FALL RIVER (WBSM) — Once again, the legacy of Lizzie Borden is at odds in Fall River.

U.S. Ghost Adventures, the company that owns and operates the Lizzie Borden House, has filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals to seek a reversal of an October 2023 decision by a federal judge to deny an injunction against Miss Lizzie’s Coffee, the coffee shop that opened last August right next door to the infamous murder house.

As reported by the Herald News, the brief continues to make the claim that Miss Lizzie’s Coffee is violating trademarks and causing confusion for customers.

Miss Lizzie’s owner Joe Pereira thought the issue had been settled last fall, and that an agreement had been reached for the two businesses to move forward. He shared more on that Tuesday morning during a discussion on WBSM.

“Well I thought there was,” Pereira said. “I can’t say I’m not surprised because I kind of figured they’d try to okey-doke me, as they say.”

READ MORE: Fall River Coffee Shop Can Keep Its Lizzie Borden-Related Name

Pereira said U.S. Ghost Adventures owner Lance Zaal wanted to appeal the decision of Judge Leo T. Sorokin not to grant the injunction that would keep Miss Lizzie’s from doing business, but that a subsequent meeting with a federal mediator had Pereira thinking everything was settled.

“We met with a federal mediator, and I thought it was over,” he said. “The mediator agreed that I can keep my name, I can keep everything the same way, and I can continue to sell my coffee and sell certain products that we have, certain things, books, shirts, whatnot.”

According to Pereira, Zaal’s attorneys had put some things into the agreement that he disagreed with, such as Pereira not being able to run any type of ghost tours out of his coffee shop.

“I don’t have anything to do with ghost tours, but who knows? Maybe in the future,” Pereira said. “To be honest with you, I have no intention of getting involved in that, but as an American I would think I have the right to open up any type of business provided that it’s within the law, and how can he dictate whether I can do that?”

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Pereira said the agreement also had restrictions on what type of products he could sell in his coffee shop.

“This had nothing to do with what was discussed in court, so I told my attorney, no, let them appeal it, let them go to court,” he said. “I’m not going to be bullied into submission because they’re threatening that I’m going to spend a whole pile of money and I’m going to lose my business and be forced into bankruptcy. I’m sorry, that isn’t going to happen.”

“I’ll continue to fight to my last breath if I have to. I’m not going to submit to any type of bullying tactics,” he said.

Miss Lizzie’s Coffee and Joe Pereira Dispute Claims Made in the New Brief

One of the statements the Herald News cited from the brief is that “Many customers are not only actually confused, but also (understandably) angry and upset about being deceived by this false association.”

Pereira said he’s never heard about any angry customers on his side upset because there’s no association between the house and the coffee shop.

“No, and I can’t imagine why anyone would be angry that we’re not associated with them. I can’t understand that. Why are you angry?” he said.

Pereira also took issue that U.S. Ghost Adventures Director of Operations Josef Kruger “testified that someone from Fall River’s Inspectional Services department contacted him on June 27, 2023” and that “Kruger said the inspector he spoke to demanded to know what business the Lizzie Borden House was attempting to open next door,” according to the Herald News.

The inspector reportedly said, “‘The Lizzie Borden House can’t open up Miss Lizzie’s without informing us of these details’” and that “the inspector had to be informed that the businesses are not related.”

However, Pereira posted a photo of his business certificate to the Miss Lizzie’s Coffee Facebook page on Tuesday morning, which was dated June 1, 2023 – 26 days before the inspector allegedly showed up at the Lizzie Borden House.

“I’ve got all the documentation showing that on June 1, we registered as a business, so why on June 27 would a city official contact – go out of their way to contact – this Kruger fellow?” Pereira said. “Why would a city official contact them and say you don’t have the necessary – if we already did? It doesn’t make any sense.”

READ MORE: Fall River Inspectors Say Lizzie Borden Lawsuit Claims "Only Partially True"

Pereira also responded to the accusation from the brief that the coffee shop’s claim that “Our GHOSTS are totally independent and not to be confused with any other Ghosts!” is “too cute by half” and “makes a mockery of a serious legal issue,” as reported by the Herald News.

In his WBSM discussion, Pereira asked why he would mock a legal system that found in his favor once already.

“I wasn’t mocking the legal system, I was mocking how nonsensical Lance Zaal and his company is being,” he said. “To me, they’re just being bullies. I would mock anybody that tries to bully people into submission.”

READ MORE: Lizzie Borden Turns Up on Window at Fall River's "Most Haunted" Coffee Shop

Pereira Warns of Perjury

Pereira indicated that he is suspicious of some of the claims, such as angry customers or confused city officials.

“What I warn them about is to be very careful, these people are involved in a federal lawsuit. Be very careful with your affidavits, be very careful with your so-called witness statements, because perjury is still a crime,” he said.

“And believe me, every single person who claims whatever they want to claim in an affidavit with a federal court, I intend to bring all of those people into court, and under penalties of perjury," Pereira said. "They have to testify based on what their statement is, and you’re going to see it’s going to be a totally different story.”

What Is Next in the Lizzie Borden Legal Battle?

Pereira said his attorneys are filing a response to the U.S. Ghost Adventures brief, and then a three-judge panel will look at the merits of each argument.

“Then after that, I may be wrong, but I think it’s a trial, and I’m prepared for it,” he said.

Pereira also said he has plans to tell more of his story once the court battle is wrapped up, one way or the other.

“Afterwards, I’m going to write a book. It’s going to be entitled Miss Lizzie & Me, I’m actually almost done with it,” he said. “People will love to read about some of the intricacies of all this and the truth of what really happens with these so-called ghost adventures, so we’ll see.”

Listen to the complete interview with Joe Pereira here:

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