Aiexpress – The funeral service for NYPD police officer Wilbert Mora at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Feb. 2, 2022, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, saw the presence of former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani. (File Photo by: zz/NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx 2022 2/2/22) Right: At the Capitol in Washington, on June 21, 2022, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, finds solace in the comforting embrace of her mother, Ruby Freeman, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to disclose its findings from a year-long investigation.
The women from Georgia, who were subjected to Rudy Giuliani’s smear campaign after the election, argue that the former New York mayor should not be granted a pause in his bankruptcy claim to appeal the defamation case filed against him. The jury has already determined that the women are entitled to nearly $150 million in damages due to Giuliani’s actions.
In December, a federal jury in Washington, D.C. found Rudy Giuliani liable for defamation damages amounting to $148 million. Giuliani’s relentless smear campaign targeted election workers Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman, falsely accusing them of manipulating votes in favor of President Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election, instead of Donald Trump. This massive award has been referred to as the “civil equivalent of a death penalty,” leading Giuliani to file for bankruptcy after the verdict.
Giuliani immediately requested an exception from the automatic stay imposed by the bankruptcy filing. His intention was to continue his legal endeavors in order to modify the judgment and potentially seek a new trial.
Lawyers representing the women, Freeman and Moss, strongly argue against granting the request. They highlight Giuliani’s failure to actively participate in the defamation lawsuit, which led to a default judgment by U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell.
According to the women’s opposition, the record from the Freeman Litigation makes it abundantly clear that Mr. Giuliani had ample opportunities to defend himself but deliberately chose not to participate. Therefore, it is incredibly ironic that Mr. Giuliani’s first significant request in his chapter 11 case is to lift the automatic stay so that he can pursue an appeal in the Freeman Litigation on an expedited basis.
According to the motion, Giuliani is being accused of attempting to have it both ways. It is alleged that he wants to appeal the Freeman Litigation without having to post a bond, all while using the automatic stay as a means to prevent Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss from enforcing their judgment.
According to attorney Rachel Strickland, Giuliani’s request is seen as another instance of him abusing the court system. Strickland argues that this behavior is consistent with his previous actions.
The filing asserts that there is no legal justification to grant the requested relief by Mr. Giuliani. It argues that Mr. Giuliani cannot utilize the automatic stay to protect himself from creditors while also attempting to undermine their legal rights. The filing suggests that if Mr. Giuliani genuinely wanted to appeal the Freeman Litigation, he could have simply refrained from filing for chapter 11 protection.
According to Strickland, the motion raises doubts about the sincerity of Giuliani’s chapter 11 filing.
The filing by the women acknowledges that Giuliani has very few resources to pay the defamation judgment, making case efficiency crucial. However, the former mayor’s request would only result in incurring significant legal fees to pursue baseless appeals of non-dischargeable claims.
According to Strickland, Giuliani’s best-case scenario, if the stay is lifted, would be to revert the Freeman Litigation to a state where Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss only have unliquidated claims instead of liquidated ones. Strickland emphasizes that Giuliani has already been found guilty of defaming the women, a fact he himself admitted in a signed filing in federal court.
The filing notes that if the Stay Relief Motion is granted, not only will Mr. Giuliani’s estate face significant legal fees, but it will also result in a significant delay in the progress of the chapter 11 case. This could potentially last for months or even years as Mr. Giuliani pursues appeals.
Freeman and Moss argue in their filing that the motion presented by Giuliani is merely a repetition of his previous actions.
According to the filing, the Stay Relief Motion is considered a flawed and impermissible litigation tactic. The actor involved in the case has a history of engaging in the judicial system in bad faith.
According to Strickland, even this single motion holds significant implications that could impact other bankruptcy cases.
According to the filing, Mr. Giuliani’s motion to lift the stay is seen as a move that would disrupt the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and undermine the intended objectives of the Bankruptcy Code. The filing further asserts that this action is driven by his own litigious strategy, which is deemed as abusive.