motion practice, continued

Part of an irregular series in which I take note of novel forms of relief sought by litigants in my sphere of influence.

Today I am in receipt of a Motion for Fist Fight dated two weeks ago in the Montana Fourth Judicial District Court, Mineral County in the case of State v. Mauhar, No. D2005-8. My research confirms that this brief was actually filed (and later withdrawn).

The defense attorney asserted that (1) the prosecution had maintained that the decedent (one Matt Palagi) had the right to beat up the defendant and another individual, Demetrius Joslin, and (2) therefore the defense and the prosecution should settle the matter via fistfight.

The State of Montana responded the following day that "While counsel for the State are confident they could acquit themselves respectably if were necessary to settle any part of this matter by means of a physical contest . . ." etc.

Now. There was a real Matt Palagi who was stabbed to death by Demetrius Joslin, and defendant Mauhar (name misspelled in one of the pleadings) was in fact represented by Kirk Krutilla and David Stenerson, whose names are listed on the pleadings I have.

Poking a little deeper below the surface, it appears that Mr. Krutilla was subjected to some heckling shortly before this motion was filed. And the Clark Fork Chronicle, which comes out once per week, reports that one of Krutilla's friends has been assaulted and Krutilla himself has left this case.

Mineral County, Montana, sounds like a lonely place to be if they're gunnin' for ya. The county contains 1,223 square miles with a population of 3,600, which is, let's see, three people per square mile.

When I first saw the style of the pleading, I thought this was going to be funny. The more I research this matter, the more I feel a chill.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why you would think any motion that had to do with someone dying would be funny, but I can guarantee you that this particular situation is nowhere near funny.

I guess that you are trying to get some sort of odd enjoyment out of this, but there are real people that were deeply affected by this tragedy.

Surprisingly I guess to you Seattle people, those of us in Montana really can use the Internet and it's not very hard to stumble across this site when searching for news about the trials.

For the record, no one is "gunnin' for" anyone involved. Our entire community is just doing the best they can to survive. That's easier for us to do if ignorant people that have no idea what is really happening keep their worthless opinions to themselves.

the goddess said...


Dear Anonymous,

You need to read my comments more closely.

I became aware of this case when I received a copy of the "Motion for Fist Fight." From this title of the motion, and from the motion papers themselves, which was initially all I knew about the case, there was no indication that there was a death involved. Therefore, the notion that an attorney would make a motion for a fist fight, was, at first, funny. That is why my closing paragraph says that when I first saw the style of the pleading I thought it was going to be funny.

As I researched this matter, in other words, going beyond my initial first impression that this would be humorous, it became more and more clear that there wasn't anything funny about this situation. Therefore, I abandoned my initial preconception.

You, however, make assumptions about me based on your own stereotypes (e.g. "you Seattle people") and come to an illogical conclusion. By your own admission you had to seek my blog out. I didn't write a letter to the editor of your local paper. I don't see that my expression of my opinion, worthless to you or not, about some aspects of the case should have any impact on the community's doing the best it can to survive.

Although it may be a one-way street, you should note that I approved your comment although it is anonymous, which in my mind calls into question your belief in what you are saying.

Anonymous said...

i really think you should read deeper into this case. there is so much more to it...you barely even skimmed the top of it.


Anonymous said...

i dont understand why people like you post comments about things you have no idea about. it just doesnt make sense to put your two cents into and not know anything behind it.

Anonymous said...

Mathew was my cousin and I grew up with that sweet, big-eared, happy, mischevious kid. I love him and know him. He was in no way a "bully". The kids who murdered him were all bigger than him and I guarantee you not one of them feared for thier lives, especially when Matt was unarmed while they all came to a party with knives looking for a fight.