[UPDATE: Johnson’s lawyers have until Oct. 1 to answer the motion to dismiss.]
In a move that surprises hardly anyone, Gawker Media’s attorneys have filed a motion in federal court to strike the libel complaint filed by
blogger Award Winning Journalist™ and former Twitter stalker Charles C. Johnson, arguing Johnson’s lawsuit runs afoul of California’s anti-SLAPP law.
Anti-SLAPP laws target frivolous lawsuits that are intended to harass others. Gawker’s motion, filed today, argues that California law should be invoked, as Johnson and his website, Got News LLC, are based primarily in California. Johnson’s lawyers, however, filed the libel in Missouri, presumably to take advantage of that state’s looser anti-SLAPP laws.
The case was moved from state court to US District Court on July 23.
Gawker’s motion seeks fees and costs resulting from the original complaint, which mean Johnson will be a little poorer if the court finds in favor of Gawker. Lawyers cost money, after all.
Johnson filed the suit in June, claiming that Gawker had libeled him and asking for $66 million in damages. It was the first salvo in his self-proclaimed “summer of justice” against his many critics. As summer draws to a close, his “summer of justice” may prove to be a complete flop.
You can read Gawker’s motion to strike the complaint here.
And here’s the motion to dismiss, filed concurrently.