Jon Del Arroz’ attorney has filed documents opposing San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.’s (Worldcon 76’s) motion for summary judgment in Del Arroz’ defamation suit against Worldcon 76. The defense has asked the court to render summary judgment on the record already submitted in hope of getting the case dismissed without trial. (See “Worldcon 76 Moves for Summary Judgment in Del Arroz’ Defamation Suit”.)
Santa Clara (CA) Superior Court Judge Socrates P. Manoukian has set a hearing on the motion for summary judgment for May 11. If the motion is not granted, the case is scheduled for a jury trial beginning June 14.
The full set of documents recently filed by the plaintiff can be downloaded free of charge from the Superior Court of CA, County of Santa Clara court’s Case Information Online website – search case number 18-CV-334547.
Made available below are two of the documents, the 25-page “Plaintiff’s Points And Authorities In Opposition To Defendant’s Motion For Summary Judgment” and the 67-page “Declaration Of Jonathan Del Arroz In Support Of Opposition To Motion For Summary Judgment”.
San Francisco Science Fiction Convention Inc. is the parent corporation of Worldcon 76, held in San Jose. Del Arroz sued SFSFC in 2018 after the Worldcon 76 committee announced he would not be allowed to attend the convention (“Del Arroz Files Suit Against Worldcon 76”; “We have taken this step because he has made it clear that he fully intends to break our code of conduct….”)
In February 2019, the court tossed four of the five causes of action in Del Arroz’s lawsuit against Worldcon 76’s parent corporation. The case continues on the fifth complaint, defamation.
The introduction to “Plaintiff’s Points And Authorities In Opposition To Defendant’s Motion For Summary Judgment” filed by Del Arroz’ attorney gives an overview of their reasons why the motion should be denied:
In 2o18, Defendant San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (“SFSFC”) banned Plaintiff Jonathan Del Arroz (“Del Arroz”) from being physically present at the seventy-sixth annual World Science Fiction Convention (“World Con 76”). SFSFC announced on its social media in relevant part that:
“We have taken this step because he has made it clear that he fully intends to break our code of conduct. We take that seriously. Worldcon76 strives to be an inclusive place in fandom, as difficult as that can be, and racist and bullying behavior is not acceptable at our WorldCon. This expulsion is one step toward eliminating such behavior and was not taken lightly.” (emphasis added.)
Since SFSFC’s Code of Conduct defines racial harassment as serious offense, SFSFC stated to everyone Who read its social media that it had banned Del Arroz for planned acts of racial harassment.
This published statement was false. In discovery, SFSFC acknowledges that it banned Del Arroz on the speculation that he might enter the suite of private party the Science Fiction Writers of America (“SFWA”) and secretly record in that suite. This speculation had nothing to do with racial harassment. The malice of the statement was compounded by SFSFC’s policy encouraging people to record at WorldCon 76 With body cameras, and SFSFC’s admitted lack of evidence that Del Arroz intended to enter private site without permission.
In smearing Del Arroz as racist bully, SFSFC has subjected Del Arroz to contempt, ridicule, shunning, and injury in his vocation. The evidence of this includes lost book sales at WorldCon 76. The false claim that Del Arroz is racist harasser forced him to hire publicist and avoid science fiction conventions in his home region.
SFSFC’s response makes light of its libel. It argues that “racism” and “bullying” have no meaning, despite case law applying defamation concepts to those words in concrete situations and notwithstanding its Code of Conduct rule against “racial harassment.”
SFSFC also argues that Del Arroz was “public figure” without showing the extent of his fame or the existence of any public controversy about the subj ect of its libel.
SFSFC attempts to concoct defense based on taking statements made by Del Arroz out of context and even though they are not pertinent to SFSFC’S defamation.
SFSFC argues that its defamation is protected by the “common interest” privilege. Further, SFSFC ignores the fact it posted the defamation on its social media, which was open for the world to see, and therefore far beyond the bounds of any “common interest.”
SFSFC has never shown that the world as whole had legally cognizable interest as opposed to idle or malicious curiosity in the private membership status of Del Arroz. Finally, SFSFC ignores the special damages that Del Arroz can show and the fact that it libeled him per se since the defamatory impact of the libel is evident on the face of the announcement.
Available for download here:
- PLAINTIFF’S POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
- DECLARATION OF JONATHAN DEL ARROZ IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Available at the court webite:
The principal documents filed by Del Arroz’ attorney and available for download at the court’s website are:
1. PLAINTIFF’S OBJECTIONS TO MOVANT’S EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (16 pages)
2. PLAINTIFF’S SEPARATE STATEMENT OF DISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS (14 pages)
3. PLAINTIFF’S RESPONSE TO SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS (43 pages)
4. DECLARATION OF PETER SEAN BRADLEY IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Four volumes)
V. 1 – Excerpts from deposition of Kevin Roche (35 pages)
V. 2 – Excerpts from deposition of Lori Buschbaum (21 pages)
V. 3 – Jon Del Arroz deposition excerpts (33 pages)
V. 4 – Buschbaum Exhibit 33, 34, 36, and 45
5. PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE (17 pages); Contains three documents released by the Biden White House:
- Fact Sheet: U.S. Efforts to Combat Systemic Racism
- Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States
- Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
6. PLAINTIFF’S POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (25 pages)
7. DECLARATION OF JONATHAN DEL ARROZ IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (67 pages)
[Thanks to Adam Rakunas for the story.]