presented to the present counsel declared that murdering Judge Chupp would be a “justified kill.”
“Disillusioned — the strong reminder that justice only leaves the barrel of a gun.”
“When the state fails to defend its citizens, it’s only natural that the citizens take care of themselves. It would be a justified kill, and the person doing it can even get annulled for the act of killing and found not guilty for murder.”
Addressing the lawsuit itself, Judge Chupp proceeded to order all parties to engage in mediation, believing that “y’all may owe a duty to [the anime community], since y’alls clients are a part of it, to try to get this case worked out.”
“I think there is a community out there, obviously, that is interested in this case. I think it might be – – I mean, this isn’t a TV show. This is real life stuff. This isn’t an anime cartoon or something like that, and I don’t know if people can distinguish between the two.
So what I’m trying to say is I think y’all may owe a duty to this community, since y’all’s clients are a part of it, to try to get this case worked out.”
Judge Chupp has set a deadline of October 3rd for the involved parties to reach an agreement through mediation, as he will otherwise be required to rule on the “rest of the motions,” including the charges of defamation against Funimation, Rial, and Toye, and a charge of conspiracy against Rial and Toye, “by October 6th, I believe ,or 5th.”
Despite all claims against Marchi being dismissed during the previous hearing, Judge Chupp recommended to attorney Samuel Johnson, the legal representative for Marchi and a partner at Johnson & Sparks PLLC, that Marchi “ should show up” for mediation, stating that “there’s no guarantee you’re not going to be back here in three months on appeal.”
Johnson: And, Your Honor, if I may. This includes Jamie Marchi? The Court ruled to dismiss all of the claims against her. I just want to make sure that –
The Court: I mean, I think she should show up, because there’s no guarantee you’re not going to be back here in three months on an appeal.
The Court: I mean, there’s no telling what the appellate court is going to do.
The Court: I rule on stuff, and sometimes they side with me and sometimes they don’t. And that’s just the way it goes. I don’t take it personally. That’s just – – they may have different feelings on stuff.
Judge Chupp concluded the hearing by urging all parties to “get this worked out,” stating that he would prefer to “see the community of anime get healed and move on and do what you need to do” rather than see a long, drawn-out court battle:
“The Court: But before I rule on the rest of it, I’d rather you try to get this worked out. I think y’all have the opportunity to heal the community by doing something that y’all can agree on, as opposed to having me do something, and then y’all having to appeal it, and go through all that process, and it just comes back here again. I mean, this could go on years.
I’d rather just, obviously, see the community of anime get healed and move on and do what you need to do.
So that’s all I needed. I just wanted to tell y’all in person, because I thought rather serious in regards to – – and I don’t know what all is out there. [The death threats presented to the present counsel are] just what I given[sp]. And so there could be much more than that. I don’t know. But just watch your back.”