In April, Tesla asked (and was granted) a temporary punishment order against a prominent critic who was previously only known by Twitter managing @ kabooshka. Tesla revealed to the court that the man who ran that account was a California resident named Randeep Hothi.
Earlier that month, Hothi
tweeted pictures he took from a company-owned Model 3 that Tesla seemed to play for his then "Autonomy Investors Day". Hothi claimed that he saw the driver lack of local speed limits and implicitly that Tesla may distort the images during the event.
Tesla told the court that Hothi "stalked, harassed, and threatened" the employees who were in that Model 3. The company claimed that he "pursued these employees on public roads for about 35 minutes, and behind them and swinging dangerously near the vehicle. "
Hothi also accused at Teslas Fremont, California factory a number of times before the submission in April, the company claimed in its original application. (Most branches of the dock can be seen here.) In August 2018, Tesla said there was an Arlo security camera attached to a tool pole outside the factory and an Arlo customer service representative showed that the camera belonged to Hothi. In January 2019, Tesla said there was another security camera hidden in a toolbox in one of the factory's parking spaces, which the company's own security cameras eventually caught Hothi away.
Tesla says it has evidence that Hothi hid cameras at his factory factory in California
In February 2019, Tesla found Hothi in his car at one of the factory's parking lots. Two security workers approached him, with a photograph and told him to leave. Tesla said Hothi did not roll down the window and instead "drove the car quickly and ruthlessly out of the parking lot." The company also said Hothi beat one of the employees with his car.
Hothi is one of many people who are short of Tesla's share, which means that he is essentially investing in the company's share price going down on a certain date. He has previously posted pictures and videos of Tesla's employee parking spaces as a way of assessing whether the company is operating at full production.
Hothi and other card vendors have also photographed parking spaces where Tesla stashes stocks, which they see as an indicator of demand (or lack thereof) for company cars.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has spent many years embarrassing the people who have short Tesla's share, often promising to "burn" their positions by announcing good news. But the society seems to grow, the more Musk counteracts, and it was especially blown up after last year's funding-protected debacle, which some of the more prominent shorts have said was the reason why they began to follow Tesla closely.
By using Twitter "cashtag" they organize $ TSLAQ, and search for a site of the same name. The community quickly rallied around Hothi when the restriction scheme hit and a former pseudonym poster also launched a GoFundMe for Hothi who has now darkened $ 100,000. (This poster was @MontanaSkeptic, aka Lawrence Fossi, whose identity was revealed after Musk called his boss to complain.)
In response to Tesla's allegations, Hothi's lawyers wrote in a Majesty hearing that he is "a citizen journalist whose research and data has revealed differences in claims Tesla and its CEO have redesigned the company's manufacturing operations, its technical capabilities, financial health and employee and customer care. "They claimed Hothi's research" informed the public discussion of technology in Silicon Valley and has won a major public accompanying him. "
Hothi's lawyers said Tesla" painted a lurid image "of his client and claimed that the company" has a history of using the legal system to silence its critics ". They mention the example of Martin Tripp, a former Tesla employee whistleblower who was prosecuted by Tesla for hacking corporate systems and stealing trade secrets. (Tripp has since been discussed, alleged prosecution). They also pointed out the harassment that Hothi endured as a result of the restriction, including being called a terrorist. Musk even emailed Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess about Hothi in 2018 after discovering that his brother is working for the German automaker.
Hothi's lawyers say he is a "citizen journalist"
Hothi's lawyers also claimed that Tesla's security officers gave conflicting accounts the February case and that none of his actions during the April 3 meeting of Model 3 were qualified as stalking or violence.
In May, Hothi's law requested Tesla to submit all its evidence to the court. On July 1, the court granted the request in part and ordered Tesla to submit a "limited and focused" photographic, audio or video factor related specifically to the February and April events.
Tesla tried to combat this by claiming that there were "confidential business information" in the recordings. Hothi team law responded by offering to let Tesla exclude all sensitive information. But on Friday, Tesla's law told the court that it would not produce the evidence that the company completely dropped the case. Submitting the evidence to the court would have risked the security and integrity of the employees involved in the case, the lawyers argued.
Tesla also said it believes it has given Hothi "clear notice of not coming into its property and that Tesla will take appropriate action in the future to protect its employees" and that it will "double its efforts to protect his employees through other Gill Sperlein, Hothi's lawyer, said in an email to
The Verge that "Tesla did not leave this trial to protect his employees but rather to discredit Hothi". Sperlein also said that " [w] what was on the audio tape they refused to produce would have shown the first point. "Sperlein told the Los Angeles Times over the weekend that he sent a letter to Tesla with notification to the company that Hothi is planning to insert "a malicious prosecution" and require Tesla to retain all evidence in the case against him.
Correction: Musk is called Lawrence Fossi 's boss, but Fossi was not fired. has been updated.