JOE Exotic has been given a warning and final deadline in his $89million federal suit - as the judge in the case is running out of patience, The Sun can reveal.
The former zoo owner, who has been released from solitary confinement in a Texas jail following a letter-writing campaign amid the Covid-19 outbreak, is suing for wrongful imprisonment and seeking millions in damages.
Exotic, who was sentenced to 22 years for a murder-for-hire plot and federal wildlife violations, filed the lawsuit in May against the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior, along with an assistant attorney and several witnesses in the case.
A new court filing, obtained by The Sun, shows district judge Scott Palk has given Exotic one last chance after twice delaying proceedings, but stated: "Plaintiff is admonished that no further extensions of time will be granted."
He has also hired a lawyer, Jarrod Stevenson, after being challenged for not having legal representation.
It comes after an earlier filing shows he also told the court: “I have been sexually assaulted, scared from being tied in a chair, was given Bandaids.”
He is seeking $73,840,000 in damages and an additional $15M for false arrest, false imprisonment, discrimination, and more regarding the death of his mother - after she was forced to sell her house.
Exotic has asked for a 90-day extension, with legal papers reading: "Plaintiff’s requests have all centered upon difficulties in responding associated with conditions at his facility related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Although Plaintiff’s need for such extensions has been stated in vague terms, to date, the court has been accommodating and patient with
The filing continues: "Plaintiff's counsel has not articulated any specific impediments to filing a response, other than references to
difficulties in communicating with Plaintiff.
"And, those references are similarly vague in nature. Under these circumstances, the Court reluctantly grants Plaintiff’s request."
Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, has now been given until October 28, 2020 to file an objection to an earlier report and recommendation.
The previous report shows: "If a judgment for damages necessarily would imply the invalidity of a criminal conviction or sentence, a plaintiff may not bring such action until the conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid by an [authorized tribunal], or called into question by the
issuance of a federal habeas writ.”
In a previous letter to the court, the showman wrote that he was isolated at the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, with "no access to a computer, phone, email or library."
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A jury last April convicted him for trying to arrange the killing of Carole Baskin, a Florida animal sanctuary founder who criticized his treatment of animals. She wasn’t harmed.
In a shocking twist, a federal judge in Oklahoma recently awarded her ownership of the zoo made famous in Netflix's Tiger King, after Exotic failed to pay her $1million after losing a trademark infringement lawsuit.