Avi Adelman, Lower Greenville's resident pot-stirrer, now claims that the lawsuit against him, filed by neighborhood organizer Melissa Kingston, is actually an effort to silence him during her husband's run for, and potential stint on, the Dallas City Council.
Melissa Kingston is a Lower Greenviille resident and lawyer, and she was working with neighborhood groups in advance of the arrival of a Wal-Mart there. She sued the notorious blogger-activist last month, calling him a "neighborhood terrorist" and claiming he'd registered web site domains in her name and used them to communicate with concerned neighbors.
In his initial response last week, Adelman claimed Kingston's husband, Phillip, was considering a bid to represent the area on the Dallas City Council. Last week, Kingston confirmed: He's in. Adelman now claims that run, and shutting down a potential critic of that run, is behind Melissa Kingston's lawsuit, and he's citing a relatively new Texas law to try to get the lawsuit tossed.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Adelmen provided Unfair Park with a copy of the motion, which he said he would file today, along with a press release summing up his argument. Here's the gist:
It became clear to Adelman that Kingston's suit is much less about a domain name, and much more about keeping him quiet while Mr. Kingston runs for office. Adelman opines, "The math just doesn't add up. I've offered to give Melissa what she wants, but she wants to keep this lawsuit going until I agree not to speak out against her husband, who isn't even a party to the suit. I think Melissa fears I'll post stories on my blog about my belief that Philip lacks the qualifications to represent District 14 - just as I wrote about Councilwoman [Angela] Hunt when she ran for Council eight years ago. I am not about to give up my First Amendment rights while Philip runs for, or serves, as my Council representative."
The motion was filed under Texas' 2011 anti-SLAPP law, a tort reform that allows speedy dismissal of lawsuits filed solely to stifle critics and awards attorneys fees to defendants.
"Mrs. Kingston's suit was filed four days after Mr. Adelman purchased the domain name. Not only was there no time to suffer damages -- an essential element of her claims -- it appears to me Mrs. Kingston wants to ... use the courts to keep Mr. Adelman quiet and at arm's length while her husband runs for office," Adelman's attorney, Justin Nichols, said in the release. "Thankfully, the Texas Legislature passed a law which puts a stop to SLAPP suits, and punishes those who file them. That's exactly what we're asking the Court to do in this case."