WATERBURY, Conn. (CN) — Worried that a standard protective order is not enough to keep Alex Jones in line, families of teachers and children slain nearly a decade ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School say the court must go to extra lengths to protect their privacy in a defamation suit against the conspiracy theorist.
The 7-page motion in Waterbury Superior Court notes that the families are set to begin handing over emails, medical records and other confidential documents to Jones’ attorneys on Friday, Oct. 8, as part of pretrial discovery.
“To the plaintiffs’ great concern, there is no real assurance that the Jones defendants will abide by the terms of the existing protective order, especially if they determine that breaching the protective order will serve them in the press or as a litigation tactic,” Alinor Sterling, an attorney for the families with Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, wrote Monday.
Citing a docket filled with “discovery abuse, disregard of the Court’s orders, and resistance to the Court’s authority,” the families say production of the documents should be suspended until the judge can hand down a sanctions order.
The families sued Jones in 2018 for telling listeners of his extremist radio program that the massacre was a hoax. Jones also faces related but separate litigation in Travis County, Texas, where Judge Maya Guerra Gamble entered default judgment against him on Sept. 27, citing what she called a “consistent pattern of discovery abuse” by Jones.
Anything less, Guerra wrote, “would be inadequate to cure the violation.”
Several days later, the judge overseeing the defamation lawsuit against Jones in Connecticut, Judge Barbara Bellis, found that he had failed to turn over to the families Google Analytics data and she would be considering sanctions.
Writing in her order Sept. 30, Bellis said “The Jones defendants … seem to take the position that the rules of practice do not apply to them.”
The sanctions hearing is scheduled for Oct. 20.
In the meantime, the attorneys for the Sandy Hook families said the default judgments in Texas and the upcoming sanctions hearing in Connecticut increases the chances that Jones and his website Infowars may publicize some of that confidential information.
The judge in the Texas cases noted in her orders that Jones had called the proceedings “show trials.”
Before Bellis issued her order about the Google Analytics data, Jones’ attorney Jay Wolman of the Hartford-based Randazza Legal Group described the motion for sanctions in a brief as a red herring to distract from the viability of the families’ claims against Jones.
This was not the first time Jones faced sanctions, however, in the Connecticut defamation case. In 2019, Bellis sanctioned Jones after she found he threatened one of the attorneys representing the Sandy Hook families, when 12 images of child porn that were sent to Jones in an email were later handed over to the Sandy Hook attorneys. Jones had called it a setup.
An attorney representing Jones did not respond to an email seeking comment. A spokesman for the Koskoff firm, Andrew Friedman, when reached by phone, declined to comment, saying they would “let the filing speak for itself.”
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