Months without legal counsel set convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell to take a bold move in dispute with the estate of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Since 2020, the incarcerated former socialite remained locked in a legal battle with Epstein’s estate in an effort to recuperate costs she argued had been incurred as a result of working for the deceased financier. Now, an unsealed filing received by the court in early October left her making the case that a judge’s ruling that she obtain new counsel had forced her hand into representing herself.
Beginning with a hand-scrawled note from the prisoner that read, “This is a copy of filing by Ms. Maxwell dated May 18, 2023…She only has access to US Postal Service as an inmate,” she submitted her response following a March 17 status hearing where she had been re-advised to obtain counsel.
“Plaintiff is seeking New Counsel as she is aware it is preferable for all parties to be represented for efficiency and for judicial economy,” she wrote. “Plaintiff faces challenges finding New Counsel as many potential candidates are conflicted and Plaintiff is facing financial constraints.”
“All incarcerated people have communication challenges as Plaintiff does,” recognized Maxwell. “Her situation is not unique but for the courts [sic] consideration it bears noting that Plaintiff has no ability to write snail mail, E mail, or call any potential new attorney with client-attorney privilege.”
The filing had been received by the Supreme Court weeks after Epstein’s estate executors, Darren Indyke and Richard Kahn, had filed a motion to dismiss the original suit wherein the inmate sought “attorneys’ fees, security costs, costs to find safe accommodation and all other expenses Maxwell has reasonably incurred and will incur by reason of her prior employment relationship with Jeffrey E Epstein.”
“Maxwell’s counsel withdrew from his representation over one year ago, and since that time, this case has lain dormant,” the executors submitted in September. “Though the Court has granted her ample time to find new counsel and ordered her to do so, Maxwell as not done so.”
“Additionally, to the extent Maxwell is unable to retain new counsel, nothing precludes her from litigating her claims pro se, but she has thus far declined to do so. Accordingly, the Court should dismiss Maxwell’s Complaint,” they added unaware of the as yet unreceived filing on self-representation.
In obtaining the documents, Inside Edition suggested the possibility that the filing had been sent to the Superior Court instead of the Supreme Court after her previous attorney had terminated representation asserting unpaid fees amounting to $878,302.66.
Along with seeking added time to review the details of the case to facilitate her acting “pro se,” Maxwell also requested a stay until such time that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled on a motion filed over the conviction of federal charges.
The inmate wished to have her conviction of sex trafficking of a minor, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity dismissed over “errors made by both of the government and the trial court, several of which are fatal and which would result in the dismissal of the criminal proceedings.”
She also suggested “All counts are barred by statue of limitations,” that she had been denied the right to a “fair and impartial jury” over alleged false statements, counts had been amended by the court and they should all “be dismissed pursuant to the Non-Prosecution agreement.”