There is good news, and there is bad news. The good news is the lawsuit is dismissed, with prejudice. Yesterday I drove to North Wildwood to sign the papers. If I had unlimited resources, there is no way I would have agreed to allow the plaintiff to dismiss this frivolous lawsuit. However, I don’t have deep pockets, and Cumberland County Chair Doug Long, whose law offices perpetrated this absurd lawsuit knows that. Regardless, the attorney for the plaintiff approached my counsel and asked if we would be amenable to a request that the lawsuit be dismissed.
In short – On January 18, 2012 my counsel Frank Corrado mailed a “Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice” to Gloucester Superior Court, re: Docket No. GLO-L-2034-11. In short, the dismissal states:
- “Plaintiff voluntarily dismisses his complaint and any and all claims, with prejudice…”
- It is stated for the record that MagazzuWatch.com (now MWatch) is a “leading New Jersey political commentary and opinion website”…
- That we are a “social media forum providing commentary and opinion…”
- He agrees that his complaint cited blog postings from this site as the basis of his complaint, and…
- he agreed that the “aforementioned blog posts reflected solely political opinion or, alternatively, the hyperbolic political statements of their author.”
- All parties have agreed to limit our “statements abut the case to what is contained in the public record”…
- The dismissal “will not affect any party’s ability to comment on future events”… (so we can look forward to a repeat this November)
- and finally, we all agree that nobody was forced, threatened or coerced into entering into this Stipulation of dismissal.
So there it is – I do not have to go to court tomorrow. That is good, because I was not looking forward to having to drive to Woodbury for this nonsense.
The bad news is the legal bills have started to arrive. So far the bill is for a total of $7,340. To date, I have received $2,950 towards the legal defense fund. I want to offer a sincere thank you to everybody that so generously contributed. Without those intial gifts, I would have never been able to afford any defense at all, and who knows where we would be today?
Also, and this is important, I am still accepting donations from anybody who finds this website a useful source of information concerning county politics, and want to ensure that we are able to continue bringing forth insightful and blunt commentary on our local government.