Monday, February 19, 2018

Final Update?

In the interest of full disclosure, and in order to clear up confusion about how our case ended, I have decided to publish our final letter to the Cour de Cassation. This letter was translated into French and mailed to the court in June 2016. We never received a reply. In fact, we never received anything. Not even a written decision.

One of the most disappointing things about our case was the number of people who could have lifted a finger to help, but did nothing. Plenty of people knew that John Szczepaniak was living in France when he committed his libel. To our knowledge, not a single one has reached out to us or informed others of what they knew.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Trial Update #11

A visitor to the site suggested an update, so here goes...

We never did hear back from the Cour de Cassation. We can only assume that the court confirmed its jurisdictional incompetence and dropped the matter, completely. So, as of 2018, that's how things sit: John Szczepaniak has escaped a libel trial in France, and it is too late to sue him for libel in the UK.

This is disappointing, but we are satisfied that we achieved several of our objectives and content to put the matter behind us. If interest in the case picks up again, we may post additional information.

As always, I am available to answer any questions via LinkedIn.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Trial Update #10

Well, it is now 2017 and we still have not heard from the Cour de Cassation. At this point, the wait feels more like a curious social experiment. Has the court forgotten us? Did it simply reconfirm its jurisdictional incompetence and drop the matter? Who knows?

Obviously, this blog will remain public as long as John Szczepaniak's libel remains on Kickstarter. If anyone wants further details about the case, feel free to contact me.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Trial Update #9

Still no communication from the court. The protracted delay seems a bit strange. If the Cour de Cassation has reconfirmed the lower court's ruling of jurisdictional incompetence, then a simple one-page letter of notification would suffice—yet we have received nothing. We would like to believe the court is taking extra time to consider one of our requests: that John's parents sign an affidavit stating that their son has not lived with them in France since 2011 (as was claimed by the defense in the court of appeal). Until we hear bad news, we will keep our fingers crossed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Trial Update #8

John has posted another Kickstarter update concerning our appeal to the Cour de Cassation, again claiming some kind of "victory". We have not received word from the court ourselves. When we do, we will let everyone know how things stand.

[EDIT 7/19]

... Almost a week later and still no word from the Cour de Cassation. Registered mail in Japan is very prompt. There may be delays on the French side. Stay tuned.

[EDIT 7/28]

Still no word from the court. Our liason in France suspects they put off drafting a letter until after the summer holidays. Funny. It's been three years since Hanako began her brief stint as coordinator for John, and here we are, still waiting for the court...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Trial Update #7

Some of you have asked about the status of our appeal. The Cour de Cassation in Paris has yet to provide a timeframe for further proceedings, and we do not expect any new action on our case until next Fall at the earliest. In the meantime, we continue to work in support of our appeal and are happy to answer any questions you may have, in private or via blog comments.

Thank you for your continuing interest.


Peter Duimstra

Monday, November 23, 2015

Letter of Claim

Today, I am publishing our Letter of Claim against John Szczepaniak in the UK. This document provides a good summary of John's libel campaign against Hanako and Agness. It was translated and submitted as evidence in France, and has never been disputed in court. I hope everyone who has taken an interest in the case will also take the time to read it.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Crowdsourced Investigation: A General Request

I humbly ask that anyone who received email from John Szczepaniak's address between 2012 and 2014 please contact me. [EDIT: removed particulars]

Thank you,

Peter Duimstra

Friday, October 30, 2015

Latest Appeal Failed

The Court of Poitiers chose not to reverse the lower court's decision on jurisdiction. Once again, we are denied a libel verdict in the French courts. Meanwhile, John Szczepaniak's UK counsel has rejected most of our claims on the basis that they exhaust the one-year statute of limitation for libel in the UK. This leaves only one path forward: a final appeal to the Cour de Cassation, the supreme court for civil cases in France.

We are profoundly disappointed by Poitier's judgment. For two years our lives have been tainted by the shiftless (and apparently homeless) John Szczepaniak, who even today shows no remorse, no sense of responsibility, and no willingness to retract or repair his libel. So the libel remains, and Kickstarter mostly ignores us.

I do not accept this outcome. I have convinced my wife, Agness, to go forward with a final appeal to the Cour de Cassation in France. The process will likely take another two years. I expect we will be the only people reading this blog when the final appeal is heard. I am fine with that.

As soon as I get a greenlight from our lawyers, I will publish our Letter of Claim against John Szczepaniak in the UK. This English document provides a good summary of Mr. Szczepaniak's core libel. It was translated and entered as evidence in France, and has never been disputed in court. I hope everyone will take the time to read it. If you have questions, I am happy to answer them via LinkedIn.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Trial Update #6

Our appeal went well. The court heard new evidence supporting John Szczepaniak's residency in France and it spent considerable time weighing our libel case. We won't know until October 29th whether the court wishes to reverse the previous ruling of jurisdictional incompetence, but if it does, it will also issue a verdict on the libel. We have waited a long time for that verdict. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, September 7, 2015

New Trial Date

Our hearing in Poitiers is scheduled for September 24th. We don't expect another adjournment, but let's just say we've learned to be patient with the French judicial system over the last year and a half. We will update everyone when appropriate.

On a more interesting note, last week we were alerted to two new developments:

  1. Basic details of our case against John Szczepaniak were added to the "Controversies" section of the Wikipedia entry for Kickstarter.
  2. Kickstarter deleted several of the more egregious passages from John’s updates of November 2013, March 2014, and May 2014.

It’s hard to say whether these events are linked. The deleted lines represent only a fraction of the defamatory claims made by John, but they certainly fall under the category of “personal attacks”. Perhaps the appearance of our case on Wikipedia has finally motivated Kickstarter to enforce their policy against such attacks.

We will provide a rundown of all of Kickstarter's edits to John’s posts in a future update.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Message to Project Backers

One of the oddest misconceptions about this case is the widespread assumption that Agness had something – anything – to do with John's problems in Japan. In this message to project backers, Agness dispels that misconception, and tries to convey some of the stupefying injustice she has faced over the last year and a half.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

FAQ Part II: One year later

Legally, things are now proceeding on multiple fronts. We'll update everyone when counsel gives us the greenlight.

Today, we wanted to answer publicly some of the questions that have come to us privately over the last year. We will also append this content to our Joint Public Statement from April 2014.


(June 17, 2015)
What is this site and why should we care?
Aren't you supposed to keep quiet about court cases?
If John has no money, what good is suing him?
What if you never get a verdict?
Why didn't Hanako just pay John the disputed $150 booking fee?
If this is between John and Hanako, why is John attacking Agness?
So, you did nothing wrong?
Isn't this just "he said, she said"?
Have you tried contacting John’s parents?
Have you thought about trying ... ?
What’s your gut feeling about the case?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Trial: Redux

Good news! The Court of Niort's decision regarding jurisdiction has been successfully appealed and the trial has been moved to the Court of Poitiers, where, we are told, the entire case will be heard once again, including all of John's libel from 2014-15. We are also initiating legal action in the UK, so as to cut off further avenues of escape. We will have to wait another four months for the new trial, but this time around, there should be no delays by opposing counsel.

Never stop fighting until the fight is done.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


The French Court has returned our bond and declared that legal action against John Szczepaniak should take place in the UK. Behind the court's decision is John's testimony that he was and is a resident of the UK, and therefore bears the burden of liability in that country. Fortunately for us, John's trial delays in France were not enough to outlast the statute of limitations for libel in the UK.

Stay tuned. This may be a larger case than we expected.

Friday, April 10, 2015


Because the court could not sufficiently establish John's residency in France, it has decided that the case is outside its jurisdiction. Dismissed. Why was this not decided at the consignation in June? Why did we have to endure two trial delays by opposing counsel, only to have him argue that John is not a resident after all, so none of this matters? Awful. Just awful.

We still don't know whether the court has issued a ruling on the libel itself. I will post again once we have a fuller understanding of the decision.