Photo: Olivier Douliery / TNS
Right-wing activist Alex Jones has suffered another setback in his legal war with parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
As first reported by Right Wing Watch, the Texas Court of Appeals tossed an appeal Jones had filed in a defamation case there and ordered him to pay court costs.
Infowars and Jones are defendants in a lawsuit filed by Neil Heslin, the father of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who said the website aired claims that Heslin said were meant to insinuate he lied about holding his murdered son’s body, resulting in harassment and emotional damage by those who believe Sandy Hook was a “false flag” conspiracy.
According to Right Wing Watch, Heslin had filed a motion for expedited discovery and a motion for sanctions against Jones, who had filed a motion to have Heslin’s lawsuit dismissed under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, a 2011 Texas law meant to aid individuals facing a frivolous lawsuits.
However, the judge hearing the case agreed with Heslin that Infowars’ efforts to delete content relevant to his case had hampered his ability to respond to Infowars’ motion to dismiss, Right Wing Watch reported.
A judge extended the hearing date on Infowars’ motion to dismiss and ordered Infowars to respond to discovery requests, according to the website, but when the deadline for discovery approached, Infowars made clear it did not intend to cooperate. Heslin then filed a motion for contempt of court.
Lawyers for Infowars argued that because defendants had appeared in court regarding their motion to dismiss, they were not required to comply with the discovery process, according to Right Wing Watch. But The Texas Court of Appeals disagreed with Infowars’ interpretation of Texas law and tossed the appeal.
“We agree with Heslin that the district court has not yet ruled on Appellants’ motion to dismiss, nor has the motion been overruled by operation of law. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction,” Justice Gisela Triana wrote in an Aug. 30 ruling.
The court also ruled that Jones “shall pay all costs” relating to the appeal.
Heslin’s lawyer in the case, Mark Bankston, said the next steps in the case won’t be clear until parties meet with the court.
“Mr. Heslin is very pleased with the decision of the Court of Appeals dismissing InfoWars’ appeal and ordering Mr. Jones to pay costs. After InfoWars wasted everyone’s time on a frivolous appeal, we can now return to the trial court where we intend to hold Mr. Jones fully accountable for his disgusting defamation of Mr. Heslin,” Bankston told Right Wing Watch.
In addition to his legal troubles in Texas, Jones is facing a defamation claim filed by other Sandy Hook families in Connecticut court.