We’ll start with an aside. So let me get this straight.
Bill Schmalfeldt, in effect, is arguing that the reason in so many words that John Hoge should not be suing him in Maryland is because the lawsuit is financially pointless. Now I don’t know, I mean, I practiced law for a quarter of a century so I can’t say with certainty that I have seen everything, but I know for sure that at least one or two…
…hundreds, actually, but I didn’t keep exact count…
…lawsuits I knew of during that time were brought by a Plaintiff for reasons other than the recovery of money. Sometimes they were commenced over the principle of the thing, other times to stop something from continuing to happen. Sometimes they were were filed because someone just wanted a court to say “You win.” I’m not saying that these latter reasons were always well-founded. But the assumption that an argument made to Mr. Hoge that he just ought to quit because it’s just not worth it monetarily overlooks the possibility that Hoge might think that other considerations make it also worthwhile to pursue. I’m betting that this is the case.
So, on to the meaning of words, and why Bill Schmalfeldt, as is usually the case, doesn’t really grasp them. He says
Schmalfeldt says Hoge “cannot” collect, like there was some law that barred doing so. Over the past couple of days he has said this, or some variant of it, over and over again. Well, Bill
It is true that there is a federal law that stops John Hoge from seizing any of the various benefits that Schmalfeldt receives through garnishment or similar action Schmalfeldt also is protected to some degree by South Carolina law. But Hoge’s inability to use such methods to enforce a judgment does not mean that he “cannot” collect a judgment that he would win against Schmalfeldt, however much it is. Again, Bill says
“Even if Hoge wins, he gets nothing.”
Ah, that is more like it. Let’s parse this out. What “Even if Hoge wins” really means is that, after John Hoge and Bill Schmalfeldt have presented all their respective evidence and argument, Schmalfeldt is conceding that Judge Hecker could conclude that Hoge is right and Schmalfeldt is wrong and enter judgment accordingly. He is thus acknowledging that a court of law might very well say words to the effect of “Bill, you lose. You owe John umpty-ump dollars plus fees and costs.” Now, what at that point, ignoring the possibility of any appeal, determines that Hoge “cannot” collect his judgment? Federal law? Nope, Bill, try again. Stumped? I’ll give you a hint.
There’s nothing in federal or state law that says Bill Schmalfeldt doesn’t have to pay the judgment. Those laws just restrict the means that John Hoge can use to enforce it. There is nothing that prevents Schmalfeldt from stepping up to the plate and paying it voluntarily.
Except Bill Schmalfeldt.
“Cannot” doesn’t mean what Bill thinks it does. You know, over the past couple of years we’ve found that lots of words apply to him. Words like “liar,” “homophobe,” “misogynist”… the list goes on. Will we be adding “deadbeat” to that list?