Defendant Danielle Roberts, acting as her own lawyer, filed a declaration in opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion for leave to amend their Complaint in Edmondson v. Raniere.
The lawsuit pits 70 former NXIVM members as plaintiffs against wealthy sisters Clare and Sara Bronfman and a handful of NXIVM defendants – three of whom are not defending themselves and three representing themselves as their own lawyer.
The non-Bronfman defendants are Keith Raniere, Allison Mack, Brandon Porter, Roberts, Nicki Clyne, and Kathy Russell.
Oddly, claims against Nancy and Lauren Salzman were dismissed.
None of the non-Bronfman defendants have enough money to justify a lawsuit with a dozen lawyers and 70 plaintiffs.
Roberts, a physician who lost her medical license for her role in branding women in DOS, features in her declaration a history of delays in this case and arguments for the judge to deny the plaintiffs another bite at the apple.
If Judge Komitee grants the defendants leave to amend the Complaint, it will be the fourth version over three years.
January 28, 2020
The Plaintiffs filed their original Complaint.
August 13, 2021
Plaintiffs filed the First Amended Complaint. (FAC)
October 15, 2021
At a status conference, Judge Komitee instructed the parties to file letters discussing, among other things, issues bearing on amendment or dismissal of the Complaint.
Sara Bronfman’s attorney James Wareham said the plaintiffs have “already taken their ‘as of rights’ amendment opportunity and this is the second version of this Complaint. So it seems a little odd to me that they’re going to put in writing a third version [the Second Amended Complaint] of the Complaint.”
Judge Komitee said, “it’s early enough that it may be the better course to let them amend one more time now, instead of fighting about that question later.”
November 24, 2021
Danielle Roberts wrote to the judge and the plaintiffs, pointing out deficiencies and the motions she would file if the plaintiffs did not cure the defects.
November 30, 2021
At a status conference, Judge Komitee said, “just to make sure that we’re not going through the entire process of briefing motions to dismiss, orally arguing those motions to dismiss, writing a long decision on a motion to dismiss only to have the Plaintiff come back and say, ‘look, any dismissal should be without prejudice for us to replead with new facts.’ Obviously better and amend up front where possible…. I think there’s been enough of a preview of what the defense arguments will be that the Plaintiffs should have a decent sense of whether that’s something they are interested in or not at this point.”
Attorney for the plaintiffs, Neil Glazer, replied, “we do not believe it would be productive at this time to amend the Complaint in any way. We think that the allegations, the fact allegations, in the Complaint are sufficient to support the causes of action.”
Judge Komitee asked, “What about the group pleading allegation?… But just to be clear, you do not wish the 30 days that I would give you at this point to amend for that reason or any other?”
February 17, 2022
The judge instructed the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint.
February 25, 2022
The plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Complaint [SAC]
February 1, 2023
Judge Komitee heard oral arguments on the defendants’ motions to dismiss- 15 months after the plaintiffs’ attorney said he so no reason to amend the Complaint.
At this hearing, Judge Komitee told the plaintiffs’ lawyers in no uncertain terms that the SAC was so riddled with deficiencies that he would dismiss it “with prejudice” if they did not cure them.
As an example of the shotgun pleadings in the SAC, Plaintiffs, even those not in DOS, alleged sex trafficking claims and forced labor claims against all defendants.
At the hearing, Judge Komitee challenged the plaintiffs to “articulate that [fraud charges] with particularity.”
The Plaintiffs dropped the fraud charges. The plaintiffs were also unable to articulate two valid predicate acts and dropped the RICO claims against Roberts and Porter.
April 3, 2023
Plaintiffs filed their proposed Third Amended Complaint [TAC].
The TAC dropped the sex trafficking count against Defendant Sara Bronfman and dropped the peonage charges against defendants.
Roberts wrote in her declaration:
By Danielle Roberts
I believe the Court will want to seriously consider the frivolity, bad faith and dilatory motives… In addition, the plaintiffs themselves should take a hard look at rule 11, and basis for malicious prosecution and abuse of process.
The distinct information that has been added to the TAC is irrelevant, false and/or prejudicial which adds to my concern that this undue delay, lack of proactive research, shotgun approach and inability to cure are futile and in bad faith, rather than born of innocent incompetence and neglect, which though inconsiderate and wasteful of all of our time and resources, would be important to allow for in order to try this case based on its merits.
However, Plaintiffs seem to be “scrambling to devise new theories of liability” by any means, even at the price of continuing to fabricate information to protect their previously asserted fabrications, and now, legal liability.
I am not a lawyer – but even I can glean from the motions to dismiss 10 months earlier what would have been needed in the SAC.
The Court has continued to make the plaintiff attorneys aware of the need for amendment, but that doesn’t mean that they were not or should not have been aware for all of these months. If the issue was easily remedied it would have been done in a reasonable period of time…
The question remains – Why wait this long? Why use such a shot gun approach? Why add so many unsubstantiated claims that hurt innocent people’s reputation and livelihood that have now been dropped?…
The Plaintiffs have a record in this case of bringing unsubstantiated charges through shotgun pleading by “just throwing a whole bunch of spaghetti at the wall, over hundreds of paragraphs…” to see if something sticks….
Again, I am not a lawyer – but this approach indicates to me reckless frivolity, verging on rule 11 violation. That individuals bring such egregious charges, unsubstantiated, destroying another persons’ hard earned reputation and livelihood is sickening to me….
As previously stated in my motion to dismiss, I was not convicted nor even indicted throughout our Federal Government’s exhaustive investigation in the U.S. v Raniere case, upon which, as cited above, The Plaintiffs substantiate a large part of their complaint. It seems they now trying to establish a connection that FBI agents (the “best” in our country were not
concerned existed between me and this alleged criminal enterprise). I was informed in proffer sessions with Ms. Moria Penza herself that I was a mere witness in their investigation, not even a subject, much less a target…
The Plaintiffs were forced to drop Count 1, acknowledging I was never a part of the RICO claim as they had originally asserted.
Their last recourse is to try to show I had knowledge of and supported the alleged criminal behavior. I was a second line [DOS] member restricted to and limited by the information the 1st line gave me and of the same circumstance as the second line Plaintiffs suing me. For them to merely allege that I had additional knowledge of a criminal enterprise at the time of the brandings in 2016 and 2017 does not raise this PTAC’s accusations to a level above speculation….
This TAC would not survive a motion to dismiss based on this.
Fails To State a Claim
Despite the undue time, multiple opportunities, embellishments and lies Plaintiffs still fail to state a claim that substantiates all of the elements of a RICO case…
The issue remains that the complaint doesn’t contain enough factual material to raise a right to relief above the speculative level…
Prejudicial and Irrelevant
They have had multiple attempts throughout an untimely period and they still fail to cure these deficiencies. Based on my assertions and the case law above, if granted (the PTAC) would not withstand a motion to dismiss…
I think it’s very clear… the Plaintiffs are acting in bad faith. If they are willing to participate in the unethical behavior I have outlined above they are quite capable of bringing charges against me in bad faith to protect their previous lies.
Furthermore, it may be legal (though I believe unethical) for criminal prosecutors to intimidate, threaten, and lie to civilians and their families to try to induce a plea, it is wholly illegal for civil prosecutors to do this….
As much as I would love to have this dismissed from my life even on technicalities, it is more important to be sure I haven’t hurt someone inadvertently or done something negligent that hurt another. It is equally important to be sure that others aren’t doing that to me (or others).
Their failure to cure despite multiple attempts, adding of embellished and non-factual information to try to cure, and their outright dishonest, unethical behavior, leads me to believe their attempts are not only futile but made in bad faith.
In this case, despite undue delay, multiple opportunities to cure, frivolous and dishonest claims, the deficiencies in the PTAC remain wholly uncured. The PTAC is futile and smacks with