Boston is asking a federal judge to order a Lowell guy who claims a North Adams address to reimburse it for the legal costs of rebutting his "frivolous" lawsuit over comments Mayor Walsh made before white supremacists held a tiny little protest on the Common while surrounded by tens of thousands of protesters.
In a request filed yesterday, city attorney Nieve Anjomi actually asked a judge in US District Court in Boston to toss Brandon Navom's suit, noting state courts had already rejected it as legally wrong, or in legal terms, for "failure to state a claim," because Marty Walsh has the same First Amendment rights as everybody else to declaim white supremacists and because he has "qualified immunity" because he was speaking as part of his job as mayor.
And while Navom filed the federal suit by himself and courts are reluctant to impose penalties on pro-se litigants for filing frivolous suits, Anjomi asked a judge to make an exception in his case for the $11,857.50 - at $450 an hour - he says he's already wasted on the matter:
Despite his pro se status, Plaintiff appears to be consulting with his former counsel concerning this latest lawsuit – which serves no purpose except to harass the defendants and waste time and resources. Plaintiff's conduct is an abuse of the legal process and should be sanctioned
Although Walsh never mentioned Navom - who says he didn't even attend the rally - by name, he still alleges that Walsh created a climate of fear and stamped on his First Amendment rights by urging organizers not to hold a white-supremacist rally on the Common days after other white supremacists beat up protesters in Charlottesville, VA and killed on by running her over.
In a memorandum supporting his request for reimbursement, Anjomi notes the path Navom's suit took in state courts before it was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Judicial Court, which refused to even hear the case after the Massachusetts Appeals Court and a Middlesex Superior Court judge dismissed it: Navom originally filed it in Berkshire Superior Court, claiming a North Adams address, but a judge there transferred it to Middlesex Superior Court after learning the North Adams address was actually that of Navom's parents, and that Navom was a resident of Lowell, which is in Middlesex County.
In 2013, Navom unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Lowell City Council, where one of his platforms was support for residents who want to raise chickens in their backyards.