Friday, April 28, 2017

rift between Good Samaritan Judith Eloise Haney, of Leeds, Alabama, and Key West's most cantankerous homeless man generates 4 libel suits brought by the Good Samaritan in Key West, and 2 in Leeds - so far - against people who put in their two cents worth not in the Good Samaritan's favor

In today's Key West Citizen (
Rift between blogger, woman generates two libel suits

By Scott Unger

The rift between Key West blogger Sloan Bashinsky and an Alabama woman led to two libel lawsuits against Keys media entities that were heard this week by Circuit Court Judge Timothy Koenig. 

Leeds, Alabama resident Judith Haney filed suit against The Blue Paper Editor Naja Girard and owners Bruce and Thelka Gorman for alleged defamatory statements about her, stemming from her interactions with Bashinsky, according to the filings. [And a libel suit against citizen activist and columnist Rick Boettger, not yet heard by Judge Bonnie Helms.]

Last year, Haney sent Bashinsky $1,000, flew him to Birmingham, Alabama, and furnished him with a credit card, apartment and car. Within a week, Haney said she lost confidence in Bashinsky, realized she made a mistake and “pulled the plug,” sending him back to Key West. Shortly after, Haney submitted a complaint seeking a restraining order on Bashinsky for alleged libel, invasion of privacy and cyberstalking for missives posted on his blog about their interactions.

That case was heard on March 31 by Judge Bonnie Helms, who has yet to issue her ruling. [Yesterday, I maybe learned why Judge Helms has not issued a ruling. I was not served with a motion filed April 17 by the Good Samaritan, for Judge Helms to recuse herself, because Judge Helms had been mean, disrespectful and unfair to the Good Samaritan. More on that later in today's post.]

Haney filed a libel suit against Girard seeking monetary damages for a message Girard sent to Bashinsky that was subsequently published on his blog. The message discussed the saga between Bashinsky and Haney, with Girard implying that Haney chose Bashinsky to help because his family is well established in Alabama and he could receive inheritance in the coming years. 

“How disgusting to prey on an older man — a man who spends his life focusing on his community — an older man with no income living on the street!” Girard wrote. “Because he may someday, inherit a large sum of money!? Money!? How pitiful!! If that is what this is — and it does look that way — it is truly disgusting.” [Below this article is all of what Naja wrote to me, which I published, which got Naja sued the same day by the Good Samaritan.]

At Wednesday’s hearing, Girard said it was a personal message to Bashinsky and she would’ve been “much more diplomatic” if she had known he would publish it. The letter was taken down at her request in less than a day, Girard said. The message was clearly a personal opinion and there was plenty of cautionary language to certify that stance, Girard argued. “I laid out the facts as they were known to me,” she said. “I understand the plaintiff doesn’t like my opinion but she can’t use the justice system to attack my free speech.” 

Reading the statement was “a shock” and the words were clearly defamatory, Haney argued. “That’s very hard to imagine that she didn’t intend (it) to be defamatory,” she said. “Her free speech ends at the end of her nose when it violates my rights.” 

Before dismissing the suit with prejudice (meaning permanently dismissed), Koenig said libel cases involve the balance between first amendment rights and a person’s right not to be defamed and acknowledged the words must’ve been hurtful to read for Haney. “It is clear that those words are being issued and written as an opinion,” Koenig said. “Hurtful and painful as they are, they are not actionable.” [Oh how truly important is that distinction, and oh how truly important for the Citizen to share it with the Citizen's readers.]

While also a libel suit, the Gormans’ hearing centered mostly on whether their website should be considered media and if they have the right to pre-suit notice as other media entities are given for a chance to issue a correction. Categorized as a “community diary” by Gorman attorney Lee Rohe, the website features mostly anonymous comments submitted by readers and moderated by Bruce Gorman. 

One of those submissions stated Haney was “krazzey” (sic) and alleged she exploits people for monetary gain. Although the message wasn’t written by the Gormans, Haney said they edited and published false statements. The site should not be protected as a traditional media source because they don’t take part in traditional media practices such as sourcing and verification, Haney said. “He doesn’t operate with accountability, he doesn’t operate with transparency,” she said of Gorman. “At no time would this website meet (the) criteria for typical journalistic standards.” [Freer wrote a bit more than that. Bruce Gorman's wife had nothing to do with it. She has nothing to do with the Coconut Telegraph. She should not have been sued. If I were her lawyer, I would tell her to let me find the biggest, baddest, meanest plaintiff lawyer around to sue the living shit out of the Good Samaritan for everything she owns and for punitive damages collected out of everything she comes to own.]

Rohe argued that Haney’s pleadings were “very vague” and not proper under court rules. He also cited several cases that would cover the website as a media source. Koenig ended the hearing without issuing a ruling, telling both parties he needed to look closer at the rules governing pre-suit notice. [I told Scott Unger after the hearing, out in the hallway, that Haney had told Judge Koenig that 5 years ago, she herself had posted something on the Coconut Telegraph, which she then had asked Deer Ed (Bruce Gorman) to take down and he did not take it down, but Haney did not tell Judge Koenig that what she had posted was a slam of Sloan Bashinsky. I told Unger to be sure and include that in his article today. Unger told me he could not talk with me about the case, he did not want to hear what I had to say. in my extensive experiences with Haney, what I told Unger is typical of how Haney cherrypicks and reports what suits her, and does not mention what refutes her position entirely.]
This just in from Judge Helm's judicial assistant, Raquel Galvan, copied to Haney and to me:


Case No.: 2017-CA-Ol-K

JUDITH HANEY, Plaintiff, and SLOAN Y. BASHINSKY, JR., Defendant.



THIS CAUSE having come before the Court on Plaintiffs Motion for Disqualification of Judge Bonnie J. Helms Pursuant to Florida Rules of Judicial Administration Rule 2.330 and Florida Statute §38.10 and the Court having reviewed the Motion and court file and being otherwise fully informed in the premises finds that the Motion for Disqualification is legally insufficient, it is therefore ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that said motion be and the same is hereby Denied. 

DONE AND ORDERED at Key West, Monroe County, Florida this 2S th day of April, 2017

cc: Judith E. Haney Sloan Y. Bashinsky

Text of Naja Girard's email to me, which Judge Koenig ruled was opinion and thus not libel:

“This [below] from one of your posts a few days ago is really disturbing to me.” 

“'She now has filed a motion for permission to file and Amended Complaint, in which she shifts from asking the Court to issue injunctions against me, to make me stop publishing about her and to take down everything I did publish about her (which I did a few days ago, at the request of my website host, whom she had contacted). She shifts to asking to be allowed to sue me for punitive damages, which she looks to collect out of my potential inheritance, if she wins and I, or my estate, receive the inheritance. I’d be more than happy to croak today, but that does not seem to be part of today’s adventures in paradise.'” 

“This person seems such an obvious “grifter”. I pray the Judge will see through this and not only throw her case out – and quickly – but that she will issue sanctions against her, if possible. She has caused you so much distress. Posing as a savior, she disrupted your entire life – had you travel all the way to Birmingham filling your head with dreams of a new life – and then – the way it looks from my seat – she sent you back just as soon as she felt satisfied that she had established a pretext for a lawsuit.” 

“Everyone who has ever read Sloan Bashinsky’s blog more than once simply knows you don’t send Sloan Bashinsky an email unless you are sure you are ok with seeing it on his public blog some day. Most of your posts are just that – emails between you and others. She knew that. She admitted she followed your blog. And it sure looks like she not only knew that but she USED that. It really does look like the whole thing was calculated from day one: A grifter plan concocted and carried out. And I say this because I simply cannot fathom that someone with a heart so big that even though they barely knew you would spend thousands of dollars to help you – would then turn around and cause you so much distress by filing this lawsuit and asking for punitive damages.” 

“You want to help the old homeless guy – great. It doesn’t work out. O.K. send him back home. He publishes your emails after he said he wouldn’t and you don’t like it? O.K. make sure he take them down. He won’t? O.K. file the injunction. But this punitive damages pleading attached to his future inheritance – no – no -no – that spells grifter. Sorry —grifter – grifter – grifter. That’s my take.”

“If that’s what this is then: How disgusting to prey on an older man – a man who spends his life focusing on his community – an older man with no income living on the street! Because he may some day, inherit a large sum of money!? Money!? How pitiful!! If that is what this is - and it does look that way – it is truly disgusting.” 

“Haney should hang her head in shame. Disgusting for her to spend so much of her energy in causing you pain and stress after pretending to care about you, offering you peace and tranquility while you were vulnerable –living a hard life on the streets. Just Evil.” 

“If that is what’s happening then it looks like she’s counting on the fact that the case will be decided while you are at a disadvantage –with no funds – no inheritance – no way to fly in witnesses from Birmingham who will tell the truth, the whole truth about this person’s reputation. My mind keeps coming up with “Evil”. 

“My thoughts and prayers are with you. If I had a magic wand right now I would use it to make her disappear. Unless, of course, she were to drop the punitive damages pleading –droop the get ahold of Sloan’s future inheritance game … I’d reconsider. If I had a magic wand.”


Twice I told Haney, once in a Facebook message, once in an email, that I was protecting her identity. I volunteered that the first time without any prompting from Haney. The second time, after I was in Birmingham, Haney insisted on privacy, and I assured her she would continue have it. Then one day, in just a few hours time, Haney reneged everything she had promised me. She asked me to give her back the $1,000 she had given to me in Key West, which she had called "a gift, not a loan", in a Facebook message when I still was in Key West. 

In Haney's later pleadings in her lawsuit against me, she demanded I repay her everything, even though before I had left Key West for Birmingham, flying first class on Delta at Haney's insistence, she had told me in an email that she was doing this for me with "no strings attached, financial or otherwise." During Haney's hearing before Judge Koneig yesterday, in Bruce Gorman's case, Haney said she had never asked me to return anything she had given to me. Did Haney lie to Judge Koenig? Did Haney forget? Did one Haney tell me one thing, and yet another Haney tell Judge Koenig something else? The Haney I have seen in three court hearings does not sound when she talks anything like the Haney who filed wild pleadings accusing me and Judge Helms off all manner of wrongdoing.

Be that as it may, when Haney told me, if I did not give up what she had already given me, the apartment rent prepaid 7 months, she would call in the police on me, I told her - all in emails this was, which I have - calling the police in on me would be a public event for us both, and if she did it, I would publish her and my Facebook messages and emails, which contained her real name, email address, mailing address and telephone number. Haney brought in the police, I kept my promise. Haney sued me for keeping my promise, and for breaking her own promises to me. Haney should have sued herself. 

Text of 2 emails from me to Bruce Gorman, one yesterday afternoon, one this morning:

My first email:

I think anything you post on the CT, which was published at my website or sent as a reader comment to CT, you should attribute to Sloan Bashinsky, if you publish it. Verbatim. Or, don't use any of it. If you just publish the link below, and not my commentary about that lawsuit, you only give your readers one half of the picture. I am not convinced the 6th Circuit Court of US Appeals case applies to the CT, for reasons stated in my commentary. 

From: Sloan Bashinsky
Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:34:26 PM
To: anonymous, because Haney might sue the person who sent me the link
Subject: The Coconut Telegraph Case: Not liable for anonymous posts [unless he materially changes their meaning thru edits]

Not sure it's apples and apples. 

Nobody can post to the Coconut Telegraph, but Bruce Gorman. All submissions are sent to him at asubject "Coconut Telegraph". Other emails he tends to ignore, because of how many emails he receives. Or so he had told his readers from time to time.

Bruce decides which reader submissions to post to the Coconut Telegraph, and  whether he will post them as is, or after he edits them to suit himself. This is known to his regular Coconut Telegraph readers. 

It is not entirely unlike the blue paper. Readers can submit comments to blue paper articles, but they do not show unless Naja clears them from moderation. 

If someone sends me something by email, my readers do not see it, unless I publish it.

Whereas, if someone comments under something I post to the public on Facebook, any of my Facebook friends can comment on it without going through me. 

So, what I wonder is, was the Dirty World website like Facebook, where reader comments go directly onto the page, or was the Dirty World website like the Coconut Telegraph or the blue paper, where comments are cleared through the website host/editor?

I looked the Dirty World lawsuit up on Wikipedia, and found this about the plaintiff, a school teacher and Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleader:
Background[edit] is a website, founded by Nik Richie, that publishes anonymous gossip from site users. In October and December 2009, two posts pictured Jones and accused her of promiscuity and infecting others with sexual transmitted diseases. Each post was authored by a site user and anonymously attributed to "The Dirty Army". An editorial note by Richie was appended and signed "nik". Jones sent several e-mails to Richie asking for the posts to be removed. Richie refused to, even after Jones hired an attorney and threatened suit.
Parallel Developments[edit]
In an unusual turn of events, while her civil lawsuit remained pending, on March 29, 2012, plaintiff Sarah Jones was indicted by a Kenton County grand jury which charged her with a felony count of "Sexual abuse in the first degree" and "Unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities".[5] On  October 8, 2012, Sarah Jones pleaded guilty to felony custodial interference and misdemeanor sexual misconduct. She was given a two-year sentence, but will not have to serve any time if she follows the terms of her probation for five years. Jones' mother, former school principal Cheryl Armstrong Jones, also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempted tampering with evidence. She admitted to the judge that she sent the teen a text message telling him to get rid of his phone and also avoided jail time.[6] The teen in question has publicly identified himself as 18-year-old Cody York. The same day Jones pleaded guilty in her criminal cases, Jones notified a Kentucky civil court that she was prepared to pursue her 2009 lawsuit against “Sarah Jones is only seeking damages prior to her relationship with [the high school student],” writes lawyer Eric Deters in the court filing requesting a January 2013 trial. “The conduct of and her reputation from the time of the libel was intact. It may be harmed now, but she does not seek damages for this time period or in the future.[7]

My second Email to Bruce Gorman:

From: Sloan Bashinsky
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 6:44 AM
Subject: Haney's website and biography boast she is public figure

A print out of this down below, without the sidebars, was identified by Haney as hers during my cross examination of her on March 31, and Judge Helms accepted it into evidence as an exhibit. It is in evidence as as exhibit on the clerk of the court's website. Out of her own mouth/pen/typewriter, Haney is a public figure, international journalist, lobbyist before US Congress. 

Also a public figure because of her vexatious public litigation in Alabama, before she brought me to Birmingham. 

Also, because she ran for Mayor of Leeds. Also because she sued me, a public figure, which made her a "temporary" public figure, and she sued 3 other public figures here: you (Deer Ed), Naja Girard and Rick Boettger. Lee Rohe needs to focus on Naja's successful defense, which did not allege public figure - just opinions are protected by 1st Amendment, and even if you are legally responsible for Stephen Freer's blast of Haney, which you told me you published verbatim, it's still just an opinion protected by 1st Amendment. 

On top of that, Haney is a public figure, and as such, she has to prove, and allege, it's false, it was uttered with malice knowing it was false or in reckless disregard of the facts. That's Florida statutory law and also New York Times vs. Sullivan, if a publisher is involved. 

That has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not the Florida 5-day take down notice law applies. 

Also, Haney argued that you protect slammers identities, which the Florida legislature never intended a publication to enjoy. 

Whether or not that is accurate, Haney herself told Judge Koenig that she had published something on the Coconut Telegraph 5 years ago, I think it was in 2009 or 2010, and had asked you to take it down and you did not take it down. It was a Haney slam of Sloan Bashinsky, which had her email address on it, which email address included her first and last name. She told you in an email to expect litigation for publishing her email address. You sent that to me and asked me about it and I told you "No greater fury has there ...' and you said something like say no more. 

The point, however, Haney was fine slamming me anonymously on the CT, the very thing she argues against you now. But she did not tell Judge Koenig that, or that what she had submitted slammed me on the CT. 

After the hearing, I told Scott Unger about that, and he said he didn't want to hear it, he couldn't use anything I told him about the case. Even though the case was about me. 

Maybe you can go back and recover that post of Haney's, with her email address in it. I cannot, because she had my websites take down by Blue Host. Look at 2009 and 2010, perhaps 2011.

 She cherry picks what she likes, doesn't tell the whole story/context. She has done that many times in her pleadings in her lawsuit against me. 

I learned yesterday that she filed a motion to have Judge Helms recuse herself, on April 17. I did not receive notice of the motion. She makes lots of allegations out of context, cherry picked, and just plain out of bounds, in the hitting a golf ball sideways sense. That motion to recuse Judge Helms has to address first, before ruling on the March 31 hearing. Haney attacked Judge Helms many times in the motion. Unfair to Haney, partial to me. 

This is How Haney behaved in the past with judges who did not do her bidding. I imagine you, Naja Girard and Rick Boettger can expect similar behavior in Haney's lawsuits against you three. 

Haney suing your innocent wife was outrageous. Forward this email to Lee Rohe. 

Perhaps he can prevail on motion for summary judgment, when evidence as well as the pleadings are considered by the court. Haney's testimony on March 31 important to your defense. As is your and Haney's old history.

See Haney's bio in her own handwriting:


[I, Sloan, was told by Google not to publish the bio again, as it's copyrighted, even though I had included with it Haney's express published written permission for anyone to copy and reuse anything on her website, as long as she was given credit for it and her written permission was included.]

Bruce replied:

Subject: CT not media?


If the CT is not media then the Key West Citizen is not media either. Attached Citizen's Voice. The CT is like the Citizen's Voice with pictures and animations. The Citizen's Voice opinions are not attributed either.

How come I was issued a press pass an license plate if the CT not media?

How come the Navy invites me to all new ship tours if I'm not media?

How come the Navy invites me to interview the Blue Angeles if I'm not media.

How come public events, art openings, etc invite me if I'm not the media?
How come the sheriff's Dept gave me a Press pin?

Last today, comic relief, sorta. 

Judge Koenig did not reach my personal favorite of Naja Girard's motions to dismiss, because he already had dismissed Haney's lawsuit against Naja on the ground what Naja had written to me about Haney was Naja's opinion protected by the 1st Amendment. 

I told Naja it was too bad Judge Koenig did not rule on both motions to dismiss - in case one dismissal was adjudicated insufficient on appeal, the other dismissal might carry the day.

I also told Naja not to expect she and Judge Koenig had heard the last from the Good Samaritin. I had in mind Haney's 4th husband Robert Furgieh's opening Facebook salutations to me the morning after I was served Haney's lawsuit papers as I lay sleeping one night in the front lobby of the Key West police station.

JAN 6TH, 6:31AM

Sloan, I ran across your recent saga involving Judith Haney. I'm almost embarrassed to mention it, but I married her in 1987 (soon after we first met) and filed for divorce in '92. The litigation ran on for 7.5 years. I hope you are soon able to get her out of your life. Robert Fureigh North Little Rock, Arkansas (501) xxx-xxxx (cell)

It was around 2002-03 that she had a comprehensive website that focused entirely on me -- offering $1 million" ... for information leading to the arrest and conviction of sadistic criminal, Robert Fureigh"

My personal cantankerous favorite of Naja's motions to dismiss, which l like her motion Judge Koenig granted, should be used in Con Law (Constitutional Law) courses in law schools, sez this ex-Alabama lawyer :-).

V.                                                      CASE NO: 17-CA-66-K
Failure to Plead Actual Malice with Specificity
COMES NOW Naja Girard d’Albissin, pro se, who moves this Court, pursuant to Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.140(b)(6), to dismiss the Complaint filed by Judith HANEY for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and would state the following in support thereof:
1.         HANEY asserts she has a claim for relief against the Defendant for “defamation,” however HANEY has failed to allege in her Complaint the essential components of a defamation claim.
2.         Under Florida law, a claim for Defamation must assert “the following five elements: (1) publication; (2) falsity; (3) actor must act with knowledge or reckless disregard as to the falsity on a matter concerning a public official, or at least negligently on a matter concerning a private person; (4) actual damages; and (5) statement must be defamatory. See Restatement (Second) of Torts § § 558B, 580A-580B.” [See, Jews for Jesus vs. Rapp, Supreme Court of Florida, 997 So.2d 1098 (Fla. 2008)
3.         The Complaint alleges that the Defendant sent an email to Sloan Bashinsky and that Mr. Bashinsky then, sua sponte, published the contents of the email on his blog on the internet and that the statement is actionable as defamation by libel.
Motion to dismiss for failure to state a defamation claim capable of defeating defendants privilege.
Plaintiff claims that Defendant’s alleged defamatory statement was broadcast to the world through Mr. Sloan Bashinsky’s website:
The U.S. Supreme Court recognizes a privilege in favor of Defendants in defamation law suits when Plaintiffs are "public or limited public figures." The privilege requires such a Plaintiff in a defamation case to prove "actual malice". [See, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)]
Even though Plaintiff has voluntarily thrust herself into the vortex of Key West’s homeless controversy she claims in her Complaint that she is not a public figure for purpose of proving her defamation claim.
            Plaintiff is a "limited public figure" in a matter of public interest, as a matter of law. Her Complaint must therefore allege that Defendant “knew” the alleged defamatory statement was “false” or that Defendant acted with reckless disregard for the falsity of the statement. 
When claiming "actual malice" a Plaintiff cannot rest solely on conclusory and unsubstantiated allegations. Basic factual elements of Defendant’s personal knowledge or reckless disregard of falsity must be pled.
For failure to specifically plead the element of actual malice required to defeat Defendant’s privilege, the Complaint must fail.
Memorandum of Law
In Gertz v. Welch, 418 U.S. 323, 94 S.Ct. 2997, 41 L.Ed.2d 789 (1974), the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the situations in which the New York Times’ "actual malice" standard must be applied in a defamation action.
“In reviewing the Supreme Court cases from New York Times through Dun & Bradstreet, two considerations seem to be required in determining the standard of proof in defamation cases: (1) whether the alleged defamation arose out of a matter of public or private concern; and (2) whether the plaintiff is a public official, public figure, or limited public figure or private person.” [Della-Donna v. Gore Newspapers Co., 489 So.2d 72 (1986) D.C. of Appeal of Florida, 4th Dist].
"In the context of determining the status of a plaintiff, a public controversy has been defined as "any topic upon which sizeable segments of society have different, strongly held views." Lerman v. Flynt Distributing Co., 745 F.2d 123, 138 (2d Cir.1984), cert. denied, 471 U.S. 1054, 105 S.Ct. 2114,"
"In addition to defining public controversy, the Waldbaum court also set out a three-part test for determining whether a person has become a limited-purpose public figure. "Under this test the court must determine that there is a public controversy; ascertain that the plaintiff played a sufficiently central role in that controversy; and find that the alleged defamation was germane to the plaintiff's involvement in the controversy." Dameron v. Washington Magazine, Inc., 779 F.2d 736, 741 (D.C.Cir.1985) (citing Waldbaum ).
"It may be possible for someone to become a public figure through no purposeful action of his own...." Gertz, 418 U.S. at 345, 94 S.Ct. at 2997 (emphasis supplied). Dameron, 779 F.2d at 742.
“Basically, two factors must be present before a person may be considered a limited public figure. First, the circumstances in which a person achieves public figure status must rise to the level of a public controversy and may not be a matter of mere public interest. [8] Second, the person must have voluntarily thrust himself into the vortex of that controversy.” [Arnold v. Taco Properties, Inc, 427 So.2d 216 (Fla.App. 1 Dist. 1983)]
Finally, in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), the Supreme Court ruled that a defamation complaint must be dismissed when allegations consist only of unsubstantiated boilerplate claims of actual malice.
              In Schatz v. Republican State Leadership Committee, 669 F.3d 50 (1st Cir. 2012), the First Circuit affirmed dismissal of Schatz’s claim for defamation. It held that the Plaintiff was a public figure and thus was required to plead facts plausibly supporting actual malice in order to state a viable claim. Although Schatz’s [like Haney] “used actual-malice buzzwords,” such as claiming that the defendants knew their statements were false and acted with reckless disregard to their falsity, the appellate panel noted that “these are merely legal conclusions, which must be backed by well-pled facts” under Twombly and Iqbal
The Court also rejected Schatz’s reliance on Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides that state of mind “may be alleged generally.” The First Circuit concluded that the provision excuses state-of-mind pleading from a heightened pleading standard, but that a plaintiff “must still lay out enough facts from which malice might reasonably be inferred.” [Citing Iqbal’s discussion of Rule 9(b)]
Haney’s Complaint
         Plaintiff has structure her Complaint around one single issue: Is she a Good Samaritan trying to rescue a man from destitution on our streets or is she a grifter, a gold digger, trying to take advantage of a vulnerable, old, homeless man who happens to be worth millions of dollars. At this point she is suing Mr. Bashinsky for punitive damages to be collected out of his future inheritance.
The issue of the rehabilitation or management of the homeless in Key West is so prevalent that it would be appropriate for this honorable Court to take judicial notice of the public interest in the issue without requiring any further proof.
When Plaintiff decided to rescue Mr. Bashinsky from his life on the street, she was associating herself with the most cantankerous homeless man in Key West, rendered famous by his daily blog. She offered Key Westers a lecture in action on how to treat our fellow man. Her efforts failed, turned into anger and she filed a lawsuit that may very well produce the most colorful trial this County has seen in quite some time.
From one point of view, Plaintiff has made herself the chief prosecutor of homeless peoples’ ingratitude, the living proof that no good deed will remain unpunished. But, for those who are concerned about the possible exploitation of a vulnerable old man worth millions of dollars, she has taken on the role of the gold digger weaving her net, hoping to strike it rich in a lawsuit.
In the words of the U.S. Supreme Court in Gertz, Plaintiff has "voluntarily thrust herself into the vortex" of Key West homeless debate.
By her actions she is pledging to answer our questions; assuage or confirm our doubts about “enabling” versus “helping” homeless people. We will say, "Remember what happened with Bashinsky!"
Only after she took the decision to bring the issue before the Court did she become the object of public scrutiny. There are no facts that Plaintiff could allege that would allow her to retreat back to the position of private citizen. She is a limited public figure in a public controversy.
Therefore, Plaintiff should have, in her Complaint, alleged with specificity the basic facts supporting a claim of actual malice capable of defeating Defendant’s privilege under the First Amendment. Plaintiff produced some "actual malice buzzwords" but contrary to the mandate of Twombly and Iqbal, Plaintiff presented no factual allegations whatsoever supporting a claim that Defendant actively participated in covering up the truth or that she knew her statement was false or had behaved recklessly in terms of the falsity of her statement.
Because Plaintiff is a limited public figure and failed to plead factual elements of actual malice capable of defeating Defendant’s privilege, the Complaint must be dismissed.
WHEREFORE Defendant prays this honorable Court will find that the alleged defamation cause of action arose from public scrutiny over the issue of care for homeless people in our area, that Plaintiff is a limited public figure for the purpose of this claim, that Plaintiff failed to allege specific facts that support a finding of actual malice in her Complaint and that Plaintiff has thus failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and the Complaint must be dismissed.
Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have read the foregoing, and the facts alleged therein are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Respectfully submitted,
Naja Girard d’Albissin
1214 Newton Street
Key West, FL  333040
(305) 304-6882
SloaOne of the cantankerous old homeless man's lady friends