Last week, Richard Malouf, the Dallas dentist accused of massive Medicaid fraud, sued WFAA, Owen Wilson's mom and real estate blogger Candy Evans, accusing them all of libel, defamation, slander and invasion of privacy.
Malouf and wife, Leanne, still in the midst of being investigated by the state of Texas, appear to be building an amusement park in their backyard. They were not excited that Evans had snapped photos of the construction and that WFAA used those photos. They also allege that the station hovered a news choppers above the couple's Strait Lane home and interrupted some unspecified legal proceedings involving their son.
The Maloufs wanted a temporary restraining order against Evans and WFAA, and on Friday, as Courthouse News first reported, they got it.
Judge Sally Montgomery of Dallas County Court at Law No. 3 issued the TRO, which prevents Evans, WFAA's Byron Harris, and anybody else at WFAA from "physically invading or entering onto" the Malouf's property. They're also prohibited from taking video images or stills of the residence; the order was amended by hand to clarify that that includes "overhead" shots. Like, say, from a helicopter. Laura Wilson, Malouf neighbor and mother of the Wilson boys, did not have a restraining order issued against her.
Another part of the order, which would have kept Evans and WFAA from coming with 50 feet of the property, has been crossed out by hand. Also crossed out: a rule stating that Evans and WFAA could not "physically interact [with], confront, touch or approach" the Maloufs, their children, employees or guests.
So "physically interacting" with the Maloufs is back on the table, we guess. Although we probably wouldn't recommend it. They seem pretty mad. The next hearing in the case is set for November 1. Evans has filed a motion to dismiss the case against her on First Amendment grounds, on which the judge hasn't yet ruled.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.