The armorer for the film “Rust,” charged along with Alec Baldwin in the fatal accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie in 2021, is the latest litigant to seek a release from at least part of the civil proceedings on personal jurisdictional grounds.
Attorneys for 25-year-old Hannah Guttierez-Reed filed court papers on Thursday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Whitaker stating that their client has no significant ties to California that would allow plaintiff Mamie Mitchell’s lawyers to bring the armorer as a party into a California court. Mitchell was the script supervisor for “Rust” and filed suit in November 2021.
“Ms. Gutierrez-Reed has not had continuous and systematic affiliations with California sufficient to render her essentially at home in the state of California,” Gutierrrez-Reed’s lawyers state in their court papers.
Mitchell’s lawyers also attempted to serve Gutierrez-Reed at an address in Bullhead City, Arizona, where the armorer neither lives nor knows the names of those who reside there, according to Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers’ court papers.
“Therefore, this court should grant Ms. Gutierrez-Reed’s Motion to quash due to defective service,” Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys further argue in their court papers.
Mitchell was standing adjacent to Hutchins, 42, when the cinematographer was killed Oct. 21, 2021, while Baldwin, a producer and star of “Rust,” was helping to prepare camera angles for a scene on the film’s set near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The 64-year-old Baldwin fired a prop gun that was supposed to contain only blank rounds, but instead discharged a lead bullet that struck Hutchins in the chest, then lodged in the shoulder of director Joel Souza, now 49.
Mitchell maintains she suffered emotional distress from being so close to the shooting.
In their court papers, Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys say their client acknowledges she sometimes used the residence of a friend living in California as a mailing address, but maintains she never lived there.
Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers have included the armorer’s sworn declaration in support of her motion, which is scheduled for hearing on Aug. 7.
“My only employment in the state of California was two days spent as a production assistant for the movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” in 2018,” Gutierrez-Reed says. “I also had unpaid work of one week as a production assistant on “Good Time Girls” during June 2016.”
“Rust” prop master Sarah Zachry is also citing a lack of personal jurisdiction in seeking to be released as a party in Baldwin’s cross-complaint to Mitchell’s underlying lawsuit.
The judge recently rescheduled trial of Mitchell’s case from May 17 to Feb. 21, 2024.