Blaine Reed Meteorites- List 138 - WE WON! (this round)
P.O. Box 1141
Delta, CO 81416
June 25, 2013
I almost had to title this " the even higher cost of justice?" or "selling things to raise bail money".
I have not done much business wise since April (aside from the Colorado Springs Show) as I have been somewhat tied up with an ugly issue that has now, thankfully, been resolved (for now anyway).
You see, I (as well as Blake and Linda) received my/ our very first lawsuit in early May. It was Mr. Curry of Montrose retaliating for our participation in the criminal summons/ trial for his selling fake "plessitic" iron material in Grand Junction. That trial was back last October and he was found guilty on three counts. I am due something around $765 in restitution as part of his sentence from that conviction. About the time we expected that this money should be coming in (he had 6 months to complete his sentence) rather than a check, we received a huge pile of papers from him (delivered by our local sheriff's office) that constituted a "Civil and Criminal Lawsuit". This "complaint" was 55 pages long, was accompanied by another 80 pages or so of "evidence" and demanded our arrests for all kinds of crimes from fraud, criminal impersonation, using a credit instrument while committing a felony (Linda using her credit card to buy the fake rock from the store that was selling them. Not sure how Curry thinks that that constitutes a crime other than the fact he doesn't like what I did with the specimen after the purchase), conspiracy, terrorism, treason and on and on. He demanded $300million in compensation, saying that this was the "lost value" on the specimens of his I have personally analyzed and said are fake. He also demanded that some 55 criminal charges be filed against us by the Montrose District Attorney's office.
Needless to say, this shook us up quite a bit. I really thought that his already being found guilty of the crime of selling fake material in criminal court would have protected me from this kind of thing in civil court. I guess not. It seems that you can file anything you want, saying any made up things you want and the court system (at least in Montrose) will accept and process it as a valid lawsuit. Most of this "complaint" was about the criminal trial in Grand Junction and the events that led up to it. However, this "complaint" had the added spice of supposed conspiracy amongst all of us meteorite people (for "not letting him sell his material") and "terrorism" for having ever bought, owned or sold an NWA meteorite (Curry got his hands on some ridiculous "paper" stating that ALL NWA meteorites are from Algeria and ALL money spent on them goes directly into the hands of anti-American terrorists. I think the people that wrote this little piece of trash have already been sued, successfully, for authoring it).
Not having a clue what to do, I spent 30 some hours typing a "response" to this nightmare for the court. I assumed that this would make the problem go away once all of this was reviewed by a judge. Unfortunately, the court clerk informed me when I turned it in that it might be some time (and many troubles) before a judge lays a hand on any of it.
Luckily, I soon accidentally bumped into a retired civil court lawyer. Actually, I called him up to chew him out and ask why he would talk with a "journalist" that obviously had an axe to grind against meteorite the meteorite dealer and collector community. You see, one of Curry's pieces of "evidence" being used against me (along with the above mentioned NWA paper) was an article by a woman online journalist that pretty much took the same view we saw in a recent New York article (where the claim was made that we are supposedly all smugglers and thieves and the researchers loose valuable info and material because of us). The person I called was Eric Twelker (The Meteorite Market) in Juneau, Alaska. He said he remembered talking with this "author", and answering her questions. He did say however that he had no clue of her real agenda or angle she was taking with her story at the time (I generally will not talk to members of the media unless I know just what their angle is as it seems fairly rare that journalists are really simply trying to get to the truth of a situation and not trying to dig up supporting data for an already decided side of it. Not sure what the overall truth is but this has been my experience over the years anyway, unfortunately). Anyway, I explained my situation and he said he would have a look at the paperwork we were hit with. Despite our consternation over the situation, Eric was quite certain that he could make it all go away in fairly short order.
Over the years I have seen Eric at the various Tucson and Denver shows. He would pop into my room for a few minutes, look around (and maybe buy the occasional specimen) and then leave never to return during that show. He was a man of very few words. However, I learned that those few words say a LOT. I found that he was able to say in a few small sentences the exact things I would probably take 3 pages to cover (he could probably shorten this whole post to one 4 or 5 sentence paragraph and still get the whole points across. Simply amazing).
Anyway, we worked together to put in a "Motion to dismiss or change venue to Grand Junction" (where the bulk of this lawsuit's complaints derived from). This should have forced a judge to get on this quickly (can't dismiss something until they have looked it all over). I relaxed a bit at that point assuming that it was now simply a matter of sitting and waiting.
Unfortunately, this is NOT entirely how things worked out. While I was in Colorado Springs, we got "served" with more papers, very dangerous papers. This was a subpoena demanding I deliver to the court and Curry at noon on June 25th (today): certified education records (showing I do have a geology degree and such), my passport, ALL international travel records since 1994, ALL communications and records whether electronic (phone or e-mail) or personal contacts since January 1, 2010 with (and then goes on to list pretty much every researcher, institution, dealer and many collectors in the field of meteorites as well as pretty much all law enforcement agencies I have ever worked with and more), All of my customer and dealer contacts including their addresses, phone numbers and e-mails, My income tax returns back 7 years, ALL records of sales, purchases or trades involving NWA meteorites and more!!!
Blake had e-mailed a copy of this up to Eric. Eric quickly said that this was an illegal action on several levels when I called him from Colorado Springs and said not to worry about it. This is easier said than done though and I was left with a less than fully pleasant mood for the show that weekend, unfortunately.
Once I got back home, I called the Montrose court clerk early the next morning. The person I reached was cold and harsh. They supposedly looked up this subpoena and said that it was a legal court clerk issued subpoena and that I will comply or be held in contempt of court. Commenting that we suspected that this was illegal just angered this person. I then commented that there was no way I could pull all of this data together (nor would I. There is no way I was going to give that delusional lunartic all of my customer's information so he could endlessly harass them for having committed the "crime" of ever buying or owning an NWA meteorite) in the time allowed. I was told I could request an extension but the court would not have to allow it. So, while I was contemplating my options, all of which were either dangerous or distasteful (show up and only give a few papers that might actually apply to a civil suit, not show up at all both risking going to jail for contempt or give Curry and the court as much of what they asked for as I could gather) Eric was putting together more motions for me to review and file with the court. One was to remove this blatantly illegal subpoena and the other was for an immediate review of the entire lawsuit for either dismissal or venue change, as we had to have one or the other before the "subpoenaed document deadline" today.
Luckily, these worked like a charm. I filed these on June 12th. On Monday (the 17th) we got a letter from a judge! These motions did indeed finally get one fully involved. It said that they were NOT going to allow the motion for a quick review/ decision on dismissal or venue change (but promised they would look into the case quickly none the less). However, it said that they would indeed throw out the illegal subpoena! (even the judge made comment that it was illegal and should never have been issued). It also had the stipulation that any future subpoenas from Curry would have to go in front of a judge for approval before they would be processed (ouch, that's quite a reprimand/ setback. I wonder what kind of butt chewing the clerk that helped him on that first one is getting now).
That left things hanging a bit and, consequently, a fair amount of concern as to what I/ we might yet ultimately face from Curry's filing of this garbage. Might a judge decide that if there is THAT much smoke there must be some fire somewhere and hit us with some kind of charges for good measure? Might I really have to pay a bunch of money because I called some river cobbles and scrap iron for what they were?
Anyway, we got our answer on the 20th (I have been out of town since, I JUST got home minutes ago). It seems the poor judge that had to deal with all of this (reading over 100 pages of Curry's stuff and a further 30 or so of my response) was completely honest when he said he would review it all soon in the note that eliminated the documents subpoena. This new note basically says that Curry's 55 pages of complaint does not legally show Curry is entitled to any relief (money) at all, among other dings against his outlandish claims. The net result: motion to dismiss is GRANTED. This whole ugly thing goes in the wastebasket of history.
Unfortunately, it does not eliminate the possibility that nutcase will simply file more "complaints" against me. Heck, he has tried to file over 32 fraud complaints against me with the Montrose Sheriff's office, a half dozen or so with the Delta Sheriff's office and an unknown number with the Delta city police – all of which were simply tossed out. Hopefully, any future "complaints" can be dealt with as easily (and less stressfully) as this one. A huge ($300 million) thanks to Eric Twelker!
Now on to a few items for sale:
ALBIN (imilac?), Wyoming. (Pallasite). Found 1915. Tkw = about 126 pounds.
I labeled this as possible Imilac as that is what Matt thinks it could be. Frankly, I do have to agree with him on first glance. Texturally, this does look a lot like a piece of Imilac. It does have angular crystals but nothing as angular as those that the 43 pound piece of Albin I had years ago showed. However, there is good evidence that this is indeed a piece of Albin. First, it has a pretty good pedigree. It came from Ann Black to Patrick Herman to Matt. Secondly, a conversation recently with someone that has seen slices from the pieces of Albin that Bud Eisler turned up with a few years after I got my piece clearly mentioned that they had a texture much more like Imilac BUT their crystals were much darker than Imilac (which these indeed are). I had never seen any cut pieces of Bud's stones so I had no idea of this textural difference (my piece did have the darker crystals matching the color of this piece but it had a lot more olivine in a greater size range). I can tell this piece was likely cut early in the days of wire saws as it is a bit wavy (not perfectly flat). I was told that this also tends to support the idea that this is an Eisler Albin (again, I have never seen a slice of one of his pieces, but I have talked with someone that has on this). Regardless, this is a nice COMPLETE slice of pallasite that we are pricing at (or even a bit cheaper than) what it would be for an Imilac, though I do indeed believe it is an Albin.
59.8 gram complete slice – 70mm x 50mm x 4mm - $900
CANYON DIABLO, Arizona: Coarse octahedrite (IAB).
This is a nice sculpted thin "rim specimen" that came with the David New material I had a few months ago. Unfortunately, this one did not have a label for some reason. None the less, it is a nice well brushed individual of this famous and now hard to buy meteorite.
230.5 gram brushed individual – 85mm x 40mm x 20mm - $160
CHERGACH, Mali: (H5). Fell July 2007. Tkw = about 100 kilograms.
This is a nice ½ individual. Most of this is covered by a fairly thin (typical for this fall) primary crust. This, interestingly, shows obvious bright shiny metal blebs scattered throughout the dark slate gray crust. There are some areas showing contraction cracks as well. The "break" on this is actually a slickenside surface that likely broke late in the fall.
42.6 gram ½ individual – 30mm x 30mm x 20mm - $170
DAVY (a), Texas: (L4). Found 1940. Tkw = 50.6 kilograms.
Here are a couple pieces that come with TCU Monig labels. One is a complete slice and the other is an end piece. Interestingly, these are both fairly large and surprisingly solid pieces for this meteorite and are about the same weight.
a) 94.4 gram end piece – 85mm x 42mm x 18mm - $140
b) 96.1 gram complete slice – 90mm x 65mm x 5mm - $145
GIBEON, Namibia. Fine octahedrite (IVA). Found 1836.
This is a nice moderately brushed complete individual. It has some soft sculpting (it has a large indent on one side) but is not an art piece. However, it does stand up to display nicely on its own. It has been brushed but only to the point where some of the original brown still shows. A nice but not exceptional fill your hand display piece.
1657 gram complete individual – 120mm x 85mm x 40mm - $1000
HOLBROOK, Arizona: (L/LL6). Fell July 19,1912.
Here are a few nice little complete individuals. I think that these are relatively recent recoveries as they do show some weathering effects. Though they do have some minor rust spotting they all show lots of nice black crust. These are in "as found" condition and still have some of the local soil I deeper recesses.
a) .30 gram individual – 8mm x 6mm x 3mm - $10
b) .40 gram individual – 7mm x 6mm x 5mm - $13
c) .72 gram individual – 12mm x 7mm x 5mm - $20
d) 1.0 gram individual – 15mm x 8mm x 5mm - $25