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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIA

ERIC J. BONETTI PETITIONER — APPELLANT V. ROBERT H. MALM DEFENDANT – APPELLEE

PETITION FOR APPEAL

ERIC J. BONETTI PRO SE 4129 FOUNTAINSIDE LANE #203 FAIRFAX VA 22030 703-973-4984 eric.bonetti@protonmail.com


NATURE OF THE CASE

This is a pro se Petition for Interlocutory Appeal from a ruling of the Alexandria Circuit in Bonetti v. Malm, docketed at CL 20202206 that denied Plaintiff Eric Bonetti sanctions or, in the alternative, an order to compel discovery. The Court further issued a gag order that would prevent any discussion or blogging about the case. The case involves the issuance, by the Alexandria General District Court, of a protective order against Plaintiff, and in favor of Defendant Malm. That despite that fact that the Defendant expressly stated under oath, in open court: 1) He had not been threatened by Plaintiff. 2) Neither he nor his family had had any contact with the Plaintiff in more than a year. 3) Defendant had not met or seen Plaintiff in any public or private place in more than a year. Moreover, Defendant repeatedly attempted to impose a prior restraint on Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights to criticize Defendant online and in public, inter alia asking the Alexandria VA police to impose such a restriction and proffering a settlement proposal in which the objective was on getting


Plaintiff waiving his First Amendment rights vis-à-vis criticizing the defendant. As a result, Plaintiff brought a suit for abuse of process against the Defendant in the Alexandria Circuit Court, alleging that Defendant: 1) Had an ulterior and improper purpose in bringing litigation, namely to use the protective order system as a strategic lawsuit against public participation. This was evinced by the Defendant’s myriad efforts to obtain a prior restraint that would prevent Plaintiff from criticizing his conduct, both in writing and via litigation counsel. 2) And his attorney engaged in a variety of conduct not appropriate in the ordinary course of litigation, including committing perjury in writing during discovery by falsely claiming under oath that the Plaintiff’s mother, then terminally ill, or someone claiming to be her, contacted him repeatedly, only to now-show. This was highly material, for it went to the heart of Defendant’s case, in which he falsely alleged that Plaintiff’s mother’s blog was threatening, and written by Plaintiff. Nor was Defendant’s litigation-related misconduct limited to perjury: a. It later came to light that he had engaged in spoliation of evidence by concealing adverse information during


discovery, including an email, squarely within the ambit of Plaintiff’s request for the production of documents, in which Defendant expressly denied being threatened. b. Defendant repeatedly made false statements of law and fact to the courts, further compounding his malfeasance by failing under Rule 3.3 to correct his false statements. These included outright fabrications, including claiming that Plaintiff had never served as a police officer, and had never been licensed as an attorney. c.

Defendant and his wife Leslie repeatedly engaged in witness tampering, contacting Plaintiff’s key witness, Darlene Parsons, publisher of anti-church-abuse blog The Wartburg Watch myriad times, in writing and by phone, even after repeated requests to defense counsel that this conduct cease. Indeed, the most recent such effort was on December 20, 2021.

d.

Defendant assaulting Plaintiff on one occasion, driving up to him in his blue Ford Explorer, carefully sizing up the situation, and emerging from the vehicle screaming and threatening. And while defense counsel later portrayed


this as a “conversation,” Defendant’s behavior was objectively threatening, for it sent nearby residents, enjoying a sunny day in their yards, scrambling for the safety of their homes. Moreover, it illustrates the illusory nature of Defendant’s claims, for no rational actor engages in this behavior with someone whom he legitimately believes is an imminent threat to his safety. e.

Perpetrating a fraud upon the courts, by taking words from Plaintiff’s later mother’s blog out of context and claiming that they were threats. For instance, a reference to “psychological torture,” drawn from a scholarly article on the effects of clergy misconduct, Defendant claimed was somehow a threat. No rational actor would reach such a conclusion.

f.

At one point attempted, in violation of the express provisions of relevant Pennsylvania law, attempted to depose Plaintiff’s mother without prior written leave of court, despite the fact that she was late-stage terminally ill, incontinent, suffering from a profound anxiety disorder,


dependent on oxygen, and unable to perform even basic daily life tasks. 3) Thus, Plaintiff pled both the ulterior purpose and improper conduct in the ordinary course of litigation needed for a successful claim of abuse of process pursuant to Virginia case law. PRESENT LITIGATION Of concern in the present requested interlocutory appeal are the Defendant’s responses to interrogatories (attached), which are replete with evasive answers, unhelpful references to documents supplied, partial truths, and more. Of particular importance are the first and interrogatories which ask for the specifics of Defendant’s claimed threat, but provide evasive and irrelevant information. Similarly, interrogatory four is vitally important, for it focuses on the Defendant’s perjury during discovery in the initial litigation. In that response, Defendant claims he was contacted repeatedly by Plaintiff’’s late mother, or someone purporting to be her, to set up appointments with Malm, only to no-show. This, Defendant states, is a key reason for his claim that Plaintiff’s late mother’s blog, which Defendant falsely claims was threatening, actually was written by Plaintiff. Thus, the response is highly


material. It’s also perjurious, for there is zero possibility that it occurred, either as to Ms. Yahner or as to any third party purporting to be her. Apropos interrogatory four, Defendant has attempted to weasel-word his response, claiming he does not recall speaking to Ms. Yahner. This, of course, leaves open the possibility of non-verbal communication, including via email, snail mail, via third parties, and myriad other possibilities. Thus, Plaintiff seeks specifics, including: - When was Mr. Malm contacted? - By what means? Phone? Email? Postal Mail? In-person visits? Via a third person? - What was discussed? - Who can verify these claims? Indeed, since this claim goes to the very heart of Mr. Malm’s claims, proof of perjury on his part may well cause the complete collapse of his case. Similarly, in his response to one interrogatory — a previously undisclosed email that is defamatory and profoundly injurious to Defendant’s case, for it clearly evinces a propensity for fabrication — Defendant offers the ludicrous objections that he is unable to comment on the document on the basis that he has not seen the document. Why has he not seen the document? Because it is in the possession of his attorney —


surely one of the worst excuses ever given by a defendant for failing to respond to interrogatories, and one that Plaintiff avers warrants sanctions on its face.1 Nor are these interrogatories unfamiliar to the parties or the court. Indeed, all but a couple were used in the original litigation. A pattern of similar conduct occurred in Defendant’s responses, with the Alexandria Circuit Court issuing an Order to Compel Discovery against the Defendant, which the latter ignored.

STATEMENT OF FACTS The above facts are incorporated by reference. At issue in this interlocutory

appeal is the refusal of the Alexandria Circuit Court to impose sanctions — a not unreasonable approach in light of Defendant’s disregard for its previous Order to Compel — or an order to compel. This decision was made during Motions Court, held May 23, 2021.

The Alexandria trial court denied these requests out of hand, stating that in

the unlikely event that case went to trial, the parties would rely on the Defendant’s responses to date. Moreover, the Court granted Defendant’s motion

1 In the interests of candor to the tribunal, the issue of this failure to produce the defamatory email during

discovery is now before this court in two related cases.


for an order establishing confidentiality for his discovery responses, any material referenced during trial, and even courtroom testimony. It did so despite exactly zero showing of any implicated privacy issue on the part of the Defendant, or the publication of any information harmful to the Defendant. Moreover, it ignored without comment fabrications by Defense Counsel Wayne Cyron in his written pleadings, who claimed that Plaintiff had previously violated an informal resolution of the conflict between the parties by blogging under the names of his siblings. This was an outrageous misstatement, for Plaintiff’s only brother, Brian, died in an accident almost 27 years to the day earlier — timing that would seem hardly a coincidence. Moreover, Mr. Cyron has repeatedly ignored requests under Rule 3.3 to retract his fabrications before the Alexandria Court.

Lastly, the trial court’s discussion at the end of the hearing, which was to

suggest that Plaintiff’s lawsuit is frivolous, is highly inappropriate when plaintiff has pled the elements of a cause of action for abuse of process — ulterior motive and improper conduct — and when discovery is not yet complete.

Also at issue is the Court’s decision, made several months ago, to refuse to

enjoin Defendant from contacting Plaintiff’s witnesses. This includes Ms. Darlene Parsons, who even wrote to the court asking that the Defendant stop contacting her, but was ignored. Similarly, the court has refused to enjoin Defendant Malm


from making terrorizing threats against Plaintiff, including the one previously described. Again, this conduct, witnessed by several neighbors, sent multiple individuals running for the safety of their homes, and thus clearly met a “rational person” standard for threatening conduct.

ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR Plaintiff makes the following assignments of error: 1) That the Alexandria Circuit Court erred in its decision to deny Plaintiff an order to compel or sanctions sufficient to obtain complete discovery responses; that such refusal was arbitrary and capricious; lacked any rational basis; denied the Plaintiff due process and the equal protection of the laws; and if allowed to stand would make it impossible for the Plaintiff to obtain a fair and impartial outcome at trial. 2) That the Alexandria Circuit Court’s erred in its decision to grant a gag order — while not yet published — was made with no showing of injury to Defendant’s privacy issues; violates the First Amendment, is overbroad; ignores Mr. Cyron’s courtroom fabrications; violates Fourth Circuit precedent (In re: Murphy-Brown, LLC, No. 18-1762);


and involves no suggestion that exercise of First Amendment rights will in any way affect the right of either party to a fair trial. 3) The Circuit Court for the City of Alexandria erred when it refused to enjoin Mr. Malm and his family engaging in witness tampering. Indeed, members of the Defendant’s family engaged in witness tampering as recently as December 20, 2020. This conduct impairs the ability of the Plaintiff to obtain a fair trial and violates his right to the due process of the law. 4) That the Circuit Court for the City of Alexandria erred when it refused to enjoin Mr. Malm from threatening the Plaintiff, and in doing so denied Plaintiff due process and the equal protection of the laws. Indeed, if the Alexandria courts can impose a protective order when, as the Defendant himself has conceded, Plaintiff has had no contact with him or his family, has not threatened him or his family, and has not encountered him or his family in any public or private location in over a year, then it follows as a matter of logic and precedent that Defendant’s assault, which met a reasonable person test for invoking fear of an imminent physical attack, qualifies for an injunction.


ARGUMENT Plaintiff incorporates the above arguments by reference, and further avers that the Alexandria Circuit Court has prejudged his case and demonstrated irrational bias in this case, possibly on the basis that Defendant in an Episcopal priest. Regardless of the reasons behind the Alexandria Circuit Court’s actions, this case is replete with misconduct on the part of the Defendant, Grace Episcopal Church, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. This includes: - Ignoring court orders. - Knowingly proffering facially perjurious testimony by Defendant. - Concealing adverse evidence. - Making false police reports. - Engaging in smear campaigns in which they allege that Plaintiff is mentally ill, and that mental illness is a precursor to violence. Such stereotypes of the mentally ill are false and profoundly offensive, particularly to those, Plaintiff included, who have family and friends who struggle with mental illness. - Making false statements of law and fact to the courts, and failing to correct them in accordance with the obligations imposed by Rule


3.3. Indeed, while much of the misconduct in question occurred under prior legal counsel Jeffery Chiow – a member of the church – present defense counsel Mr. Wayne Cyron has repeatedly refused to honor his obligation of candor to the tribunal and fairness to the opposing party by defending Mr. Malm’s perjury and be refusing to retract his fabrication about the existence of Plaintiff’s siblings. And Plaintiff has expressly admonished Mr. Cyron in writing of his obligation as an officer of the court, and pursuant to Rule 3.3, not to offer perjurious testimony. Nor can he disclaim actual knowledge, for Mr. Malm’s perjurious statements are facially contradictory. Indeed, in Virginia litigation, Mr. Malm, under oath, and in writing, identified Plaintiff’s late mother by name – Sigrid Yahner – in claiming that she or someone purporting to be her contacted him repeatedly. Yet in related litigation in Massachusetts, Malm claimed that the Virginia perjury did not occur, and that he indeed did not “even know her name.” Mr. Cyron later tried to mislead the court, claiming that Malm “initially didn’t know her name,” but at the relevant point in time, which was when the perjury was committed, Malm both knew her name and used it. Thus, both statements cannot be true, and Ms. Yahner


either contacted his client, or she did not. Mr. Cyron’s proffering of his client’s perjurious testimony and defense of same is objectionable, both under the rules and in Mr. Cyron’s role as an officer of the court. Indeed, as Plaintiff has directly reminded Mr. Cyron, there is more to the ethical practice of law than just winning cases, and defending facially obvious perjury is indefensible, with the possible exception of criminal defense work. Nor is it within the acceptable bounds of attorney conduct to aid and abet such perjury, or to defend a fraud upon the courts as happened at trial. - Engaging in vexatious discovery intended solely to increase costs and oppress the opposition. - Attempting to depose Plaintiff’s late mother while late-stage terminally ill, in violation of Pennsylvania rules of civil procedure and with full knowledge she was unable to comply. - Proffering inflammatory rhetoric, including referring to the case as one of “domestic terrorism.” CONCLUSION Plaintiff requests that the Court:


1) reverse and remand the Alexandria Circuit Court’s decision not to grant discovery sanctions or, in the alternative, compel discovery. 2) Enjoin the Defendant be enjoined from further contact with him or making further threats, at least for the duration of the litigation. 3) Enjoin the Defendant from contacting Darlene Parsons or others he knows, or has reason to know, will be witnesses for the Plaintiff, at least until trial is concluded. 4) Enjoin the Alexandria Circuit from issuing gag orders in the case absent a showing of a privacy interest sufficient to overcome the First Amendment rights of the Plaintiff and members of the public, and a full hearing on the same. 5) Direct the Alexandria Circuit to conduct further hearings not inconsistent with this Court’s decision and order. 6) All such other relief as this court may deem appropriate. CERTIFICATIONS Pro se plaintiff: Eric J. Bonetti 4129 Fountainside Lane #203 Fairfax VA 22030


703-973-4984 eric.bonetti@protonmail.com Counsel for defendant Robert H. Malm Wayne Cyron, Esq. (VSB No. 12220) Suite 200 100 North Pitt Street Alexandria, VA 22314 703-299-0600 703-299-0603 (fax) wcyron@cyronmiller.com


CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on July 4, 2021 a copy of the Plaintiff’s Petition for Appeal was emailed to: Wayne Cyron, Esq. (VSB No. 12220) Suite 200 100 North Pitt Street Alexandria, VA 22314 703-299-0600 703-299-0603 (fax) wcyron@cyronmiller.com

ORAL ARGUMENT Plaintiff waives oral argument.


TRIAL COURT MATERIALS


VIRGINIA: IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

ERIC J. BONETTI,

Plaintiff, CIVIL ACTION NUMBER: CL 20002206

vs. ROBERT H. MALM Defendant

PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION COMES NOW Plaintiff Eric J. Bonetti in the above-captioned matter, and motion for reconsideration following the court’s ruling of May 26, 2021, in which the court denied Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions/order to compel in discovery, and granted a protective order granting confidentiality for Defendant’s discovery responses. Plaintiff avers that the Circuit Court: 1. Ignored the evasive nature of Defendant’s discovery responses, which pursuant to Rule 4 are treated as a failure to answer. This denial of meaningful discovery will irreparably prejudice Plaintiff at trial and subverts the very basis for discovery, which is to assist the parties in factfinding prior to trial. 2. Disregarded the fact that, in the previous litigation, which is the subject of the present case, this court ordered Defendant to respond to the very same interrogatories — a court order that the Defendant ignored. 3. Ignored the Defendant’s manifest perjury and the fabrications of defense counsel, thus further prejudicing Plaintiff when the case goes to trial. 4. Violated Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights, and those of the public, by imposing confidentiality on the Defendant’s responses, with no showing of any present or future harm to the Defendant.


5. Demonstrated manifest bias towards the Plaintiff by abandoning impartiality and prejudging the merits of the case, even before discovery has been completed. This is evinced by the court’s remonstrations of the Plaintiff, in which the court clearly suggested that Plaintiff’s case is vexatious and without merit, despite Defendant’s clear ulterior motive in bringing litigation against the Plaintiff, and Defendant’s myriad instances of behavior not proper in the ordinary course of litigation, including perjury, false testimony, witness tampering, spoliation of evidence and more. As such, the court’s ruling violates Plaintiff’s rights to due process and the equal protection of the laws. 6. Violated Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights, and those of the public, by granting confidentiality for Defendant’s discovery responses, despite a failure of the Defendant to demonstrate any legitimate privacy interest in his discovery responses. 7. Failed to demonstrate even a rational basis for its ruling. Plaintiff certifies that he has, this 26th day of May, served a copy of this notice of appeal upon defense counsel via email per the following: Craig D. Roswell, Esquire (VSB No.: 33901) Matthew J. Youssef, Esquire (VSB No.: 85339) NILES, BARTON & WILMER, LLP 111 S. Calvert Street, Suite 1400 Baltimore, Maryland 21202 (410) 783 –6357 (410) 783 –6452 cdroswell@nilesbarton.com mjyoussef@nilesbarton.com Counsel for Defendant, Grace Episcopal Church and Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Wayne F. Cyron, Esquire (VSB No. 12220) CYRON & MILLER LLP 100 N. Pitt St., Suite 200 Alexandria, VA 22314 703-299-0600 703-299-0603 (fax) wcyron@cyronmiller.com Counsel for Defendant, Robert H. Malm

Alexandria City Attorney


301 King Street, Suite 1300 P. O. Box 178 Alexandria, Virginia 22313 George.mcandrews@alexandriava.gov

Respectfully submitted,

Eric J. Bonetti Pro se plaintiff 4129 Fountainside Lane 203 Fairfax VA 22030 703-973-4984 Eric.bonetti@protonmail.com


VIRGINIA: IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

ERIC J. BONETTI,

Plaintiff, CIVIL ACTION NUMBER: CL 20002206

vs. ROBERT H. MALM Defendant

PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ASSIGNMENT OF NEW JUDGE 1. COMES NOW Plaintiff Eric J. Bonetti in the above-captioned matter, and requests that the Alexandria Circuit Court assign the above-referenced case to a new judge, on the basis that Judge Clark, now assigned to the case, has repeatedly demonstrated bias in the case, such that Plaintiff has no hope of a fair, impartial proceeding or trial. This follows the court’s ruling of May 26, 2021, in which the court denied Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions/order to compel in discovery, and granted a protective order granting confidentiality for Defendant’s discovery responses. 2. Plaintiff avers that the Circuit Court: •

Ignored the evasive nature of Defendant’s discovery responses, which pursuant to Rule 4 are treated as a failure to answer. This denial of meaningful discovery will irreparably prejudice Plaintiff at trial and subverts the very basis for discovery, which is to assist the parties in fact-finding prior to trial.

Disregarded the fact that, in the previous litigation, which is the subject of the present case, this court ordered Defendant to respond to the very same interrogatories — a court order that the Defendant ignored.


Ignored the Defendant’s manifest perjury and the fabrications of defense counsel, thus further prejudicing Plaintiff when the case goes to trial.

Violated Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights, and those of the public, by imposing confidentiality on the Defendant’s responses, with no showing of any present or future harm to the Defendant.

Demonstrated manifest bias towards the Plaintiff by abandoning impartiality and prejudging the merits of the case, even before discovery has been completed. This is evinced by the court’s remonstrations of the Plaintiff, in which the court clearly suggested that Plaintiff’s case is vexatious and without merit, despite Defendant’s clear ulterior motive in bringing litigation against the Plaintiff, and Defendant’s myriad instances of behavior not proper in the ordinary course of litigation, including perjury, false testimony, witness tampering, spoliation of evidence and more. As such, the court’s ruling violates Plaintiff’s rights to due process and the equal protection of the laws.

Violated Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights, and those of the public, by granting confidentiality for Defendant’s discovery responses, despite a failure of the Defendant to demonstrate any legitimate privacy interest in his discovery responses.

Failed to demonstrate even a rational basis for its ruling.

3. Moreover, in previous rulings, the court refused to enjoin multiple instances of witness tampering by the Defendant and his spouse, which has happened on at least six instances and involved three key witnesses for the Plaintiff, including: Dee Parsons, Dr. Bob Perry, and the Rev. Richard Wall. This has happened despite multiple requests to defense counsel to ensure that this conduct stops. 4. The court also has refused to enjoin the Defendant from threatening and contacting the Plaintiff, which has happened on multiple occasions. In one instance, Defendant’s conduct met


the standard for a protective order, with the Defendant screaming threats that sent onlookers running for safety. This conduct is both prejudicial to a fair trial and a violation of the Commonwealth’s criminal statutues, and deprives the Plaintiff of the due process and equal protection of the laws. Indeed, if the courts can issue a protective order against the Plaintiff, even after the Defendant has expressly stated that he has not been threatened by Plaintiff, then this court can with equal validity issue a protective order when Defendant begins screaming threats of violence at the Plaintiff. 5. The court has ignored Defendant’s spoliation of evidence, including documents that were concealed during initial litigation that were adverse to Defendant, and that gave rise to a potential cause of action for defamation against the Defendant. 6. For the reasons above, and to ensure the due process and equal protection of the laws for all parties, Plaintiff requests that this action be assigned to a judge who does not demonstrate manifest bias. Plaintiff states that he has, this 26th day of May, served a copy of this notice of appeal upon defense counsel via email per the following: Craig D. Roswell, Esquire (VSB No.: 33901) Matthew J. Youssef, Esquire (VSB No.: 85339) NILES, BARTON & WILMER, LLP 111 S. Calvert Street, Suite 1400 Baltimore, Maryland 21202 (410) 783 –6357 (410) 783 –6452 cdroswell@nilesbarton.com mjyoussef@nilesbarton.com Counsel for Defendant, Grace Episcopal Church and Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Wayne F. Cyron, Esquire (VSB No. 12220) CYRON & MILLER LLP 100 N. Pitt St., Suite 200 Alexandria, VA 22314 703-299-0600 703-299-0603 (fax) wcyron@cyronmiller.com Counsel for Defendant, Robert H. Malm


Alexandria City Attorney 301 King Street, Suite 1300 P. O. Box 178 Alexandria, Virginia 22313 George.mcandrews@alexandriava.gov

Respectfully submitted,

Eric J. Bonetti Pro se plaintiff 4129 Fountainside Lane 203 Fairfax VA 22030 703-973-4984 Eric.bonetti@protonmail.com


VIRGINIA: IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

ERIC J. BONETTI,

Plaintiff, CIVIL ACTION NUMBER: CL 20002206

vs. ROBERT H. MALM Defendant

PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL COMES NOW Plaintiff Eric J. Bonetti in the above-captioned matter, and requests leave to file an interlocutory appeal with the Virginia Supreme Court in the above-captioned matter following the court’s ruling of May 26, 2021, in which the court denied Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions/order to compel in discovery, and granted a protective order granting confidentiality for Defendant’s discovery responses. Plaintiff avers that the Circuit Court: 1. Ignored the evasive nature of Defendant’s discovery responses, which pursuant to Rule 4 are treated as a failure to answer. This denial of meaningful discovery will irreparably prejudice Plaintiff at trial and subverts the very basis for discovery, which is to assist the parties in factfinding prior to trial. 2. Disregarded the fact that, in the previous litigation, which is the subject of the present case, this court ordered Defendant to respond to the very same interrogatories — a court order that the Defendant ignored. 3. Ignored the Defendant’s manifest perjury and the fabrications of defense counsel, thus further prejudicing Plaintiff when the case goes to trial. 4. Violated Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights, and those of the public, by imposing confidentiality on the Defendant’s responses, with no showing of any present or future harm to the Defendant.


5. Demonstrated manifest bias towards the Plaintiff by abandoning impartiality and prejudging the merits of the case, even before discovery has been completed. This is evinced by the court’s remonstrations of the Plaintiff, in which the court clearly suggested that Plaintiff’s case is vexatious and without merit, despite Defendant’s clear ulterior motive in bringing litigation against the Plaintiff, and Defendant’s myriad instances of behavior not proper in the ordinary course of litigation, including perjury, false testimony, witness tampering, spoliation of evidence and more. As such, the court’s ruling violates Plaintiff’s rights to due process and the equal protection of the laws. 6. Violated Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights, and those of the public, by granting confidentiality for Defendant’s discovery responses, despite a failure of the Defendant to demonstrate any legitimate privacy interest in his discovery responses. 7. Failed to demonstrate even a rational basis for its ruling. Plaintiff certifies that he has, this 26th day of May, served a copy of this notice of appeal upon defense counsel via email per the following: Craig D. Roswell, Esquire (VSB No.: 33901) Matthew J. Youssef, Esquire (VSB No.: 85339) NILES, BARTON & WILMER, LLP 111 S. Calvert Street, Suite 1400 Baltimore, Maryland 21202 (410) 783 –6357 (410) 783 –6452 cdroswell@nilesbarton.com mjyoussef@nilesbarton.com Counsel for Defendant, Grace Episcopal Church and Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Wayne F. Cyron, Esquire (VSB No. 12220) CYRON & MILLER LLP 100 N. Pitt St., Suite 200 Alexandria, VA 22314 703-299-0600 703-299-0603 (fax) wcyron@cyronmiller.com Counsel for Defendant, Robert H. Malm

Alexandria City Attorney


301 King Street, Suite 1300 P. O. Box 178 Alexandria, Virginia 22313 George.mcandrews@alexandriava.gov

Respectfully submitted,

Eric J. Bonetti Pro se plaintiff 4129 Fountainside Lane 203 Fairfax VA 22030 703-973-4984 Eric.bonetti@protonmail.com


VIRGINIA: IN THE GENERAL DISTRICT COURT OF THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

ERIC J. BONETTI, Plaintiff, CIVIL ACTION NUMBER: CL 20002206

vs. ROBERT H. MALM Defendant

PRAECIPE COMES NOW Plaintiff Eric J. Bonetti in the above-captioned matter, and requests that the clerk schedule this matter for Motions Court at the 10:00 AM Wednesday, May 26 session. Pursuant to this Court’s instructions for remote motions day practice, revised December 21, 2020, please be advised that (a) the matter will be heard remotely via Microsoft Teams; and (b) opposing counsel/party will receive an email from the Court two days prior to the Motions Day Hearing. The Court’s email will include a link to the Microsoft Teams meeting and a telephone number to be used by those participants who do not have internet access. The email address for counsel of the Defendant, Wayne Cyron, Esq., is wcyron@cyronmiller.com and for Plaintiff is eric.bonetti@protonmail.com. Respectfully submitted, Eric J. Bonetti Pro se plaintiff 4129 Fountainside Lane 203 Fairfax VA 22030 Eric.bonetti@protonmail.com


V I R G I N I A: IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF ALEXANDRIA CITY ERIC J. BONETTI Plaintiff, v. ROBERT H. MALM Defendant

: : : : : CL NO. 20002206 : : :

MOTION FOR SANCTIONS PURSUANT TO RULE 4:12(d), AMENDED COMES NOW Plaintiff, ERIC BONETTI, in the above-entitled action and pursuant to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and hereby respectfully requests this honorable Court to grant sanctions against Defendant Robert H. Malm for failure to participate in discovery and discovery-related misconduct, including witness tampering, up to and including summary judgment for the Plaintiff and the award of punitive damages. In support of his request, Plaintiff states the following: 1. This is a case for abuse of process that arises from the Defendant’s efforts to use the civil protection order process as a strategic lawsuit against public participation. 2. On or about January 2018, Defendant obtained a protective order in Alexandria on the basis of various fabrications and misrepresentations to the Court. These included: a. Claims that Plaintiff had threatened Defendant and the church at which Defendant then served as a priest; b. Assertions that various words on a blog belonging to the Plaintiff’s late mother, taken out of context, somehow constituted threats against the Defendant.


3. Meanwhile, Defendant made various written statements against interest, including that his wife and daughter took the matter too seriously. (Exhibit A). 4. Defendant also contacted the Alexandria police department, seeking a means to obtain a prior restraint on Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights to blog about his experiences with Defendant and his church, and to peacefully protest in public spaces outside the church. (Exhibit B). 5. On appeal to this Court, Defendant made multiple false statements of law and fact to this court, including, but not limited to: a. That Plaintiff was never licensed to practice law. b. That Plaintiff never served as a police officer. 6. Defendant’s pleadings were characterized by myriad inflammatory remarks, including suggestions that Plaintiff is mentally ill, and references to fabricated church shootings in locations that do not exist. 7. During discovery, Defendant was uncooperative, dilatory, and evasive. 8. Of particular note was the fact that Defendant refused to specify how he had been threatened. (Exhibit C). 9. The result was that this Court issued a Discovery Order, which was ignored by the Defendant. (Exhibit D). 10. Of even greater concern was Defendant’s perjury during his written responses to Plaintiff’s interrogatories, made while advised by church legal counsel and notarized by church member Jane Rosman. In this instance, Defendant Malm stated that one of the bases for his claim that Plaintiff’s late mother’s (Sigrid Yahner) blog was actually written

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


by Plaintiff was his assertion that Ms. Yahner, or someone purporting to be her, repeatedly scheduled meetings with him, only to cancel. (Exhibit E). 11. Due to an abrupt downturn in Ms. Yahner’s health due to her terminal illness, as well as the exorbitant costs of litigation resulting from Defendant’s dilatory and vexatious conduct, Plaintiff was forced to withdraw his appeal. 12. The instant case was filed days after the expiration of the protective order and is a case for abuse of process, alleging that Defendant sought a protective order for an improper purpose, which was to silence Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights. The other prong of the two-part requirement to plead abuse of process, Plaintiff submits, includes Defendant’s perjury, his witness tampering, and his concealment of evidence during the initial litigation. 13. During discovery, Plaintiff promulgated almost exactly the same interrogatories to Defendant as in the original lawsuit. only to be consistently met with boilerplate objections and evasive answers. 14. Defendant’s spouse, Leslie Malm, has telephoned one of Plaintiff’s key witnesses, Darlene Parsons, repeatedly in an effort to influence her testimony. Most recently, this occurred on or about December 20, 2020. Plaintiff is prepared to demonstrate this at trial. 15. In the initial litigation, Defendant repeatedly concealed evidence squarely within the ambit of discovery, including emails that would have been damaging to his case, and would have resulted in a suit for defamation, now possibly time-barred. To date, 16 emails have been uncovered that were withheld during initial discovery, including one in which Defendant expressly states he does not believe he was threatened. (Exhibit F)

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


16. Most notably, Defendant still refuses to specify how he has been threatened and to identify the exact threatening language of which he complains. Had Defendant actually been threatened, a reasonable person would conclude that he would not resist providing this information, but indeed would be eager to share it with this Court.. (Exhibit G). 17. Defendant also is attempting to evade Plaintiff’s specific interrogatories relating to Defendant’s perjury. Rather than answering the complete question, Defendant attempts to sidestep it, saying merely that he has “not spoken” to Ms. Yahner. This of course leaves open myriad other possibilities, including postal mail, email, contact via third persons, and more. (Exhibit H). Plaintiff sent a lengthy notice of deficiency to Defendant, which resulted in next to no further cooperation in discovery. (Exhibit I). 18. In a related case in Massachusetts, Defendant admitted under oath that he did not have contact with Ms. Yahner. Indeed, Defendant lied to the court, telling the judge that he didn’t even know Ms. Yahner’s name — despite referring to her by name in his initial perjury. (Exhibit J) 19. As it stands, more than two years into litigation Defendant continues to engage in dilatory conduct, to provide evasive discovery responses, and to display selective recall of events. For example, Defendant is able to recall the date of his 2015 vacation, yet states he is unable to recall which parishioners allegedly told him that they believe Plaintiff hacked the church’s emails. Indeed, Defendant even goes so far as to state that he cannot respond to interrogatories about his defamatory email to Bishop Shannon Johnston on the ludicrous grounds that he does not have a copy, despite the fact the email in question first surfaced in Defendant’s own pleadings. (Exhibit K).

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


20. Plaintiff notes that, as of this filing, Defendant is the subject of a criminal investigation in Massachusetts for his perjury and litigation-related fabrications. 21. Plaintiff submits that Defendant’s ongoing bad faith in discovery, his perjury, and his continuing fabrications have wasted more than enough time for all involved, including this Court. 22. Pursuant to the 2018 changes to Rule 4:12(d), multiple trips to the courthouse are no longer required when a party refuses to engage in discovery. Moreover, Plaintiff submits that this Court’s previous discovery order is sufficient to put Defendant on notice that his dilatory, vexatious, and evasive conduct during discovery is unacceptable. 23. Movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with other affected

parties in an effort to resolve the dispute without court action. Therefore, Plaintiff requests the following sanctions pursuant to Rule 4:12(d): 1) That Defendant be deemed to have admitted that he has no evidence that Plaintiff threatened him or any related party. 2) That Defendant be deemed to have been untruthful during discovery when he claimed that Plaintiff’s late mother contacted him repeatedly. 3) That summary judgment be awarded to the Plaintiff, including all attorney fees in the previous litigation and other actual damages. 4) That punitive damages be imposed against Defendant to the maximum extent permitted by law. 5) That Defendant’s perjury be referred for criminal prosecution.

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Respectfully submitted,

ERIC BONETTI Pro Se Plaintiff 4129 Fountainside Lane #203 Fairfax VA 22030

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing was emailed to Counsel for Defendant on April 14, 2021 to the following: Wayne Cyron, Esq. 100 North Pitt Street, Suite 200 Alexandria, Virginia 22314 Telephone: 703-299-0600 E-mail: cml@cyronmiller.com Counsel for Robert H. Malm Matthew Youssef, Esq. Niles, Barton & Wilmer, LLP 111 South Calvert StreetSuite 1400 Baltimore, MD 21202 Telephone: 410-783-6300 Email: mjyoussef@nilesbarton.com Counsel for Grace Episcopal Church

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Exhibit A

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Exhibit B

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Exhibit C

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Exhibit D

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Exhibit E

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Exhibit F

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Exhibit G

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Exhibit H

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Exhibit I

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Exhibit J

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


Exhibit K

Bonetti v. Malm Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 4.12(d)


VIRGINIA: IN THE GENERAL DISTRICT COURT OF THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

ERIC J. BONETTI, Plaintiff, CIVIL ACTION NUMBER: CL 20002206

vs. ROBERT H. MALM Defendant

ORDER OF COURT AND NOW, this _____ day of May 2021, having heard arguments from Plaintiff and counsel for the Defendant, the court imposes sanctions on Defendant for his continuing refusal to cooperate in discovery and his dilatory, evasive answers to Plaintiff’s interrogatories per the following:

1) Defendant is deemed to have admitted that he has no evidence that Plaintiff threatened him or any related party. 2) Defendant is deemed to have been untruthful during discovery when he claimed that Plaintiff’s late mother contacted him repeatedly. 3) Defendant is deemed to have filed the original suit for improper purposes. 4) Summary judgment is awarded to the Plaintiff, including all attorney fees in the previous litigation and other actual damages. 5) That punitive damages be imposed against Defendant, in an amount to be determined by the Court. 6) That Defendant’s perjury be referred for criminal prosecution.

________________. Judge For the Court

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