Neighborhood blogger and professional shit-disturber Avi Adelman is not happy with the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market being built at the former site of Whole Foods on Greenville Avenue, right across the street from his house. He was even less happy when the retailer put up ridiculously bright lights in its parking lot. So Adelman, he of the perpetual crusade to rid Lower Greenville of drunks, big box retailers, and anything else he finds distasteful, decided to do something about it.
He started by sending emails to neighborhood and Wal-Mart representatives demanding to be included in discussions about the development. But it was after the lights went up in the parking lot, attorney Melissa Kingston claims in a lawsuit filed yesterday (and first reported by Wilonsky/em>) that he crossed the line.
Kingston, a neighborhood resident and attorney, was volunteering to represent five neighborhood associations in negotiations with Wal-Mart. She had received several complaints from neighbors about the lighting and was, according to the suit, working to address them.
The day after the lights went up, however, Kingston says that Adelman registered the domain name melissakingston.com and began sending emails to Wal-Mart and neighborhood reps using the domain and including a picture of the retailers logo, altered to say "Wal Mart: Screwing Neighborhoods, One House at a Time."
Adelman identifies himself in the emails, which are included in the lawsuit, but "at a minimum, these communications could cause confusion as to whether they are endorsed by a lawyer by using Kingston's name with these emails," and give the impression that "Kingston endorses his rants and wholly unprofessional manner of communicating."
Then, Kingston pulls the gloves off, calling Adelman a "neighborhood terrorist," among other things:
Defendant is a self-proclaimed vigilante-style neighborhood activist who more accurately resembles a neighborhood terrorist. He employes a militant style of conflict resolution and has a history of publicly mocking and berating other neighborhood leaders, including Kingston. He has no job, and he spends his days making false and injurious statements about a number of people who volunteer their time and services for the benefit of their neighborhood organizations and fellow residents. Defendant maintains several wesites and blogs that he uses as his tools for disrupting the good work others try to do for their community. Defendant also has a history of cybersquatting, domainsquatting, and identity theft.
Defendant is a vigilante with no regard for right and wrong. Social graces, morals and the law mean nothing to him. He invents his own causes to chase, which he then pursues with a reckless fervor that leaves innocent victims in his wake. Once he chooses to "champion" a so-called "crusade," he proceeds to stalk and terrorize individuals and entities through his continual abuse of the Internet and e-mail with no regard for people's rights. He manufactures allegations and then proceeds to intimidate individuals through his cyber-stalking, constantly bombarding, deluging, and harassing them with false accusations, misrepresentations, deceptions, and fraud. He publishes all of his efforts on the Internet or through e-mail in an attempt to incite others to join his delusional cause. Defendant is a menace that thrives on the attention he creates for himself on the Internet, which has provided him with a worldwide voice to prolong his fraudulent, deceptive conduct.
Kingston wants an injunction preventing Adelman from using the melilssakingston.com or similar domains, sending communication that gives the impression it comes from or is endorsed by Kingston, and preventing Adelman from coming within 1,000 feet of Kingston's residence or business. She also wants attorney's fees. I've sent word to Adelman seeking comment.
Update at 9:35 a.m.: Adelman got back to me: "No comment at this time."