Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Motion to Dismiss filed against Doug Guetzloe

Today, attorneys for South Florida Tea Party Movement activists filed a scathing Motion to Dismiss (coupled with an even-more-scathing press release) in the lawsuit filed against them by Florida Tea Party Fake Tea Party leader Doug Guetzloe:

Motion to Dismiss - McClellan and Wilkinson

Wade Vose, attorney for McClellan and Wilkinson, published a statement on his firm's website, pointing out Guetzloe's "long history of threatening lawsuits against his political opponents, only to back down in the face of opposition," and Guetzloe's curious strategic decision to file this lawsuit but never serve any of the parties with process.

For the non-lawyers, to sue someone, you file a complaint at the courthouse, pay the filing fee to the clerk of court, and then you are issued "summons" which you hire a process server to personally give to the defendant along with a copy of the complaint.  Until the defendant is "served," they are under no obligation to respond to your lawsuit, and you cannot get any relief from the court.

Vose points out what is likely the rationale behind Guetzloe failing to serve McClellan and Wilkinson:

All the way back in the beginning of May, Guetzloe filed a lawsuit against my clients and other activists, but never had them served or proceeded with the suit. Instead, he trumpeted the case in the media, trying to manufacture a victory out of his mere filing of the suit. My clients only learned of the suit through the media, and from other members of the Tea Party Movement, whom Guetzloe appears to have attempted to intimidate through his touting of the case.

Despite Guetzloe's refusal to proceed with serving my clients in this lawsuit, my clients have elected to voluntarily enter the suit, so that Guetzloe's ulterior and illicit attempts at intimidation of the Tea Party Movement will be stopped.

Guetzloe's complaint is a rambling morass of political conspiracy theories and propaganda, spinning the tail of a vast right-wing conspiracy of powerful, shadow figures and a so-called "Republican Party Establishment." Much of the complaint appears to have been drafted solely as an attempt to garner much needed [credibility] for Guetzloe's underhanded political dealings...
Guetzloe's case is baseless, and appears to have been filed solely for media coverage and to intimidate those who oppose his actions. We call on others who have been intimidated by Guetzloe, past and present, to break their silence, and put a stop to his destructive and self-serving actions.
I've read Guetzloe's Complaint, and this Motion to Dismiss, and it's my opinion that the Complaint does indeed fail to state any legitimate causes of action. Assuming the Court grants this Motion to Dismiss, the next step would be to allow Guetzloe a chance to filed an Amended Complaint and attempt to state some valid claims.  I'm curious to see what he tries next.

The other interesting part of this legal saga is that Guetzloe and his attorney Fred O'Neal have now put at issue a lot of veeeerrrrryyyy intriguing topics, including the formation of the Florida Tea Party, Guetzloe and the Florida Tea Party's relationship with Alan Grayson, as well as Guetzloe's past business dealings and financial transactions.  

Can't wait to see what the discovery process uncovers in this very intriguing lawsuit. 

UPDATE:  Comments at Orlando Political Press on this latest development in the litigation.

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