September 23, 2015 · 7 Comments
Orland Park and Chicago, IL. (ECWd) –
Federal Judge John J. Tharp Jr. filed an Order on September 23, 2015 granting Kleinman’s Motion to Dismiss due to jurisdictional issues.
“Defendant Dan Kleinman’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction  is granted without prejudice.”
“…the motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction is granted. Because the Court has concluded that it lacks jurisdiction over Kleinman, there is no basis to consider his challenges to the sufficiency of the allegations against him to state a claim.”
“Moreover, to the extent Bittman is attempting to base personal jurisdiction on a theory of joint activity, she wholly fails to address the question whether Illinois endorses the conspiracy theory of personal jurisdiction. …the theory may not be valid in
This jurisdiction issue is another clue that this is a SLAPP lawsuit from the beginning. Trained attorneys had to have known that Dan Kleinman would be dismissed from this case at some point, because they didn’t bother to do the diligence of ensuring the court had jurisdiction over him or making a compelling argument that Kleinman could be sued in this jurisdiction. No effort was made in that regard.
One of the hallmarks of a SLAPP suit is that they are filed by public employees without any intention of seeing the lawsuit through to a trial. The SLAPPs are filed knowing that they will be dismissed at some point in the discovery process. The purpose of a SLAPP suit is just to file a lawsuit against someone, scare that person, and put a chill on that person’s free speech and make the person afraid of talking about or writing about the person who filed the lawsuit.
So, the plaintiff seemingly knows she doesn’t have a case and that at some point a judge is going to dismiss all this, but she files the lawsuit anyway just because it will make the targets have to hire attorneys, go through the stress of being sued, take time away from other things to address the bogus SLAPP suit, and possibly be afraid from writing about or speaking out about the public body where she worked.
This is my opinion of why Dan Kleinman was included in this SLAPP suit even though he lived in New Jersey. It is likely that Bittman knew Kleinman would be dismissed, but that the whole point of suing him was just to scare him and silence him and make him hire an attorney and all of that. That’s why SLAPPs are abuses of the process. The court system is not meant to be a means by which you can scare someone away who has been critical of you as a public employee.
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