This will be a brief update on the status of the Roloff lawsuit Vs Washington County.
The trial is now scheduled for May 29, 2012.
All of Matt and Amy's claims against Washington County -- the constitutional violations -- that the County unfairly targets the Roloffs, seeking an injunction against further inspections -- all were dismissed by the judge and the trial has been reduced to a simple trespassing charge. The County does not dispute the trespassing charge (they disciplined the inspector and attempted to apologize to the Roloffs). So basically all that the trial will be about is how much the Roloffs will receive in damages for a simple trespass. The Roloffs were suing for $200,000 in severe emotional distress suffered by Amy Roloff.
In a rather surprising turn of events, guess who will testify as one of Washington County's key witnesses to dispute the Plaintiffs (the Roloffs) claim that Amy suffered severe emotional distress worthy of a substantial financial sum? Jacob Roloff.
Jacob Roloff, 15, who is once again struggling in school, will be forced to testify in front of a jury because his testimony appears to contradict the claims of his parents Matt and Amy Roloff in their lawsuit against Washington County seeking $200,000 for severe emotional distress. Amy says her life has been shattered by that one incident, while Jacob says he hasn't seen any change in Amy.
The Roloffs contention is that their lives have been shattered by this one incident involving the inspector on that day in July of 2010. They claim that all the stress they have in life is all because of this one incident.
In these court documents and statements, the Roloffs paint a very different picture of their lives compared to the uber-happy, always successful and upbeat persona Matt and Amy portray on their Facebook Fan Pages on an almost daily basis.
So the core of the case now is the Roloffs attempting to show that the emotional distress suffered by Amy is worth $200,000.
Amy says she was shattered by the incident.
Matt says it has rattled Amy to her core and in over 20 years of marriage he has never seen her that devastated. The Plaintiffs (the Roloffs) will call people such as former 'Little People, Big World' producer and close Roloff friend Chris Cardamone, Matt's assistant Caryn, and Amy's personal trainer to back up Amy's claims that she has been shattered by this one incident.
So to summarize:
1. Amy says she was shattered.
2, Matt says he's never seen Amy so emotionally devastated in his life.
3. Meanwhile, Jacob apparently stated in his deposition (Jacob's deposition was not posted publicly, but referred to in Amy's deposition which is in the public domain. Amy was asked why Jacob said he has not noticed any change in Amy since this incident) that there has been no change at all in Amy since the incident. In the court documents where Washington County announced their intention to call Jacob Roloff as a witness, they state what Jacob will testify that the inspector did not do anything threatening or make any verbal threats. It states that Jacob will testify that he wasn't worried about Amy, that the incident had no affect on him, and that other than Amy being frustrated, he hasn't seen any effects on her since the incident [Note: Before anyone makes claims that this is 'private insider knowledge' - all this information is in the public domain on the PACER site -- PACER stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records. Spiritswander was forced into following the activity in this case on PACER in order to defend our rights against the subpoena Matt and Amy Roloff requested]
Therefore, because of the obvious contradiction between Matt and Amy's story and Jacob's version, Washington County have announced that they will call Jacob Roloff as one of their key witnesses.
Personally, I don't think this case will be a proud moment for the LP movement. In trying to argue for $200,000 worth of emotional distress; one of the Roloffs arguments, complete with a psychiatrist specializing in people with dwarfism, basically seems to be that little people are weak, defenseless and get very frightened of average height people. Little people don't have coping skills like an average height person. Amy was scared for her physical safety because she is so little and the inspector is so big and while that situation might not have devastated an average height person, it destroys the life of a Little Person because they are so small, scared and can't cope with such a scenario. It's a very different message than what was supposed to be the entire lesson of the series 'Little People, Big World'.
I suppose it will depend on the final outcome and how much money Roloffs are able to get in damages, but one has to wonder if they will feel like the whole lawsuit was worth it? The Roloffs failed in their subpoena against the Spiritswander Blog -- which we felt was a clear abuse of subpoena powers and an attempt to trample on the First Amendment rights off all readers of the Spiritswander Blog. Their case against Washington County has been dismissed all except for a simple trespass charge, a variety of embarrassing personal details will now be known in public court documents (things such as Matt discussing whether his and Amy's sex life since the incident is as robust as it was a few years ago) and now it's clear that by pursuing this issue, their 15 year old son who is once again struggling in school (as per Matt Roloff in court documents dated December 2011) will now be forced to testify in front of a jury, basically against his own parents and Jacob will need to deal with the stress of all that.
One wonders if any amount of financial compensation they will possibly receive as a result of this case will be worth all of that? Matt insists that their lawsuit "is not about the money", except now that is all this case is about because all other parts of the lawsuit has been thrown out by the judge.
The trial is set as a two-day jury trial scheduled to begin on May 29, 2012.