Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Getting Sued For Speaking Out

Can't help thinking that the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC last year has helped unleash a newly aggressive attitude in some of the business community that intends not to put up with any criticism of their ethical malpractice.

One nearby case in point is the SLAPP suit against citizens down in Weaverville protesting a proposed cement plant.

More such cases emerged today. A rising junior at Western Michigan University got his legally parked car towed from his place of residence by a local towing company, which already had, incidentally, a bad rating from the Better Business Bureau for just such illegal towings, and the student still had to pay $118 to get his car back, and he subsequently vented his anger and frustration by starting a Facebook group, "Kalamazoo Residents against T&J Towing," which quickly ballooned to 800 members with their own tales to share of towing abuse, for which offense the original student got slapped with a lawsuit by T&J Towing for "defamation."

To review: SLAPP = "strategic lawsuit against public participation."

These suits rarely succeed in court, but they achieve the "strategic" goal of the company. They completely drain the resources of the poor schlub who's been sued. And send a warning to others who might speak out.

Turns out there's legislation moving in the U.S. Congress to protect citizens' rights against SLAPP suits. Wonder how Madam Foxx will vote on it, if it ever gets a vote. She doesn't have a history of voting for anything other than business interests.


Dog Tom said...

If there was ever a bill that could and should garner bipartisan support, this would be it. I had a bad experience with an alarm company who automatically renewed my services for 600 dollars. I argued with the company who threatened to put a lein on my property saying they couldn't arbitrarily renew a service. Low and behold it was indeed in the small print of the lease. I thought about writing letters to the editor and attacking them through a neighborhood campaign. In the end I just didn't have the time to mess with them. Had I done that, they might have sucked me dry through a defamation lawsuit. I won't rely on Virginia Foxx for anything. She is about crazy and votes without rhime or reason.

Dog Tom

Johnny Rocket Rico said...

Beagle Tom,

You sound like you might want to sing Cumbayaa. Vote conservative and you won't have to worry about this.

Johnny Rico

Dog Tom said...

Mr. Rico,

I am an issue based voter. By insinuating that one political party or ideal has all the answers is a very narrow minded, convulted method of actually making problems worse. The Republicans had several years to get things right and look at their utter and complete failure. The Democratic Party, although fundamentally opposed to Republican ideals, seems equally incapable of setting this country on a course that will bring success. Each individual issue, individual person, and historic frameworks that guide our nation should be what is important.

You are a narrow minded twerp with your blanket statement on conservatives. At any rate, try becoming educated on issues before throwing out generalizations. I am not a beagle either; my ID relates to something that only a true Watauga County native would know anything about. Good day.

Dog Tom

BikerBard said...

It's "Kumbayah," you moron! I think it was written by Issaic Assimove. Man, you are ignorant!