Following Dragon Ball Super: Broly voice actor Vic Mignogna’s commencement of the appeals process after all causes of action were dismissed in his defamation lawsuit, defendants Funimation, Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, and Ron Toye have submitted a number of new filings, including motions to dismiss the appeal and motions for sanctions and fees.
On November 4th, all three defendant parties filed their respective motions to determine sanctions (i.e. monetary fines) and attorney’s fees, penalties which were previously placed upon Mignogna by Judge John P. Chupp at the time of the dismissal of Mignogna’s causes of actions.
Funimation’s filing seeks an award of “$168,941” for “attorney’s fees already incurred,” along with three conditional awards which would be awarded in the case of further legal representation and work in the matter of the defamation case:
Additionally, Funimation is also seeking “$7,504 in costs and expenses incurred in this matter,” as well as “a sanction award of no less than $25,000 against Mignogna to deter him from bringing similar lawsuits in the future.”
In her own filing, Jamie Marchi “asks the Court to award her reasonable attorney’s fees in the amount of $48,137.50 and cost in the amount of $354.01,” with an additional award of “her contingent attorney’s fees in the amount of $37,500 in the event of an appeal to the Court of Appeals, and a further $45,000.00 in the event of an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.”
Finally, Monica Rial and Ron Toye seek “court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, and other expenses in defending against [Mignogna], including fees incurred pursuing their fees and conditional appellate fees,” estimating these amounts at the staggering total of $271,693.14, along with conditional attorney’s fees.
Additionally, a Motion to Dismiss Appeal for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction and as Premature was filed by Rial and Toye’s attorney, J. Sean Lemoine.
In the motion, Lemoine argues that “This Court’s jurisdiction is dependent on whether a judgment or order is final,” as the court has yet to rule on the fees and costs to be awarded to the defendants, and that the court’s order to dismiss the causes of action under the TCPA “lacks finality because, on its face, the trial court reserved for further determination the issue of attorney’s fees and sanctions.”
Lemoine also states that “the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code provides for the appeal of an interlocutory order denying a motion to dismiss under the TCPA,” but that “no statutory provision specifically providing for the appeal of an interlocutory order granting a motion to dismiss.”
Lemoine has also filed a Motion to Compel Deposition and Documents of Chris Slatosch, claiming that the Kamehacon owner “committed perjury in his affidavit of September 30th by knowingly asserting false accusations” and seeking a hearing on this motion “by written submission only” on November 7th, 2019.
This motion was countered by Mignogna, who argued that the motion was “frivolous, has not basis in law or fact,” and requested that the motion to compel be denied and that sanctions be leveled against Lemoine, Rial, and Toye:
“Defendants’ Motion to Compel Deposition and Documents of Slatosch is brought in violation of TCPA discovery suspension. As discussed in detail above, the discovery was not permitted, and Defendants Motion is not warranted by an existing law or nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or establishment of new law. The Motion is, however, brought for the improper purpose of needlessly increasing costs and subjecting Plaintiff and a third-party to harassment. Accordingly, Plaintiff asks the Court to award sanctions under Chapter 10 of Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code against Defendants and their counsel.”
Rial and Toye subsequently filed a Reply in Support of Motion to Compel Deposition and Documents of Chris Slatosch, claiming that “the new objection is without merit,”and “plaintiff fails to understand the evidentiary hearing is about the amount of the sanction,” and that “good cause exists to determine if plaintiff tried and failed to perpetrate a fraud on the court.”
Attorney An Lee Hsu, a member of Mignogna’s legal team, submitted a letter to Judge Chupp stating that Mignogna “does not agree with Defendants’ desire to submit these matters to the Court without a personal appearance and oral presentation” and “hereby requests the Court to cancel the hearing by submission and, if Defendants request their motion to be considered, to schedule the hearing with a personal appearance and oral presentation.”