[Klayman’s suit against the Minneapolis City Pages and the Phoenix Sun Times has been dismissed. See update below.]
The tea party activist who called for a Nov. 19 coup against President Barack Obama is suing multiple newspapers and officials for reprinting accusations made in a custody trial with his ex-wife. Attorney and conservative crusader Larry Klayman is suing the Minneapolis City Pages and the Phoenix New Times, as well as Ohio family court magistrate Lawrence Loeb, who oversaw the custody case between Klayman and his former spouse, Stephanie Anne Luck (now DeLuca).
The former director of far-right PAC Freedom Watch claimed in his complaints that Loeb and the print publications set out to personally and professionally ruin him for ideological reasons. He is asking for $1,400,000 in damages from City Pages and the New Times and suing Loeb for $3,000,000.
Loeb — who Klayman repeatedly states is “a lawyer and not a judge or even a judicial officer” — allegedly subjected Klayman to “unlawful, devious, vindictive, hateful and outrageous treatment” in the 2010 custody case over Klayman and DeLuca’s two children.
In a press release about the suit, Klayman wrote that Loeb issued “an unprecedented 93-page single-spaced opinion, which reads like an ad hominem attack…Loeb mocked and belittled Klayman’s religious beliefs as a Jew who believes in Jesus Christ, and made a false finding that Klayman had ‘inappropriately touched one of his children,’ when in fact Cleveland Department of Children and Families and the local district attorney had investigated these false charges by Klayman’s ex-wife and found no such incident had occurred.”
In his suit against the newspapers, Klayman wrote, “These false charges were manufactured and ‘conveniently’ leveled only for tactical reasons after Plaintiff Klayman had filed for custody of his children. In addition, Plaintiff Klayman voluntarily took and passed a polygraph examination which provided further proof that he did not sexually abuse, much less inappropriately touch, his children, while tellingly his ex-spouse refused to submit to a polygraph over her false charges.”
Klayman alleged that Loeb went beyond his jurisdiction as a court magistrate when he declined to accept a children’s services report that showed no evidence of wrongdoing in Klayman’s relationship with his children. The magistrate relied instead on a report from the children’s pediatrician and a social worker who both agreed that there was cause for concern.
The magistrate’s motivations, Klayman said in his suit, are not rooted in what is best for the children, but rather his own liberal agenda against Klayman.
Klayman accused Loeb of “malicious intent” and of “conjur(ing) up false and malicious findings” against him based on the fact that Loeb is “Jewish, a Democrat and a leftist” who resents Klayman’s Christian beliefs and opposes his work on behalf of conservative causes.
Klayman also sued City Pages and the Phoenix New Times for reprinting Loeb’s allegations. He called both publications left-wing tracts and said they wrote about Loeb’s decision purely in an effort to discredit and ruin him.
Of Voice Media Group, the newspaper conglomerate that owns City Pages and the Village Voice in New York, Klayman, wrote in his complaint that its “political philosophy is far left and in particular supports and promotes a perverse radical gay, lesbian, transgender orientation and lifestyle for children and others at home and in the workplace. They are also pro illegal immigrant.”
Klayman enumerated just a few of his personal accomplishments in the suit against Loeb, including “high profile lawsuits against the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.” He pointed out that he was “instrumental in the impeachment of Bill Clinton” through his work representing Gennifer Flowers, Dolly Kyle Browning and other women who claimed to have has sexual encounters with the former Arkansas governor and U.S. president. Klayman also ran for U.S. Congress in his native Florida, but lost.
He represented evangelical heavy metal pastor Bradlee Dean in an unsuccessful defamation suit against MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. Klayman and Dean still owe fees in that matter of more than $25,000.
Last week, Klayman called upon his friends, supporters and followers to travel to Washington, D.C. next Tuesday (Nov. 19) and take part in a coup to remove President Barack Obama from office. On Tuesday, he said, American patriots must “descend on Washington, D.C., en masse, and demand that [Obama] leave town and resign from office if he does not want to face prison time.”
In a speech in front of the White House during the Republican shutdown of the U.S. federal government, Klayman urged Pres. Obama to “put the Quran down” and “come out with your hands up.”
UPDATE (Sat. 11/16, 1:00 p.m.): Klayman’s suit against the Minneapolis City Pages and the Phoenix Sun-Times was dismissed without prejudice on Friday by Chief Judge Anne C. Conway of the Middle District Court of Florida.
The motion to dismiss can be read in full here. It was filed by attorneys from Holland and Knight, LLP, the firm representing the defendants.
The motion argued on the whole that Klayman was not within his rights to sue the publications for defamation because they simply reprinted official court documents, which are privileged and therefore immune to accusations of defamation. Furthermore, the articles in question were found to be “fair and accurate” summations of those court reports.
“Given the magistrate’s description of what Plaintiff did – and after reading the Ohio law (or any other state’s law, for that matter) – no reasonable person could conclude anything other than what Plaintiff did was criminal,” said the motion.
“Indeed,” it continued, “it is hard to imagine what Plaintiff’s explanation of his conduct could be, which probably explains why he consistently avoided testifying about this or otherwise telling the magistrate what he did and why. As the magistrate noted, Plaintiff would not answer the question of what he thought ‘inappropriate touching’ was, and he even invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering the question.”
Defense attorneys argued the suit should be dismissed with prejudice, but Judge Conway declined to do so, meaning that Klayman can file again if he feels that he can establish grounds for defamation.
[image via LarryKlayman.com]