Robert and Gladys Zimmerman’s Lawsuit Moved to Federal Court

Robert and Gladys Zimmerman, the parents of George Zimmerman, filed suit in the Florida State Circuit Court in Sanford, Florida against Roseanne Barr. They allege that they were forced to leave their home and go into hiding because Barr tweeted their home address. The Zimmerman’s accuse Barr of violating their privacy and intentionally inflicting emotional distress and are seeking unspecified damages.

Robert Sr. and Gladys Zimmerman

Robert Sr. and Gladys Zimmerman

Two weeks ago, the case was transferred from the state circuit court to the

Rosanne Barr

Rosanne Barr

Orlando federal court and assigned to U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell.

Some of you might remember that I predicted that would be Barr’s attorney’s first move because of diversity. Barr resides in Hawaii and the Zimmerman’s in Florida.

George Zimmerman is the man who killed unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. By claiming Florida’s stand your ground, he avoided charges and arrest. The governor of Florida appointed State’s Attorney Angela Corey to investigate and in April 2012, George was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

George ZimmermanIn July 2013, a jury of 5 White women and 1 Hispanic woman found George not guilty. The Honorable Judge Debra Nelson, who presided over the murder trial, did not allow the initial aggressor part of self-defense law to be included in the jury instructions, although she included the “no duty to retreat” portion of stand your ground law in those instructions.

The Department of Justice still has an open investigation on whether George violated Trayvon’s civil rights.

The lawsuit alleges that on March 28, Barr tweeted the home address for Robert Sr. and Gladys Zimmerman, forcing them to flee their home in the middle of the night and go into hiding. However, in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel published March 15, 2012, Robert Sr. told the Orlando Sentinel that he and his wife were already living in hiding. Barr acknowledged in papers filed with the court that she tweeted the Zimmerman’s address, and that she deleted that tweet as soon as she realized it went out to all followers rather than only the person she intended.

Barr is represented by the Los Angeles law firm of Kelly Kelley Drye & Warren zimmerman-parentsLLP. Local attorneys in Orlando are with the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. Judicial Rules require that when attorneys represent parties who are not located in the state where a case is filed, or admitted to that state’s Bar, that they have a local attorney.

Often, local attorneys in such cases do not actually litigate the case, but are available for status hearings. In cases involving state laws that are transferred to federal court, the local attorneys are more familiar with state statutes and case decisions involving the same issues. Rosanne Barr has her bases covered.

Yesterday, Barr’s attorneys filed a motion to have the case dismissed.

Source: The Orlando Sentinel

 

Posted on 04/22/2014, in Justice For Trayvon, Trials & Cases and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. Cool!! This is good news. How can they get away with saying they had to go in hiding when they were already in hiding? Too funny!!

    ya know Michael Done (sic) (lol) has a pre-trial hearing tomorrow morning on his re-trial for Jordan Davis’ death.

    Like

    • Thanks for reminding me about the Done-in pre trial hearing tomorrow, mindyme62.

      Like

    • mindyme,
      If the Zimmerman’s attorney is not experience working in a court with the big boys, he might tell them to get another attorney. The federal rules make attorneys work and if they are unfamiliar with them, the case can be lost really fast.

      Done/Dunn. LOL!! His trial is suppose to start next month. Attorney John Phillips tweeted the other day that he anticipates the trial date will be continued.

      I feel so bad for Jordan’s parents having to sit through another trial watching that killer and listening to his lies.

      Like

      • He is sure doing everything he can to avoid having to go to prison yet for the verdict of guilty for shooting into the SUV. From what I’ve heard though, prison is ‘better’ than county Jail. Folks can have TV and smoke and several other things they can’t do in county..
        I wonder if he honestly believes he won’t ever have to go…

        Like

        • mindyme,
          The court delayed sentencing on the 2nd degree attempted murder convictions until after trial on the 1st degree murder charge. He’s been in jail since November 2012, so it probably feels like home to him now. 🙂

          Like

  2. “However, in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel published March 15, 2012, Robert Sr. told the Orlando Sentinel that he and his wife were already living in hiding.”

    In my mind, that shows the Zs lack of a case (and honesty).

    Great that it is in Federal court.

    Like

    • I am really growing tired of all the Zimmerman family shenanigans and mini dramas.
      They seem to still be on the level of playground antics.

      Like

    • Well, the Zimmerman’s attorney can request the court to stay the motion to dismiss pending discovery, but there’s not much they can fish because that tweet is their only evidence. On the other hand, if their attorney was to request such a stay pending discovery, Rosanne’s attorneys can request production of every credit card receipt from the Zimmerman’s in the two weeks before Rosanne tweeted their address.

      Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn ….. LOL!

      Like

  3. Zimmerman may have learned his behavior from his parents. People who live in glass houses should never throw bricks. Hugs, Barbara

    Like

  4. towerflower

    The Barr lawsuit is full of lies. In #13 of the suit it says they didn’t give their permission for their information to be published……it is published and still is to this day in the Seminole County Property Appraisers Office.

    14….I’m sure the media was at their home prior to the tweet, since they had access to the same information via the Appraiser’s Office.

    15. They left their home at LEAST 2 weeks prior with the Sentinel interview as proof.

    16.. They were already in hiding so the tweet didn’t cause it, nor could it be proven that it has kept them from returning.

    17. They said there had been no prior incidents in the31 days prior to the tweet….once again a lie with the Sentinel article as proof.

    19. They said her tweet was an open and obvious call to vigilante justice when none of the tweets even suggested that.

    20-21. Ms. Barr is a well known comedian and has occasionally “went beyond all possible bounds of decency and is utterly intolerable”—her singing of the National Anthem comes to mind.

    23. Since they already had left their home prior to the tweet how would it be foreseeable that the tweet would make them flee their home that they already fled.

    26. No connection with the incident with their son? I guess appearing on tv giving interviews and interjecting themselves into the investigation isn’t having a connection.

    29. See #13.

    30 Not public figures—last time I checked if you put yourself into the limelight, giving interviews and going on tv, that makes you a public figure.

    31. Emotional distress from March 29, forward……I guess your son’s actions didn’t cause you any emotional distress.

    32. Same as #23.

    33. Invasion of privacy–once again it was public record.

    34. Loss of value of home. Everyone in Florida suffered a loss of home value due to the market crash. But their home is worth more money than it was last year and is the same value of other homes with the same square footage and bedrooms within the community.

    As to their attorney…..Phillips put out a link to their attorney and his isn’t highly rated so they may be in trouble with this going to a big boy’s court. I had tweeted Ms. Barr early on about the Orlando Sentinel article when she asked for help, so hopefully she got the information. Frankly I would love to see the Zimmerman’s laughed out of court.

    Like

  5. 34. The loss of any value is attributed to one thing……..PhatFogenPhoole is a murderer.

    The name alone does it. I believe they will be laughed out of court. Maybe the state will get them to admit something very damning.

    Like

    • This is a well written Motion.

      They had as much reason to file a lawsuit as FatPhogenPhoole did to murder Trayvon…………….NONE !

      Like

    • Thanks for this, tower flower.

      They were thorough and have a strong case for dismissal.

      Like

    • towerflower,
      Thanks for that wonderful breakdown of facts and also thanks for the copy of the motion.

      I just realized something when reading the motion — invasion of privacy. I will need to research the elements to prove that in Florida, as it appears that Rosanne would have needed to record or photograph the Zimmerman’s in their home in order for that claim to stick.

      Like

  6. Two sides to a story

    It’s telling that the family hasn’t sued all the other tweeters of their address. They simply went after a celebrity with the ability to pay a court-ordered settlement. The family did everything possible to stay in the limelight and if they were really so terribly afraid for their lives they would have avoided the media entirely.

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  7. IMHO, there is something very dysfunctional with that family. There was George hiding out in hotels with 24/7 security that were housed in an adjoining hotel room. Then there was Papa and Mama Zim going from hotel to hotel without security. Seems to me that had George moved in with his parents, they could have shared the service of bodyguards.

    Why did they not allow him to move into their home?

    Then, when the security firm sued George, Shellie and O’Mara for breach of contract and not paying, Shellie’s dad comes to their rescue and rents them a house with a security system, but Papa and Mama Zim were still going from hotel to hotel!?!?!

    There’s something else too. It’s been over 2 years since George killed Trayvon. No harm has come to him, neither his parents. How long are they going to keep up the fiasco that people are waiting in the bushes to kill them? That train left the station at George’s trial when he lied about Trayvon hiding in non-existent bushes.

    Like

    • “IMHO, there is something very dysfunctional with that family.”

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      • Ya think? LOL!

        I have no sympathy for Gladys and Robert Z. Seems like they are trying to raise money anyway they can.

        Like

        • Seems like they are trying to raise money anyway they can.

          Yes! Almost as if they were competing with George to see who could get the most people to send the most money. Also, like competing with the Osterman’s to see who could sell the most “George said” books.

          Like

      • Why did they not allow him to move into their home?”

        Because they can’t handle him?

        Like

        • Because they can’t handle him?

          That could be true. Or, maybe George is into something that they don’t want in their house. They had a reason to send him from Virginia to Florida to live right out of high school, rather than sending him to college.

          Like

  8. When a plaintiff alleges that someone’s actions caused them to leave their home, when there is evidence they already left their home weeks earlier before the plaintiff’s alleged actions, it is very relevant to the merits of the case.

    You’re just mad that I was right about the case getting transferred to the federal court and you were wrong. 🙂

    https://twitter.com/RustyTrombone75/status/458871501970612224

    Like

    • So funny that he misspelled “fleeing” and wrote “feeling”.

      Maybe, he enjoys feeling his home. lol

      Like

    • towerflower

      I bet he hasn’t even read Barr’s response to the complaint and all the legal cases and law cited within supporting that it gets dismissed.

      Like

    • Said it before and I’ll say it again……he’s a dipshit.

      Their entire case hinges on WHEN they allegedly were “forced” from their home. He could not possibly have read the complaint and more importantly the Motion to dismiss, nor has he a concept of the word “timeline”

      His crap is hysterical reading however.

      Like

      • Racer,
        He reads, then lies. He also lives in a make-believe world pretending to be in careers that he admires. On his 5 Facebook pages, he impersonates being employed by the Dept. of Homeland Security; the FBI; the CIA; Secret Service; and the IRS. After I took him to school on pro hac vice, he claims attending classes to be a paralegal. He made up a fake report card, complete with incorrect spellings. He’s an adjudicated mentally ill individual who lives in a half-way house for those able to live independently. That gains him some compassion from LE. What he is doing by claiming to be a sovereign citizen, while attacking and accusing everyone who disagrees with him of being racist, is dangerous for him.

        As for me, I shall continue advocating for equality for all.

        Like

  9. towerflower

    I’m surprised that so little was mentioned in the reply about them already having fled the home. It was mentioned but only once where the Z complaint mentions it often. I guess this one just has the supporting evidence/law to get it dismissed.

    Like

    • towerflower,
      I would need to look at the Federal Rules of Evidence. Papa Zim’s interview with the newspaper might be considered hearsay without the testimony of the reporter. If that is true, then it’s a matter for discovery.

      I agree that the supporting law to have the case dismissed is sufficient. At this point, Barr’s lawyers will not need to provide evidence of the Zim’s dishonesty — just the Zim’s failure to state a claim pursuant to the law.

      The court will schedule a hearing to set the time for the Zimmerman’s to reply. Then, because it’s Barr’s motion to dismiss, she will have opportunity to file a response to the Zimmerman’s reply. Then the court will decide.

      If the case is not dismissed, it should move on to discovery where the reporter can be deposed, and the Zimmerman’s can be exposed. They will need to have and prove damages. That means protective orders to seal and other housekeeping that their lawyer will need to do so the information, such as their credit cards and bank records, are not made available to the public.

      If Papa and Mama Zim thought this would be an easy, slam and dunk case, they thought wrongly.

      Like

      • roderick2012

        If Papa and Mama Zim thought this would be an easy, slam and dunk case, they thought wrongly.

        They thought they would scream to the press and get a quick settlement from Barr like they did from Spike Lee.

        Obviously they were wrong.

        Like

        • Roderick,
          Spike Lee tweeted out the wrong address and he was willing to compensate the home owners. When Rosanne tweeted the right address, Papa and Mama Zim were already in hiding.

          I wonder if the townhouse that George and Shellie rented is still vacant?

          Like

  10. IMO this whole case was a effort to extort money from Ms. Barr. I suspect they thought instead of fighting the case, she would simply be willing to settle to avoid going to court. If somehow this case actually makes it into a court room and a judgment is ordered for the Zimmerman’s it will be time to turn out the lights because the party will be over with the forces of evil winning. I sure wish those were my attorney’s, but that will not happen, they cost too much… Everyone have a great afternoon and evening, I think it is time for me to fade into the sunset and leave before I offend anyone else, to the party that I have offended, please accept my sincere apology.

    Like

    • crazy1946,
      Thanks for sharing your opinion. I agree that the Zimmerman’s no doubt filed that case in effort to extort a settlement from Barr. Her attorney have raised an excellent argument and it is true — they injected themselves into the media while their son was in hiding.

      If the case proceeds to discovery, there may be some questions as to why George did not let the media know that he was not at his parents’ house, and why he felt the need to leave his own house the morning after he killed Trayvon. It was his going into hiding before anyone (other than the local folks) knew that George killed an unarmed 17 year old.

      So, he hid out with the Osterman’s, living off them, while his parents went into hiding at their own expense because he was in hiding. Some way to treat parents, uh?

      Which brings up another subject — will the Zimmerman’s be required to reveal donations they received in order to reduce their amount of damages?

      Like

  11. In the Z court photo in the article, who is the fourth person in the bench seating? First I see Robt. Sr, then Gladys, then Shellie. Who is the next person? Is he a relative?

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  12. Sanford Watch went to the courthouse and got a copy of the jurors’ names in Zimmerman’s trial.

    Like

  13. Below is the rating on Avvo for the attorney the Zimmerman’s hired. Don’t know if I am more embarrassed for the attorney or the fact the Zimmerman’s couldn’t find a reputable attorney to take on their ridiculously frivolous case.

    http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/32789-fl-david-heil-1261829.html#licenses

    David Robert Heil
    Avvo rating 1.0

    PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT
    This lawyer has been disciplined by a state licensing authority.

    State Citation type Year cited Last updated by Avvo
    Florida Admonishment 2012 09/03/2013
    Florida Suspension 2009 09/03/2013
    Florida Admonishment 2008 09/03/2013

    Like

  14. towerflower

    Let’s not forget the “Extreme Caution” also added to his rating. My guess is the Z’s spent the past 2 yrs lawyer shopping with no success on getting anyone willing to take on the case until they found this one.

    Like

    • towerflower,
      Absolutely! That lawyer appears to have more experience working with insurance companies in settlements than actual litigation. I’m looking forward to seeing how he is going to work against the big boys in federal court.

      Like

  15. 1h: .@bks1radioent The Vocal Booth Show Guest #JonathanGood Wrote Book; #TrayvonMartin’s Murder changed HIS life!? #J4TM
    http://tinyurl.com/n5wbkcr

    I’m a little confused abt the website, I guess interview was last night..i’m gonna listen now.

    Like

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