“John Doe” today was granted a two-week reprieve from being ordered in court to reveal his identity.
Washoe County District Court Judge David Hardy granted the delay after plaintiffs and defendants mutually agreed to the extension. The stipulation also came after Doe’s attorney filed new motions Wednesday that repeated his request for a delay, requests Hardy denied yesterday.
Both parties – Doe and Plaintiffs Hillary Schieve and former County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung, through their attorneys – agreed to a delay until May 28.
That means Doe has to appeal Hardy’s decision that Doe had to identify himself by May 12.
“Contingent on the writ petition being filed by Defendants on or before May 12, 2023, Plaintiffs and Defendants agree to the Ordered Production being stayed pending resolution of the writ petition,” wrote Ryan Gormley, the attorney for the only defendant named to date – private investigator David McNeely, who is being sued to reveal his client’s name to Schieve and Hartung.
“In order to promote judicial efficiency, Plaintiffs and Defendants have agreed that a stay of the Ordered Production would be warranted as the object of the writ petition could be defeated in the absence of a stay,” Gormley added.
Doe on Friday issued a sworn statement saying he had no knowledge McNeely was tracked by a hidden GPS tracker on both politicians’ vehicles. McNeely told Sparks Police he was hired to investigate them for a political client.
Doe is citing First Amendment freedoms to hire McNeely confidentially to investigate what he said was alleged malfeasance.
Hardy chastised Doe for entering the five-month-long litigation only after Doe was ordered last week to identify himself to the court by this Friday. His identity, the plaintiffs argued, is necessary to know so Schieve and Hartung can also sue him for invasion of privacy and alleged stalking.
“Defendant John Doe enjoyed the luxury of time while denying the benefits of time to Plaintiffs and this Court. Since the answer and motion for summary judgment were filed five days ago, Defendant John Doe has filed two motions for stay and two ex-parte motions for order shortening time,” Hardy wrote. “This Court was prepared to deny Defendant John Doe’s motions on procedural grounds.
“But Plaintiffs and Defendant McNeely filed a stipulation to stay compliance with court order at 2:50 p.m. on May 10, 2023. This Court grants the stipulation as presented,” Hardy added.
Doe has until May 24 to file a motion for a protective order. He can remain anonymous until then.