Judge rules in RSE lawsuit
David McCarthy dismissed from Coverdale action
By Steven Wyble firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: Friday, May 17, 2013 4:07 PM PDT
A Thurston County Superior Court Judge dismissed with prejudice former Ramtha School of Enlightenment student David McCarthy from a lawsuit between JZK, Inc. and ex-RSE student Virginia Coverdale on Friday.
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor also denied McCarthy’s anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) motion.
SLAPP lawsuits are intended to censor, intimidate or silence critics through litigation.
McCarthy runs a website, Enlighten Me Free, which is critical of RSE and JZ Knight and characterizes the school as a cult.Because he was dismissed with prejudice, JZK, Inc. cannot refile the case against McCarthy.
Tabor also dismissed without prejudice “John Does” and “Jane Does,” identified as anonymous users of EMF, who were initially named in the lawsuit.
Naming John and Jane Does in a lawsuit is a common way to express to the court that other people may be involved, but that the plaintiff doesn’t yet know who they are, said JZK, Inc. lawyer Jeffrey Grant on Tuesday.
Grant said it appears unlikely any other defendants will be added to the lawsuit. However, since the “Does” were dismissed without prejudice, if new information comes up that implicates someone, they could be added to the lawsuit, he said.
Grant said that while McCarthy was dismissed from the lawsuit in the U.S., he has also been sued in New Zealand for copyright violation. The U.S. lawsuit is over breach of contract — not copyright claims — stemming from a conditions of participation agreement RSE students sign prohibiting them from disseminating the school’s materials.
In court documents, McCarthy’s lawyer, Joshua Koltun, argued that McCarthy had grounds to bring forth an anti-SLAPP motion because McCarthy was one of the unidentified John Does named in the lawsuit, as he had posted video to YouTube affected by a temporary restraining order issued by the court.
Koltun argued that McCarthy’s speech, namely posting EMF videos on YouTube, was “placed at issue” by the complaint.
“Plaintiff does not, and cannot, deny that McCarthy is, in fact the person who posted the EMF Videos on YouTube because it is suing him in New Zealand for doing exactly that,” Koltun wrote.
Koltun wrote that after JZK, Inc. served the injunction to YouTube and McCarthy’s web host, YouTube “refused to allow McCarthy to repost the videos that were the subject of the Complaint, and has blocked McCarthy’s right to contest the takedown, or even to access his own Youtube channel to post anything.”
Tabor denied the request and indicated that the lawsuit continues to be a contract case, according to court documents.
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