Wednesday, February 13, 2013

'Reality Steve' Pleads First Amendment in Lawsuit Over 'Bachelor' Spoilers

The blogger says that it is NZK Productions and Horizon Alternative Television not following the protocol of an agreement concerning contact with people affiliated with the popular ABC series.

Carbone's attorney now is looking to eliminate NZK Productions and Horizon Alternative Television, a division of Warner Bros., from pursuing a lawsuit that accuses the blogger of misdeeds.

What's more, Carbone is also looking to SLAPP away the litigation, contending that the plaintiffs are using the court system improperly to interfere with his First Amendment rights.

In a motion to dismiss, Carbone points to what the settlement actually has to say.
Read the full motion here...

Richard Davis, Carbone's attorney, writes in the motion to dismiss, "The language of the Settlement Agreement is important because it establishes a number of permissible ways in which Defendants could obtain information concerning the Series, none of which would run afoul of the Settlement Agreement."

The defendant also faults the producers for not including a copy of the settlement with their lawsuit -- and says, "Perhaps it is not surprising … since it establishes a complete bar to one of Plaintiffs purported claims."

Specifically, Carbone says the parties agreed not to bring any claims against each other except to enforce the agreement -- which he argues precludes any claim for tortious interference. Further, he says the producers were obligated to provide written notice to him of some evidence of the breach and afford him 10 days to respond. He says these prerequisites weren't satisfied.

California's SLAPP statute provides a way for those facing frivolous claims interfering with First Amendment rights such as free speech to dismiss a lawsuit at an early stage and even win legal fees.

NZK Productions and Horizon Alternative Television believe their claims against Carbone have merit. In the original lawsuit, the plaintiffs point out that Carbone has promised to reveal "everything" about the show's forthcoming 17th cycle.

Carbone says his website qualifies for protection under the anti-SLAPP statue because "information concerning contestants on reality television shows has been held to be a matter of public interest."


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