I won in the Minnesota Court of Appeals in the Nexus lawsuit and the case was sent back to District Court for a do-over. However, judge John Sommerville quit. The case was assigned instead to Joseph Klein. Ironically, I'd been a defendant longer than he'd been a judge. And whereas I should never have become a defendant, he should never have become a judge... But that's neither here nor there. I am no longer a Defendant. No doubt he will have a long and successful career in the Minnesota "Justice" System. What he lacks in knowledge of the Law, he makes up for in knowledge of politics. It helps to know which side of your bread is buttered, and by who.
I ran out of butter a long time ago. Didn't have much to begin with, but in the end I couldn't even afford a lawyer. But I didn't give up. (I never gave up!) Hannabelle became my lawyer. I am confident that at jury trial, she would have prevailed. But that day in court - MY day in court - didn't happen.
My trial was scheduled for September 6, 2011. Approximately one week before my trial, Nexus quit. Nexus moved to dismiss. And indeed, on the day my trial was slated to begin, Klein did what the corporation wanted and dismissed the case. He dismissed it without prejudice. Without prejudice means that Nexus and the court recognized that I was innocent of the charges of defamation. Nexus didn't want to face Hannabelle in front of a jury in court. It was over at last. In the four year "staring contest", Nexus blinked. I won. I beat them. Yay... Bring on the confetti.
It was a hollow victory. It was all such a waste.
I abandoned my home in Onamia over a year and a half ago. I could not conceive of staying in such a community as this one had become - the one I'd once loved enough to put myself on the line for. Oh, don't get me wrong... There are good people in Mille Lacs County and if I thought real hard, I might even be able to give you a name or two. But for whatever reason - through fear, intimidation, apathy, or ignorance, the "good" people are powerless to stand up to the "bad" people. Mayor Larry Milton once called them "gutless". Maybe so. My guess is that it's just self-preservation. Look what happens when a person tries to express their opinions and do the right thing. Look what happened to me.
Anyway, in July of 2010, I packed up the remnants of my life and left Minnesota for good... well, other than those quick and nasty trips back for Nexus' court hearings... I left voluntarily - with my head held high, proud of what I'd tried to accomplish, still strong in principles and secure in the knowledge of who I am and what I stand for.
After what I experienced in my last years in Onamia, I never thought I could be happy again. But I am. I am still hurt, but the healing has begun. I moved to a very remote wilderness area that is exceptionally beautiful in both scenery and spirit. I already have a network of wonderful friends and neighbors - independent, good-natured folks that just wouldn't allow what happened in Onamia to happen here. For one thing, their sympathies lie with innocent victims, not with those who perpetrate the crimes that create victims. They have been very understanding and supportive of me. Not only have they made me feel welcomed and accepted, they've made me feel safe and protected. After the ostracism and harassment I experienced in Onamia - what I call "the New Minnesota Nice" - it is a little overwhelming to adjust to being treated with kindness and respect. But isn't that how it's supposed to be, after all? People caring for one another? Protecting our rights from corrupt government and greedy corporations? Standing up for each other? I believe that's how it should be. Happy MLK Day.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor;
it must be demanded by the oppressed."
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends."
Martin Luther King Jr.