(CN) — Andrew Anglin, a neo-Nazi who says he can’t be sued for unleashing a troll storm on a Jewish woman from Montana because he belongs to “no state,” has until Feb. 16 to tell a federal court his whereabouts, the court ordered Wednesday.
Anglin is publisher of the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi nationalist website. Last December Anglin leveled an internet hate campaign on Tanya Gersh, a Jewish woman and realtor in Whitefish, Montana, who was in a dispute with Sherry Spencer, mother of alt-right nationalist leader Richard Spencer.
Gersh and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal suit against Anglin, claiming invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of the anti-intimidation act. Anglin has still not been personally served legal papers in the case, and court documents in the case claim that Anglin is living in Cambodia.
Anglin has claimed in court filings that he cannot disclose his physical location through fear of personal harm, and his attorney, Marc Randazza says since Anglin renounced his U.S. domicile, he cannot be sued because the federal court lacks jurisdiction.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch on Wednesday ruled that Anglin has until Feb. 16 “to submit whatever proof he deems necessary to establish his current whereabouts for in camera [private] review by the Court. The Court will reserve ruling on whether to maintain any materials submitted by Defendant ex parte under seal or order that they be publicly filed in the case, with appropriate redactions, until after it has had the opportunity to complete its in camera review.”
Randazza said in a Jan. 27 brief that Anglin in 2010 had “became a domiciliary of the Philippines and in 2013 he had become a domiciliary of Greece. On April 14, 2017, he became a domiciliary of Cambodia. He has not returned to Ohio since leaving for Greece in 2013; and he has no intent to resume living in Ohio or elsewhere in the United States.”
On Jan. 27, Anglin submitted to the court photographs of his passport and various visas, as well as a statement that he was domiciled in Cambodia, the Philippines, and Greece.
The plaintiff’s attorneys say these documents provide little evidence to support Anglin’s assertion that he gave up his United States domicile.
“Defendant’s passport reveals nothing more than a tourist wandering through Southeast Asia,” Southern Poverty Law Center attorney David Dinielli said in a reply brief on Jan. 29. “Defendant’s uncorroborated assertions about intent and employment simply are insufficient, especially when his other assertions, such as the assertion that he purchased a motorcycle and stayed in a hotel in Cambodia, describe conduct that is more typical of a traveler than of a permanent resident who has established a fixed abode. In fact, the very excerpts of his passport that he selectively produced and partially redacted show no more than that he visited Cambodia as a tourist.”
The case stems from a 2016 incident when Sherry Spencer sought professional guidance from Gersh to sell a retail building in Whitefish. Spencer is the mother of Richard Spencer, president and director of the National Policy Institute — an organization “dedicated to the heritage, identity and future of people of European descent in the United States and around the world.”
Spencer and his National Policy Institute helped coin the term “alt-right,” an offshoot of conservatism that includes racism and white nationalism.
After that incident, groups were organizing to picket Sherry Spencer’s retail building, so she considered selling the property and talked to Gersh, a realtor, about a sale.
After Sherry Spencer and Gersh discontinued conversations on the possible property sale, Spencer posted a statement at medium.com, saying that Gersh had tried to blackmail Spencer into selling the property and donating part of the proceeds to human-rights causes.
Richard Spencer has lived in Whitefish, a resort town with a lake and a ski area close to Glacier National Park, for several years, flying mostly under the radar except for a few locals who knew his connections.
But Spencer and this small Montana town began receiving more attention after Spencer had praised Donald Trump at an election event, saying “Hail Trump” and performing a Nazi-salute.
Soon after the dispute between Gersh and Sherry Spencer, Anglin recruited his online followers of the Daily Stormer to harass and intimidate Gersh, the lawsuit says, creating a “troll storm” of intimidation and threats.
Anglin urged his followers to visit Gersh in person: “And hey – if you’re in the area, maybe you should stop by and tell her in person what you think of her actions,” the lawsuit claims Anglin said.
Anglin had twice proposed an armed protest to the streets of Whitefish with his legions of followers, but none of the protests materialized.
Gersh’s lawsuit says Anglin provided his followers with online discussion forums where his followers could trade ideas and information for carrying out the harassment.
“Just make your opinions known. Tell them you are sickened by their Jew agenda,” Anglin is quoted as saying in the lawsuit.
The first hearing in the case is set for Jan. 2, 2019, in Federal District Court in Missoula, Montana.
Subscribe to Closing Arguments
Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.