Mary McClellan, representing herself and husband Ed Gil and Robert Hanlon, representing myself and McHenry County Blog were before Associate Judge Thomas Meyer Monday.
The hearing began with a few questions directed to attorney Hanlon.
These questions revolved around the right to association and application of the CIitzens Participation Act.
The court’s inquiry was concerning the difference between the interests of the commenters and the interests of the blog itself.
Attorney Hanlon responded and the court turned its attention to Mary McClellan.
McClellan immediately pointed out that she is still technically married and quoted a section of the bankruptcy code because she is in bankruptcy.
Her position then raised the temperature in the courtroom.
Judge Meyer addressed her and warned her that she was facing sanctions.
In response, Mary McClellan articulated that she didn’t know much about the bankruptcy court and it’s code.
Judge Meyer then addressed attorney Hanlon with an inquiry about the bankruptcy law.
The exchange focused on the application of the bankruptcy code’s automatic stay.
Clearly this was a big deal as attorney Hanlon responded to the question presented by Judge Meyer to him in which the Judge responded,
“If, as represented today, that Ed Gil is a debtor in bankruptcy, moving forward would expose not only me to a sanction under the bankruptcy, but could expose this court to a sanction under the code.”
Judge Meyer also inquired if he could sanction. McClellan given her bankruptcy.
Hanlon responded that he excluded McClellan from the request for fees on the basis that she was a debtor in bankruptcy, and therefore focused on Ed Gil.
The court ordered McClellan to call her bankruptcy attorney to clarify if Ed Gil was a Debtor in Bankruptcy.
A short recess took place.
After McClellan returned, McClellan told the court that she didn’t understand because it would require separate action in the bankruptcy court, or something like that.
She appeared to attempt to retreat from the position that Ed Gil was a debtor.
Judge Meyer then asked why did you bring it up in the first place?
She indicated she was not familiar with the bankruptcy law.
Obviously upset by the situation, Judge Meyer asked Hanlon how he wanted to proceed.
Hanlon suggested either she file a petition for relief from the automatic stay or have her bankruptcy Attorney make a representation as to the application of the automatic stay of her bankruptcy to Ed Gil.
The court informed the lawyers that he wanted to continue the case until this issue could be clarified.
He asked Hanlon not to file a sanctions motion against McClellan before the next date.
A discussion ensued about ordering McClellan and Gil for the continuance.
Hanlon then represented to the court that he would not file any motions seeking additional sanctions before the next court date.