This section of my web site is about a lawsuit for malicious prosecution and abuse of process I filed May 28th, 2009, against the attorneys of a corporation who sued me, with forged evidence, to compel me to stop speaking publicly about their theft of photographs from this website. They and their attorneys sued me for seven causes of action from 2005 to 2008. I prevailed on all counts, with the court finding the other party lied under oath, forged a sales agreement, and had "no credible evidence" to support his "highly implausible" story.
The case is published as Gregerson v. Vilana Fin., Inc., No. 06-1164, 2008 WL 451060 (D. Minn. Feb. 15, 2008). I posted a full chronology of the litigation against me on this site, and it was discussed in an article on Slashdot after I prevailed.
The attorneys and their law firms received approximately $60,000 for from the corporation for bringing the litigation against me. I am seeking my legal fees and lost income as damages for the two and a half years I spent defending myself previously.
The corporation that sued me, which was owned and operated by a single individual, is dissolved. The individual appears to have no more assets. I settled with him and (for now) he is not identified by name on this website. The attorneys and their firms being sued are:
In order to understand this lawsuit, I recommend first reading the account of the original litigation that occurred from 2005 to 2008. Then you can read the 20-page Complaint. In early 2010, trial court Judge John McShane granted summary judgment to the defendants because I allegedly lacked any evidence that the attorneys did not have probable cause to sue me. I appealed the dismissal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals in May of 2010, and they issued an Opinion affirming the trial court's decision to dismiss my case because the attorney's were entitled to believe their client (they did not claim to believe him in any papers, the court entered this argument on the behalf of the attorneys).
Malicious prosecution is legally defined in Minnesota as follows:
See Stead-Bowers v. Langley, 636 N.W.2d 334, 338 (Minn. App. 2001), review denied (Minn.Feb. 19, 2002).
Abuse of process is using the legal process to try to obtain a result that's beyond the scope of the process.
"The essential elements for a cause of action for abuse of process are the existence of an ulterior purpose and the act of using the process to accomplish a result not within the scope of the proceedings in which it was issued, whether such a result might otherwise be lawfully obtained or not."
See Kellar v. VonHoltum, 568 N.W.2d 186, 192 (Minn. App. 1997), review denied (Minn. Oct. 31, 1997). "The test is whether the process was used...to compel a party to do a collateral act which he is not legally required to do." See Kittler & Hedelson v. Sheehan Props., Inc., 295 Minn. 232, 239, 203 N.W.2d 835, 840 (1973).
This applies to the multiple legal claims brought against me; the corporation and it's lawyers sued me in an effort to compel me to remove my web page, but the legal claims (even if valid), would not require me to remove the web page, only make minor changes to it (remove a word, or remove a photo they objected to).
This site includes a docket for the case, which I will use to publish all the legal briefs I file and orders of the court (from the Complaint on). All filings by the defendants will be summarized. Each significant filing or hearing will have a web page with my comments where visitors can post feedback.