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Taya Kyle Response to Jesse Ventura's Objections

Taya Kyle Response to Jesse Ventura's Objections

Ratings: (0)|Views: 16,925 |Likes:
Published by Robert Wilonsky
The widow of slain American Sniper Chris Kyle responds to Jesse Ventura in ongoing defamation suit.
The widow of slain American Sniper Chris Kyle responds to Jesse Ventura in ongoing defamation suit.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Robert Wilonsky on Sep 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/01/2013

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dms.us.52753120.05
 
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTDISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Gov. Jesse Ventura, a/k/a James G. Janos,Plaintiff,vs.TAYA KYLE, as Executor of the Estate of Chris Kyle,Defendant.
Civil No. 12-0472 (RHK/AJB)REPLY MEMORANDUM INSUPPORT OF DEFENDANT’SMOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE
 
Introduction
This already unusual defamation case became even stranger after the murder of original defendant Chris Kyle, not simply because of the circumstances of Chris Kyle’sdeath but because Jesse Ventura’s very act of continuing this lawsuit against Kyle’swidow confirms and compounds the “sting” of the allegedly false statement at the center of the dispute.The statement itself is essentially that Ventura loudly criticized the Iraq war and American leaders at a bar full of people mourning the loss of a fallen SEAL, that he told Kyle “you deserve to lose a few,” made aggressive gestures, and that Kyle punched him.The “sting” of that statement is to portray Ventura as a person more concerned abouthimself than about the feelings of surviving family members and friends of a deceased war hero and as someone heedless of the impact of his own actions upon such mourners.
CASE 0:12-cv-00472-RHK-AJB Document 184 Filed 09/10/13 Page 1 of 13
 
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 In opposing Ventura’s motion to substitute Taya Kyle, as executor of the estate of Chris Kyle, as defendant, the Executor noted that Ventura’s continuation of this lawsuitagainst her would establish that portrayal more clearly than any of Chris Kyle’sstatements. This case is unusual because the possible impact of the allegedly false and defamatory statements
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so closely coincides with the possible (and possibly even greater)impact of Ventura’s subsequent deliberate litigation decisions.Ventura had a choice to continue this lawsuit, or to dismiss it after Chris Kyledied. He chose to continue the lawsuit. Public reaction to that choice was not favorable.Ventura had another choice when Taya Kyle asked to move trial of this action toTexas to mitigate the effect of trial on her young children. In opposing transfer, Venturahas chosen to regard his own convenience more highly than the convenience of the Kylefamily, and complains that a Texas jury pool would likely be biased against him. Themotion to transfer is not about whether Ventura is entitled to continue his lawsuit to pursue his oft-cited goal of “clearing his name.” Rather, it is simply about managing thelitigation so that Ventura can pursue his rights without inflicting unnecessary pain on theKyle family. Yet once again, Ventura’s choices convey the message that he is more
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Ventura and his counsel adamantly assert that the “deserve to lose a few”statement amounts to an accusation that Ventura committed treason. (
 E.g.
, Dkt. #102 at42; Dkt. #183-4 at p.2; Ventura Tr.-307-09.) Such exaggerated allegations have no rolehere. Plaintiffs cannot base recovery in a libel action upon their own interpretations of defendants’ statements, rather than on the statements actually made.
Conroy v. Kilzer 
,789 F. Supp. 1457, 1462 (D. Minn. 1992). Furthermore, as a matter of law, the statementat issue cannot amount to an accusation of treason; the attributed quotation “may berepugnant to listeners” but is entitled to constitutional protection.
Phelps-Roper v. Koster 
,713 F.3d 942, 946, 948 (8th Cir. 2013) (Westboro Church members displayed signs atsoldiers’ funerals displaying such statements as “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”).
CASE 0:12-cv-00472-RHK-AJB Document 184 Filed 09/10/13 Page 2 of 13
 
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 concerned about himself than about the feelings of surviving family members and friendsof a deceased war hero and as someone heedless of the impact of his own actions uponsuch mourners. If anything, the negative message from Ventura’s decisions in this lawsuitis stronger than any negative message from the Chris Kyle’s statements, because thelawsuit is a calculated decision, while the comments attributed to Ventura at McP’s might be dismissed as casual callousness.This Court has broad discretion to make a different decision. The applicable legalfactors favor granting the Executor’s motion to transfer venue of this action to Texas, atleast for purposes of trial, at a time and in a manner that the Court concludes will preserve judicial economy, including a possible inter-circuit transfer so that the same judge can continue to address the merits of the case.
Statement of Facts
Ventura’s Memorandum asserts as fact various matters that are flatly untrue or arewrenched from proper context.
I. Taya Kyle did not “voluntarily inject herself into this lawsuit.”
Ventura’s Memorandum at 3 asserts that Taya Kyle could have avoided anyinconvenience from attending trial in Minnesota by “letting a relative, a lawyer, anaccountant, a bank trust officer, or a friend serve as Executor.” As she explained in her Declaration (Dkt. #176, ¶¶3-4), however, the administration of Chris Kyle’s affairsinvolves many tasks. Dealing with this lawsuit is only one such responsibility. Texas lawdoes not permit the division of tasks among multiple task-specific executors. If Taya
CASE 0:12-cv-00472-RHK-AJB Document 184 Filed 09/10/13 Page 3 of 13

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