A Litigation Article from All-Creatures.org



Here's what happened at the Sonoma Trial on September 8

From Cassie King, DxE Direct Action Everywhere
September 9, 2023

The judge did not address our motion to vacate the gag order currently prohibiting defendants from speaking to the media.

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My charges have officially been dropped. Right at the start of trial yesterday, the prosecutor dismissed me from the case as expected. He did not give any reason. My lawyer asked if I could make a brief statement, which the judge allowed, so I stood up and said for the court record that I donít believe I did anything wrong by trying to help suffering animals facing criminal animal cruelty.

Attorneys for Whole Foods and Costco appeared in court to argue their motions to quash our subpoenas which asked them to turn over certain evidence of the conditions at their supplier, Sunrise Farms. An attorney from the American Humane Association, which certified Sunrise eggs in 2018, was also present arguing against our subpoena. Unfortunately, the judge granted these three motions to quash and denied our subpoenas as currently served. They may be re-served another way.

The judge did not address our motion to vacate the gag order currently prohibiting defendants from speaking to the media. She said she wants additional time to review the case law that was referenced in our motion. Just before court, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California submitted a letter to the court in support of the defenseís motion to vacate the gag order! Hopefully that motion will succeed and Priya and Wayne will be able to speak to the media.

Iím out of the case now so I can speak to the media, which was fortunate because I was able to speak to a Press Democrat reporter after court: Animal welfare group rallies outside Sonoma County courthouse as criminal case against activists advances

Trial will resume on Wednesday afternoon. The court will discuss the remaining subpoenas, the gag order, and some discovery/evidence issues.


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