BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — In April, a Montana woman sued the publisher of a leading neo-Nazi website for orchestrating an anti-Semitic online trolling campaign against her family. Nearly three months later, her attorneys are still trying to find him.
A court filing Friday by lawyers from the Southern Poverty Law Center claims The Daily Stormer's founder, Andrew Anglin, is "actively concealing his whereabouts" and hasn't been served with Tanya Gersh's federal lawsuit. Gersh's attorneys are asking for more time to find Anglin so the case won't be temporarily dismissed.
The suit claims anonymous internet trolls bombarded Gersh's family with hateful and threatening messages after Anglin published their personal information in a post accusing her and other Jewish residents of Whitefish, Montana, of engaging in an "extortion racket" against the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer.
Gersh's lawsuit said she agreed to help Spencer's mother sell commercial property she owns in Whitefish amid talk of a protest outside the building. Sherry Spencer, however, later accused Gersh of threatening and harassing her into agreeing to sell the property.
Gersh's lawyers from the Alabama-based law center say her suit must be dismissed on procedural grounds if Anglin isn't served with a copy of it by July 17, but the court can extend that deadline.
The law center's lawyers said they have looked for him at four addresses in Franklin County, Ohio, for which he apparently has a connection. Gersh's attorneys say they also tried in vain to contact Anglin's Las Vegas-based attorney, Marc Randazza, and confirm that he is authorized to accept service of the lawsuit on Anglin's behalf.
Randazza questioned whether the lawyers' request for a deadline extension is a "stunt."
"If they can't serve him, I question whether they are actually trying," Randazza told The Associated Press on Friday. "We're going to defend (against) the case."
The suit accuses Anglin of invading Gersh's privacy, intentionally inflicting "emotional distress" and violating a Montana anti-intimidation law.
Anglin's site takes its name from Der Stürmer, a newspaper that published Nazi propaganda. The site includes sections called "Jewish Problem" and "Race War."
The Daily Stormer used a crowdfunding website, WeSearchr, to raise more than $152,000 in donations from nearly 2,000 contributors to help pay for Anglin's legal expenses.
Anglin didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment Friday.