It started in the Circuit Court for Seminole County, Florida. It was then transferred to the federal court. There was no amount in the prayer for relief. In June 2014, a federal magistrate judge ruled that the case did not meet the minimum federal damages of $75,000 in damages. The case was transferred back to the state circuit court.
For those unfamiliar, Robert and Gladys Zimmerman, parents of George Zimmerman, filed suit against Rosanne Barr. In July 2013, George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin. The Zimmerman’s allege that Rosanne tweeted out the address to their home forcing them to move in the middle of the night and live in hiding. They accused Barr of trying to incite a “lynch mob.”
After the case was transferred back to the circuit court, the Zimmerman’s claimed damages that included doing their laundry. They asked Barr to settle the case for $750,000. Barr’s attorneys’ actions thereafter conveyed to the Zimmerman’s to kick sand.
WARNING: This article contains images and words that some might find offensive.
Reading NBC’s motion to dismiss was fairly easy. Trying to make sense out of Zimmerman’s reply was not so easy.
NBC Universal has petitioned the court to dismiss Zimmerman’s lawsuit for four reasons;
(1) he has failed to comply with Florida’s retraction statute, which precludes his claims with respect to one of the five broadcasts he challenges;
(2) he is a public figure who cannot carry his burden of demonstrating, by the clear and convincing evidence required by the First Amendment, that any of NBC’s reports were broadcast with a high degree of awareness of their probable falsity, or, indeed, that they are false in any material respect;
(3) he cannot demonstrate that the NBC broadcasts caused the debilitating damages to his reputation and well-being that he claims are attributable to NBC; and
(4) he has, for these and other reasons, failed to state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Just a few thoughts …
If the person claiming defamation names a party as defendant who was not notified to retract, that party cannot be sued. In their motion to dismiss, NBC raises a good argument on that issue. Zimmerman’s attorneys will need to petition the court for leave to file an amended complaint if they want to cure that deficiency.
It is Florida, and I am unfamiliar with most of Florida’s Rules of Civil Procedure. However, when it concerns motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment that are filed before discovery, there is a general understanding that I’ve learned. That is, if the party who did not file to dismiss the case wants to conduct discovery, it has to request the court to stay the motion to dismiss before filing a reply to the motion to dismiss.
There is also a general understanding that when responding to a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment, that the party cannot rely on allegations in their complaint as evidence that a genuine issue of material fact exists. When a genuine issue of material fact is disputed, courts deny motions to dismiss and for summary judgment so a jury can decide the issue. Beginning around page 68, Zimmerman’s lawyers rely on his complaint as evidence that a genuine issue of material fact exists. That’s a no-no that can have that entire portion of their pleading stricken or that issue denied by the court. Yes – the court can grant in part, and deny in part.
Based on the reply filed by Zimmerman’s attorneys, they argued that they needed to conduct discovery and amend his complaint, but did not ask the court for that relief. Read the rest of this entry
LLMPapa is dedicated to, and excellent in, showing to tell.
Before Zimmerman’s trial, LLMPapa went as far as purchasing materials necessary to demonstrate that Trayvon Martin’s shirts had to have been pulled and held in order for the bullet holes to match up in the clothing, but not match with the gunshot wound in Trayvon’s chest.
(Zimmerman’s defense would argue that the Arizona can in the pocket of Trayvon’s hoodie would cause that piece of clothing to sag, omitting that the bullet hole aligned with that in the sweatshirt that Trayvon wore underneath the hoodie. That sweatshirt did not have a pocket and thus, no reason to sag and lining up perfectly with the bullet hole in the hoodie.)
Today, LLMPapa put together a video demonstrating that Robert Zimmerman Sr., and George Zimmerman’s account for what George was doing before he allegedly left for Target on the evening of Feb. 26, 2012, is inconsistent with Shellie ‘s account.
Is this important? It could be. For one, it questions George’s state of mind that evening. Secondly, it questions why he felt it necessary to be dishonest. If he indeed left his home to go to Target and was distracted by seeing a “suspicious” teen, then there was no reason to address what he did previous to leaving his home.
Here is LLMPapa’s video titled “Shame.”
On the evening of February 26, 2012, a resident of the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, FL., called 911 to report cries for help. Her call captured screams and the gunshot that ended the life of unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Admitted killer and accused murderer, George Zimmerman, awaits trial for 2nd degree murder, which is scheduled to begin on June 10, 2013. George Zimmerman claims that he killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense.
In a video, Xy11xy brings forth profound analysis of the screams captured on the 911 call. She begins with Robert Zimmerman Sr.’s own words to start her analysis, and ends with George Zimmerman’s need to silence Trayvon Martin. Xy11xy’s conclusion is confirmed by George Zimmerman himself. In his interview with Sean Hannity, Zimmerman said that he was terrified that night? Why was Zimmerman terrified? He told Hannity;
ZIMMERMAN: “I also thought the police were going to come and see me with the firearm and shoot me. I mean, I was terrified.”
Does this not sound like a man who believes that the arriving police would perceive him as a criminal because he is holding a gun? But, holding the gun is not all Zimmerman and his dad claim was happening when Zimmerman killed Trayvon. George claims that he was crying out for help. Robert Zimmerman Sr. claims that George sounded like he was screaming for his life. Why would the arriving police perceive a man holding a gun, but screaming for his life, as someone they should shoot?
In the following video, Zimmerman says that after he shot Trayvon Martin, he holstered his weapon and immediately got on top of Trayvon. Therefore, Zimmerman could not have been terrified that the police would arrive and see him with his firearm and shoot him after he shot Trayvon. Zimmerman could only be terrified that the arriving police would see him with his firearm and shoot him before he killed Trayvon Martin. Is that logical based on Zimmerman’s version of what happened?
According to Zimmerman, when he fired his gun, Trayvon was straddled him, leaning over placing all of his weight on Zimmerman’s nose. Also according to Zimmerman, the only hesitation between pulling his gun and shooting Trayvon, was the time he took to make sure his left-hand was not in the path of the bullet. When then, was Zimmerman terrified that the police would see him with his firearm and shoot him?
- Certainly, it could not have been with the police arriving and seeing a man with a gun while hearing him scream for his life, straddled and bloody with the kid going for the holstered gun.
- Certainly, it could not have been with the police arriving and seeing a teen bashing a man’s head on concrete and punching him in the face. Why shoot the man on the bottom who is on the receiving end of a physical assault, while screaming for his life?
- Certainly, it could not have been with the police arriving and seeing a teen smothering another man. Why shoot the man on the bottom who in spite of being smothered, screams for his life?
So, we ask again, when was Zimmerman terrified that the police would see him with his firearm and shoot him? Would that only be possible if Trayvon was screaming for his life because Zimmerman was holding the gun?
Most recently, Robert Zimmerman Jr., older brother of George Zimmerman, went on a media tangent. He focus was to speak about race and GZ’s case. He went beyond that when Tweeting a threat to Attorney Jackson that his life’s goal was to have her disbarred. Mark O’Mara, defense attorney for George Zimmerman, then posted on the legal defense site his disagreement with Junior’s statements and activities.
Junior has now responded. He makes no apologies for his threats, neither causing controversy by his media participation. His response is below.
The Associated Press released information that former neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman (GZ) wants to use the school records of Trayvon Martin as part of his defense strategy. Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, has sent subpoenas to the schools attended by 17-year Trayvon Martin. The subpoenas request disciplinary notices, suspension notices and tardiness records, among other things. O’Mara submitted 4 subpoenas, making it reasonable to believe that he wants Trayvon’s school records since Trayvon entered kindergarten.
I’ve read some comments from GZ fans, and they are so on the wrong track assuming how Trayvon’s school records can be used to support that Trayvon was a “thug.” For those who want to know how O’Mara can or cannot use Trayvon’s school records, Frederick Leatherman’s Law Blog has dedicated a page to the subject. Zimmerman: What Kind of Character Evidence will be Admissible at Trial?
Among comments on the internet by some GZ fans, they are angry that GZ’s school records were accidentally released to the public. They demanded that Trayvon’s school records be released as a tit-for-tat strategy. You see, with GZ’s fans, each time information is released to the public about GZ that is not favorable or is questionable, his fans develop a lie about Trayvon Martin. Then, they pressure GZ’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, to find evidence for their lies.
For instance, by his own admission, GZ is ADHD and takes meds for it as well as for anxiety. His fans countered with lies that Trayvon makes “lean” or “Purple Drink.” After someone discussed on the internet that GZ may have attended AA meetings with Joe Oliver, GZ’s fans countered with a lie that Trayvon was a drug dealer. After Witness 9’s statement was released to the public, GZ’s fans attacked Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, painting him as a man with numerous wives, ex-wives, and girlfriends.
Although I do not believe that Trayvon’s school records contain anything that will disparage his character, that doesn’t mean that O’Mara cannot try. In GZ’s second bond hearing, O’Mara attempted a backdoor effort to have GZ address the judge without the State cross-examining him. Thus, there is good reason to suspect that O’Mara will attempt to interpret Trayvon’s suspension from school in his defense for why GZ killed him.
If O’Mara makes any attempt to go beyond physical and forensic evidence, and throws mud at Trayvon Martin, he will convey a powerful message to America’s parents and youth. That message is that anyone can kill children on the street and claim self-defense, and in disregard of physical and forensic evidence, the child’s suspension from school qualifies him or her as a “thug” who deserves to be killed.
Any effort to assassinate Trayvon Martin’s character might infuriate the majority of Americans. America’s citizens include parents and children. Remember how America reacted when Timothy McVeigh referred to the 19 children killed in the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City as “collateral damage”? Oh yes, I know. GZ says he killed an unarmed 17 yr old 11th grader in self-defense. If that is true, then physical and forensic evidence should support his story without attempting to conduct character assassination of a 17 yr old. Using any other strategy demonstrates to parents and teens that private citizens can profile, chase, and kill children, and consider them as mere collateral damage in any private citizen’s war on crime.
GZ’s fans are totally elated with O’Mara submitting the subpoenas. He is doing what they want, but not because GZ’s fans are actual supporters. GZ’s fans do not like and support George Zimmerman the person. To the best of public knowledge, not one fan of George Zimmerman, the person, has provided him with free housing in Seminole County. Not one fan of George Zimmerman, the person, has offered him a job that he can perform from home. His fans have another agenda, and it does involve racial superiority.
A sample of comments about donating to GZ’s defense fund provides further support that they are more concerned about an agenda than they are concerned with George Zimmerman, the person. Remember when GZ re-activated his website in effort to increase donations? Comments posted on a Pro Zimmerman website on that subject by GZ fans include:
- “Until I see strong evidence that MOM will vigorously defend George to the best of his ability,I will not be asking anyone to donate.”
The reply to that comment confirms that what they mean by “vigorously defend” is not what O’Mara does in the case, but rather who he is not attacking or defending in the media.
- “Yeah, and I’m sure tomorrow O’Mara will take to the airwaves and talk about the nightmares the entire Zimmerman family has been thrown into. The SOB made public statements about the terrible loss for the Martin family, but has never yet, to this day, ever even attempted to address what his clients family has been put through. Has O’Mara ever addressed the New Black Panther bounty? …. The answer is NO. …What has he ever done to fight against that, other than to say the sentiments are high and we just have to wait for it all to calm down. … Please stop with the “big secret plan” that O’Mara is engineering. He isn’t doing bupkis for his client and he knows it.”
Do you get the impression that unless GZ’s fans are calling the shots, that they won’t donate money to his defense fund? I get that impression. Do you get the impression that if they do donate to GZ’s defense fund, that they hold the premise that they own O’Mara? I get that impression. Do you also get the impression that they believe they have superior knowledge as to how O’Mara should proceed in representing GZ? I get that impression.
I am sure you remember paragraph “g” of the July 5, 2012 order of the court that sets forth;
“The Defendant shall not open or maintain a bank account.”
The following comments (from the same Pro Zimmerman website) demonstrate how GZ’s fans seek to circumvent that order of the court.
- “I think GZ should open his own account again, but maybe that is wrong thinking? I’d feel much better giving to his defense and living expense fund if it were going directly to him and not O’Mara. I was going to resume giving when he opened up his website again, but for some reason I cannot bring myself to do it. I may give in eventually, but right now I just can’t do it. I happily give to Robert & Gladys. Are any of you feeling the same or am I just being unreasonably cautious?
- “Just give to his parents and tell them you want it to go to GZ personal expenses.”
- “If my read on Robert and Gladys is correct, they are a family that takes take of all of their own, which would include George if the other website donation accounts dry up. NO? “
- “Any monies donated through the website go directly to Robert Zimmerman, Sr. It is a fund completely separate and apart from the GZ Legal Defense Fund, and all gifts made through the http://robertandgladys.com website link are disbursed at the sole discretion of Robert and Gladys Zimmerman.”
With O’Mara providing money to GZ for his living expenses, why would GZ need unknown amounts of cash in his pocket? GZ’s fans are not supporting him in their effort to circumvent the order of the court and the court’s reason for paragraph “g.” Rather, they are calling the shots and if by chance GZ gets in trouble for it, then it’s the “system” that’s corrupt because in their minds, GZ should had never been charged.
Not only does GZ’s fans disrespect the deceased and his parents, they disrespect the court and appear to think of O’Mara as nothing more than their messenger boy. IMO, he will make a grave mistake if he puts Trayvon on trial. It will present Trayvon Martin’s death as collateral damage in GZ’s personal war on crime. It will put all parents on notice that their children had better be perfect in school, and submit to adult men following them, or they can be shot dead in their neighbor’s backyard.
On March 19, 2012, Robert Zimmerman Sr. met with Investigator Jim Merck of the State’s Attorney Office, and Dale Crosby of the Florida Department of Law enforcement (FDLE). Robert Zimmerman Sr. is George Zimmerman’s father. Papa Zim’s statements reveal that by solely relying on his belief that it was George’s screams heard on the 911 tape, and that George had a broken nose, that the investigation should be closed.
When asked by the Investigator and FDLE officer if there was anything else Robert Zimmerman Sr. wanted to tell them or if there were any questions he had for them that they could answer, Robert Zimmerman Sr. replied,
“Not unless you can make all this end.”
As he continued to talk, Robert Zimmerman Sr. conveyed to the investigators what their decision should be, and how it should be presented to the public. Effectively, he suggested to them that someone, from some office should stand up and say what the investigation reveals rather than only saying that no charges are being brought. His suggestion was that by revealing the results of the investigation, it would prevent complaints that the Sanford Police Department and State of Florida cannot be trusted.
On March 19, 2012 when Robert Zimmerman Sr. spoke those words, he was well aware, and informed by the investigators at that meeting, that the investigation was on-going and had not concluded. Papa Zim’s suggestion effectively told the investigators to make-up findings (or rely solely on him saying GZ is innocent), so that no charges would be brought against GZ.