This post won’t be my standard “summary of the court documents” blog post. I won’t be making a long list of legal aspects of the complaint. While I will refer to some elements in Robson’s new revised complaint, I will mostly write my personal take on the revisions. Consider this a disclaimer.

I regularly add the relevant court documents to my blog posts and you will find a copy of Robson’s proposed revised complaint below. You might wonder how I got this document. This time I didn’t get it from the court. I was able to get a copy because Robson’s new lawyers wrote a press release and added the document to it. In the less than 2 months they have been on the case, this is the second press release they have done with a negative document attached to it. This makes it clear that these new lawyers are attempting to try to this case in the media. Furthermore the once sealed and redacted complaint is no longer redacted. One can only assume they want the salacious media stories to force MJ Estate into a settlement.

Here is the document:

On September 7, Robson lawyers email Estate lawyers saying they want to amend Robson’s complaint. Simply put they want to remove the sexual abuse causes of action and add negligence causes of action. Estate replies they believe it is too late to amend the complaint and say they won’t agree to a new complaint. Therefore Robson lawyers file a motion with the court asking the court to allow them to proceed with a new revised complaint. In their motion they add a copy of their proposed revised complaint. A hearing on this matter will be heard on October 7th and the judge will decide if he will allow a revised complaint or not.

Since Judge Beckloff’s move to Santa Monica earlier this year, the documents related to the civil cases Beckloff oversees are no longer scanned and added to the online documents system. That meant we only had the public case summary information available to us. Unfortunately case summary system only provides limited information, showing the names of the documents filed, hearing dates and outcomes. While it provides some information, we still have to guess what is happening. As the case summary system showed some new documents at Robson case, I thought it would be best if we can try to get the documents so that we could learn the new developments in both Robson and Safechuck cases. Luckily Betty Brynes graciously agreed to go and get the documents. We wouldn’t have this information if it wasn’t for her. I’m grateful for all her help.

The last information we had about Robson case as follows:

  • -       September 21, 2015 - Judge overruled Estate’s demurer, Robson’s case proceeds to the next phase of discovery and summary judgment.
  • -       November 23, 2015 - Estate appeals Judge’s ruling on demurrer.
  • -       February 17, 2016 – Estate’s appeal has been denied.
  • -       March 3, 2016 – Case schedule including a tentative trial date is set.
  • -       July 13, 2016 – Robson changes lawyers. Manly, Stewart, Finaldi are his new lawyers.

This brings us to August 2016. Case summary has shown two things: mental evaluation of Robson and Robson’s deposition. The motions we got from the court helped us tremendously to learn what happened over the last few months.

In Robson civil and probate cases, Estate’s first step was to try to get them dismissed during demurrer phase. They succeeded in probate case however their request was overruled for the civil case. Civil case has proceeded to the summary judgment phase. It is now the time for the defendant – in other words MJ Estate – to respond with an initial answer denying the allegations in the complaint and listing possible legal affirmative defenses. This is a short preliminary document.

Document here:

Not surprisingly Estate starts their answer to the complaint by focusing on Robson’s 2005 testimony.

“This case has no merit in fact or law. Wade Robson’s allegations are directly contrary to his sworn testimony in a 2005 criminal trial where Michael Jackson was vindicated of all wrongdoing by a unanimous jury of twelve. Robson was twenty-three-years-old when he testified in 2005. He was subjected to vigorous and repeated cross-examination by a very zealous prosecutor handling the case, but Robson’s testimony never wavered”.

Estate continues with

“In his complaint for money damages, Robson does not claim that he made a mistake when he testified in 2005 or that he suffered from a “repressed memory”. Rather, Robson simply claims that he chose to lie to a criminal jury in 2005. Yet, a decade later, and almost four years after Michael Jackson’s tragic death, Robson changed his story knowing that Michael Jackson is no longer here to defend himself. Robson recanted his testimony in a criminal trial for the sole and express purpose of taking money from Michael Jackson’s heirs and beneficiaries. After all, Robson’s complaint does not and cannot seek anything other than money”.

Since Judge Beckloff’s move to Santa Monica earlier this year, the documents are no longer scanned and added to the online documents system. Betty Brynes graciously agreed to go and get the documents. We wouldn’t have this information if it wasn’t for her. I’m grateful for all her help. In this post I’ll do an update about Safechuck case and I’ll do a separate post about the Robson case. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to miss it.

The last information we had about Safechuck cases are as follows:

  • -          In September 2015, Judge dismissed Safechuck’s probate claim against MJ Estate.
  • -          In June 2015, Judge reviewed filings and allowed the start of Safechuck’s civil case against MJ Companies. 
  • -          In July 2015, Safechuck have filed his civil complaint. Then amended his complaint in October 2015
  • -          In December 2015, Estate have filed their demurrer against Safechuck civil case.
  • -          A hearing on the demurrer motion was set for March, 2016.

I can now report that Judge Beckloff ruled on the demurrer on August 23rd, 2016 – just 10 days ago.

Robson civil case demurrer ruling document :

On September 21, 2015 after 2 months of waiting Judge ruled on MJ Estate’s demurrer for Robson’s civil case. Estate’s demurrer was overruled, this means Robson’s claim will proceed to the next phase of summary judgment.

In his civil case Robson has sued two of MJ’s companies – MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures. According to the law, a person can bring a childhood sexual abuse case until their 26th birthday. However there is an exception. This exception allows lawsuit against third party non perpetrators (in this instance MJ Companies) if they knew or had a reason to know about the unlawful sexual conduct of their employee/ representative/agent (MJ) and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it.

Robson was over 26 years old when he filed his lawsuit and he has been claiming this exception. Estate was arguing against it. The demurrer has been mainly about statute of limitations.  

Demurrer can be explained as “even if the facts alleged in the complaint were true, there is no legal basis for a lawsuit". In other words Judge is required to accept all the claims as true for the purposes of demurrer and is only determining if there is a legal basis for a lawsuit. Furthermore in demurrer stage the defendants (Estate in this instance) cannot bring any evidence or witnesses. They could only argue against Robson’s claims using the law and the precedent cases.