IN TIlE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE 11TH JUDICAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR "MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA CIVil..

DIVISION

CASE NO: 09-68539 CA 25 JOHN GIORDANO, individually, and G & G ADDICTION TREATMENT, INC., a Florida
Corporation, Plaintiff, vs. DONNA L. ROMEO, and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability

Corporation ______________________ ~I
Defendants.

Al\'IENDEDCOMPLAlNT
Plaintiffs, JOlf!:\J GIORDANO ("Giordano") TREATMENT, and G & G HOLISTIC ADDICTION

INC. ("G & G"), by and through undersigned counsel, hereby sue Defendants, LLC ("Xcentric"), and allege:

. DONNA L. ROMEO ("Romeo"), and XCENTRIC VENTURES,

PARTIES AND JURISDICTION 1. costs.
2. Plaintiff G & G Holistic Addiction Treatment, Inc. is a Florida corporation authorized to

This is an Action for damages in excess of$15,000.00 exclusive of interest, fees, and

do business in the State of Florida and which conducts business in Miami-Dade County, Florida. 3. Plaintiff John Giordano is a resident of Miami-Dade County, Florida, and is the President

of Plaintiff 0 &0

4.

Defendant Romeo is an individual whois now, and was at all times material hereto, a

resident of Pinellas 'County, Florida.

5.

Defendant Xcentric is an Arizona Limited Liability Corporation that runs a website, which is intentionally available to be viewed, and is viewed, by persons County, Florida County because the injuries resulting from Defendants'

www.ripoffreport.com. residing in Miami-Dade ·6.

Venue is proper in Miami-Dade

publication of defamatory information occurred in this County. 7. The Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant Xcentric because (a) it engages in

substantial and not isolated activities in the State of Florida and benefit substantially from these activities; (b) it committed violations of Florida law in Florida; and (c) Xcentric's published defamatory and unlawful information concerning Plaintiffs who are Florida residents, and the effects of Xcentric's defamatory publication were intentionally directed to and substantially felt avails itself of business opportunities with Florida

in Florida· Xcentric also internationally

residents and openly solicits Florida residents to post information on its website about Florida persons and entities for viewing by other Florida residents.

GENERAL ALLEGATIONS 8.
Romeo had business dealings in Miami-Dade County Florida" including business dealing

with the Plaintiffs.
9. Plaintiff G & G was and is a business of good name, credit and reputation, it enj oyed the

esteem and good opinion of others in the community. and is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation 10. of Health care Organizations.

As the Director ofG & G and the chaplain for. a local police department Giordano was 2

and is an individual of good name, credit and reputation and enjoyed the esteem and good opinion of others in the community. 11. On or about July 8,2009, Defendant Romeo published information on the "Ripoff

Report," a website that, by its own terms, is "a worldwide consumer reporting Web site and publication, by consumers, for consumers, to file and document complaints about companies or individuals. While we encourage and even require authors to only file truthful reports, Ripoff

Report does not guarantee that all reports are authentic [sic] or accurate. "
12. Other areas of the ripoffreport.corn provide that, per their policy, the website

will

absolutely not remove false, defamatory information posted thereon, even when asked to do so

by the maker of the defamatory statements.
13. In her internet post, published for all the world to see, Romeo statedsuch a G & G's facility is "dangerous to one's health and well being"; things as:

b. "The majority of the personnel are recovering addicts and have no business counseling their clients"; c. The living accommodations are "outdated and unsanitary"

d. "employees also illegal disburse medications"; e. "The owners and employees are not adequately educated to deal with the problems .they advertise they expertise in"

f. "There is plenty of negative talk about the consequences of your addition/behaviors,
like death or insanity, but coping skills after your departure from this 'safe haven' are not taught. This is why they have as high suicide rate of their former clients. ·(while I

3

was there, in June 2009, a young man killed himself after only two weeks of leaving G & G.. They estimate that there is at least 8 client suicides a year that are reported)" g. "The living accomodations, an outdated motel in a questional part of North Miami are

outdated and unsanitary. There is a sewage problem which results in an odor permiating the facility, a problem with sand fleas (bed bugs), inadequate electrical supply, and fire hazards" h. "The food is not organic nor is it prepared by chefs, as is advertised" changed to a medication

i. "Detox, Highpoint, is ajoke. You are not detoxed there,just similar to what you were on"

J.

"Oh yes, one of the owners is a convicted fellon. Read all about it http://neuro.law .comeILedw'nyctap/searcbJdisplay.html _0309.htm. He is underhanded, uncompassionate ?terms=fines&url +nyctap/195

and after your money. This is really

worth your search, it was a 'family' business, if you know what I mean"

14.
15.

A copy of the published defamatory comments is attached hereto as Exhibit "A."
The above-quoted statements (the "statements") made by Romeo and posted on
are false.

RipaffReport.cam 16.

People contacting Plaintiff G & G have quoted the false statements as the reason for not

contracting with G & G for services to be rendered. The names of these individuals cannot be listed for privacy reasons and/or are unknown because they were not provided to the Plaintiffs. 17. The article cited by Romeo purporting to show that Plaintiff Giordano is a convicted

felon further implies that the Giordano is a member of the mafia 18. ill fact the name of the person in the article happens to be the same as PLaintiff Giordano 4

who is not a convicted felon. Indeed, if Giordano is a felon as Romeo falsely alleges, he would have been precluded from 'holding his post as chaplain for a local police department 19. The Court has entered a temporary injunction enjoining Romeo from maintaining the

statements on ripoffreport.com.

20.

Romeo has formally requested Xcentric to remove the subject statements fromits

website, W\\'W.ripoffieport.com, pursuant to Court's Order granting a temporary injunction against her. See Ex. B.

21.

Xcentric failed and refused to remove the subject statements from its website, in

disregard of the Court's Order directed to Romeo. 22.

As a result ofXcentric's

wrongful refusal to remove the Statements, and its insistence on over the wishes and demands of Plaintiffs and

maintaining the Statement on RipoffReport.com

Romeo, it is subject to the equitable and legal powers of this Court. COUNT I - Libel (By G &G against Romeo) 23. G & G repeats, re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-22 as if fully set

forth herein. 24. 25. Romeo made false and defamatory statements against G & G. These false statements were published to third parties, indeed, to the entire world, via

publication on the World Wide Web. 26. At a minimum, the publication of the statements were negligently posted by the

Defendant or posted without reasonable care as to the truth or falsity of the statements. 27. As a result of the publication, the G & Ghas been injured in its good name, credit and

reputation. 5

28.

The damage.to G & G'S reputation was proximately

caused by Romeo's publication

of

the statements. 29. The false statements were published by Romeo with malice, hatred and ill will toward

G & G and with the desire to injure it.

'VBEREFORE

Plaintiff G & G demands judgment

for damages

against Defendant

Romeo for general damages, special damages,

as well as awarding attorney's fees, costs, and

expenses incurred in prosecuting this action pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 57.105, and granting such further relief as this Court deems just and equitable. malice in publishing the defamatory statements, Further, because of Defendant Romeo's

G & G reserves the right to seek punitive

damages upon subsequent Motion filed with the Court pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 768.72.

COUNT

(By G &G against Romeo) 30. G & G repeats, re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-22 as if fully set

n - Libel

Per Se

forth herein. 31. Romeo made false statements against G & G, including falsely accusing G& G of

engaging in illegal activity directly relating to its trade and business. 32. These false statements were published to third parties, indeed, to the entire world, via

publication on the World Wide Web. 33. When considered alone and without innuendo, these statements tended to injure G &G in

its trade and business and attributes to G & G conduct, characteristics, and conditions
incompatible with the proper exercise of a lawful business. 34. Defendant Romeo made these statements with a reckless disregard for the truth and

without reasonable grounds for her to believe they were true. 6

',c

i

35.

As a result of the publication, the G & G has been injured in its good name, credit and

reputation. 36. The damage to G & G's reputation was proximately caused by Romeo's publication of

the statements. WBEREF<:lRE Plaintiff demands judgment general damages, for damages against Defendant Romeo for attomey's fees, costs, and expenses

special damages, as well as awarding

incurred in prosecuting this action pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 57.105, and granting such further relief as this Court deems just and equitable. publishing Further, because of Defendant Romeo's malice in

the defamatory statements, G & G reserves the right to seek punitive damages upon

subsequent Motion filed with the Court pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 768.72. COUNT m - Libel (By Giordano against Romeo) 37. Giordano repeats, re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-22 as if fully set

forth herein.

38.
39.

Romeo made false and defamatory statements against Giordano.
These false statements were published to third parties, indeed, to the entire world, via on the World Wide Web.

publication 40. 41.

The statements made by Romeo are known or should have been known by her to be false. At a minimum, the publication of the statements were negligently posted by the

Defendant or posted without reasonable care as to the truth or falsity of the statements. 42. As a result of the publication, Giordano has been injured in his good name, credit and

reputation. 43. The damage to Giordano's reputation was proximately caused by Romeo's publication of

7

the statements. 44. The false statements were published by Romeo with malice, hatred and ill will toward

Giordano and with the desire to injure him. WHEREFORE Plaintiff Giordano demands judgment for damages against Defendant fees, costs, and

Romeo for general damages, special damages, as well as awarding attorneys expenses incurred in prosecuting

this action pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 57.105, and granting such

further relief as this Court deems just and equitable. Further, because of Defendant Romeo's malice in publishing the defamatory statements, Giordano reserves the right to seek punitive

damages upon subsequent Motion filed with the Court pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 768.72. COUNT IV - Libel Per Se (By Giordano against Romeo) 45. Giordano repeats, re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-22 as if fully set

forth herein. 46. Romeo made false statements against Giordano in his capacity as the director of G & G,

including falsely accusing Giordano of being a convicted felon. 47. These false statements were published to third parties, indeed, to the entire world, via

publication on the World Wide Web. 48. When considered alone and without innuendo, these statements tended to injure Giordano

in his trade and business and subjected Giordano to hatred, distrust, ridicule, contempt, and
disgrace. 49. Defendant Romeo made these statements with a reckless disregard for the truth and

without reasonable grounds for her to believe they were true. 50. As a result of the publication, Giordano has been injured in his good name, credit and 8

reputation. 51. The damage to Giordano's reputation was proximately caused by Romeo's publication of

the statements. WHEREFORE Plaintiff Giordano demands judgment for damages against Defendant fees, costs, and

Romeo for general damages, special damages, as well as awarding attorneys expenses incurred in prosecuting

this action pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 57.105, and granting such Romeo's

further relief as this Court deems just and equitable. Further, because of Defendant malice in publishing the defamatory statements,

Giordano reserves the right to seek punitive

damages upon subsequent Motion filed with the Court pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 768.72. COUNT V - PERMANENT INJUNCTION (By All Plaintiffs against Xcentric) 52. 53. Plaintiffs hereby incorporate paragraphs 1 through 22 as if fully set forth herem. There is a likelihood that Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm as a result ofXcentric's

continued republication of defamatory statements against them. 54. Plaintiffs do not have an adequate remedy at law, because Xcentric's continuous

republication of the defamatory statements will subject Plaintiffs to ridicule and disgrace in their community for which monetary damages will provide no relief. 55. 56. There is a substantial likelihood that Plaintiffs will eventually prevail on the merits. The threatened injury to Plaintiffs outweighs whatever damage the proposed injunction

may cause Xcentric. 57. An injunction, if issued, would not be adverse to the public interest. In fact, the public

interest would be served by the Court ordering a website providing information about any business or individual Florida to ensure that such information is truthful, accurate, and non9

defamatory .
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs request this Court enter a Permanent Injunction (1) enjoining

Defendant Xcentric from maintaining on its website the false defamatory information

about Mr.

Giordano and G & G~ and (2) enter any such other and further relief this Court deems equitable and just. DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL Plaintiffs hereby demand a jury trial of all issues so triable. Dated: December 23, 2010

Respectfully submitted,
,

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By! ~ /

JO$tru,A M. E
MENDY HALBERSTAM, ESQ.

FBWo493724 FBN: 0068999 ROSEN SWITKES & ENTIN P.L. 407 Lincoln Road, Penthouse SE . Miami Beach, FL 33139 (P)(305) 534-4757 (£)(305) 538-5504 Counsel for Plaintiffs

CERTIFICATE

OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy of the foregoing has been faxed and mailed this
day of December 2010 to: Laurence and Sammy Epelbaum, A. Wanshel,

d:?/J

s

Esq, 12940 SW 133rd Court, Miami FL. 33186;

Esq., Stack, Fernandez, ~on

Suite 950, Miami, Florida 33131 (305)3 71-OO02f

/J;

& Harris, P.A., 1200 Brickell Avenue,

...

By:\ T7~-=~~~~------FBN: 0068999

Y HALBERSTAM, ESQ

10

http://ww w .ripoffreportcom!heal thcare-cemers/g-g-holistics-addict/ g-

_Bepon.,
Report: #467589

..·or consumers, for consumers ...scams, consumer complaints, and friluds reported.

File a rsport, post your review Or experience!

Don't let them get away w:lttllt ® let the <:ruth be knDwnl
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Center
Repll~d

Report: G & G Holistics Addiction
By: (oldsmar Florida)

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G & G Hoilstics Addiction Treatment Center - G&G HOUSTIC CAN BE DANDEROUS TO ONE'S HEALTH AND WELL BEING North IvJi<imiBeach Fiorida
"'REBUTIAL
G & G Hallsth:s
159D North

Owner of company .•. ReplY to G & G
AddIction Treatment Center

!1iamJlleadl Florida 33162 U.S.A.

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152nd St=t,

I Beann & Bebunai;
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- Fhone: ~DS-9~5-8284 Web Addre.s:

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Catagory: Healtbcare Centers
Submitted: Wednesd~y, July 08,2009 Last postfng' Tuesday, April 13,2010

R'fI$j:lDnd tD ltJli!;" rupClrt! ,T-<''''jf\HD."il:!lkhu=L·;r ...,.j (j) Vlctirr:t of this pcrs~nl com~ilnY?

~~.:.~c:-,.!I:flc:o.-utl~Q) Remove a Rmo[f ReRact -,

Video Spotlight
Oata recovery •

This ptaos mind r---ing "t Its fin ..st. The owners and employees are not adeqUately educated to deal with the problems they advertise they expertise In. Not only do they clarrn to be ~clalists in treating £kohol and drug additions, but tIley also have vested interest in dealing with sexual addtions,gambling, eating disorders, pain management due to sorgery, and according to their words quoted in the South FI. Business Journal, they also speclalize in anxletv, depression, alB21ilL@arders, and hurricane relief. As a dlenr, you are mixed in with people who have all tnass types of additions and t:llsorriers, and everyone partldpates In the same schedule, no matter what their problem. There is plenty of negative talk about the consequences of your addition/behaviors, like death Dr insanity, but CJ;>pingkills after your departure ITom this "safe s haven" are not taught. This is why they have as high SUicide rate of their former dients. (willie r was tiler", in June 2009, a young man killed himself after only two weeks of leaving G & G .. They esnmate that there is at least 8 client sulddes a year that are reported). There are constant NA and AA meetings throughout the day, accompanied by the staff counseling meetings,from epproxrrnately 7 am to 9:30 pm daily .. The majority of personnel are recovering addicts and have no business counseling their "diems.' These employees also Illegally disburse prescribed ~dlcatio~ not possessing a ucense to do so. and frequently make errors in doing so resulting In=;';_;:;y "~He'nts"having to be hospitalized. The living accomodabons, an outdated motel In a questlonal part of· North Miami are outdated and unsanitary.-There is a sewage problem which results In an odor permlating the facility, a problem with sand fleas (bed bugs), inadequate electrical supply, and fir" hazards. The food is not organic nor is It prepared by chefs, as Is advertised. Y01.J are fed from styrofoam containers with plastic forks and knives. Hardly indicative of a "holistic" facility. You are made to listen to an eerie tune which is ploe([ throoghout the Intercom system that one owner, John Giordano claims to have SUbliminal ruesssqes. You are constantly being sold on "Phase U" of your program which is over and above your Initial 26 days, wIlich they will personally flnance for you. They will aiso send a representative to your home, no matter how far, to conduct an iotervennen on your rroubted loved one and personally escon: them back to G & G. Although they dairn to be wheelch"ic acces;;ibJe they are not. Each moming you are given a-vitamIn/amino acid drink, to supposedly balance your brain ehernistrv (the person nel who is passing i~ out has no Idea what's in these ccncotions, but strongly advise you to drink It - let me remind you that evervone's nurrttonai needs are different as well as everyone's brain chemistrv). Your privacy and dignity are strtspec. Employees constantly rummage through yauc belonllings in YOllr absence, and enter your room about 6 times during your §J._~, if you are fnrtunate to be able to sleep. Detox, Highpoint, is a joke. You are not detoxed there, just changed to a medlcatloll similar to what you were on. You are told you would be In the detox facility for 7 - 10 days, but it is simply a holding fccHity for Hollstics, until they have a bed for you which usually takes 2 to :s days. J arrived at Highpoint on Saturday and was at at Hallstics on Tuesday. Holistic. dairns they are not _ . affiliated with Highpoint, but funny how their chief psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Kahn, lists til is aii~ress as his piace of practice. not Holistlcs .HoJlstics is where your Qg.t.Q~iIiYltjol). occurs, when

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end steal pllVi>tedata from bi'Ok""

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QuostlonOble pyramid sebeme takes advantsge of consumers,

El!ii~;"!'1 =unt. Find out now.
Fox. l~ Report

Companies steal from 'fOUr-- bank

Redux

IDs Angeles·

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WillY of Docr-to·=

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Hoiistiics Addiction Treatment Cenrer Revi+-

I Rip-off Report ...
Many dients

http://www .ripoffreport.com/healthcare-centers/

g-g-holistics-addict/g

you "'e cold turkeved

from all of your rnedicanons,

become 50 III that they are hospitalized

and/or sent back to the detox center.

I am 1m S4 professional woman/mother who was told I would be with others similar to myself. The average age of the dients IS 18-25, most with seller drug problems and c lew sexual addicts threwn in the mix. My habit was wine, 2 to 4 glasses daily. I was also on a small dosage of Klonopin, a popular prcs:cbed anti-anxiety IIJ:llil as I was diagnosed with anxiety-panic disorder as 11 teenager. I should have never been taken oF. this medication at all, espe oatlv as abrubtly ciSTWas. I became deathly ill due to a drug interactlnn from medteanons prescribed by their psyc~iatriA';. I was. not hospitalized, as! should nave been, but just led to bed by a staff member who told me I was suffering from OJnanxiety attack, which Iwas not. My er.tlre experience lasted onlV 11 days, ror Willen my msurance and 1 paid approximately $27,000.001 will fight for the reimbursement, As for rnv drinking problem, I was scared straight, but r am again on anti-anxiety medication. Don't let this happen to you, Oh ves, one of the owners is a convteed fellon. Read all about it -http:/lneuro,law.comell.ed1l/ny<:tap/sean::h/djsplav,html?terms~f1nes&url+llyctap/19S_0309.htm. He 15 undesrhanded, uncompessionate and after your money. This is really worth yaur search, it was a "family· business, if you know what I mean. Lastl y, you should know that G & G has lDO's of search engines and domain names, dtserosr, or behavioral problem, and you'll find G 8c G Holistil;5, Dollrla Tampa Bay, Floride leading to the same sales olTlce. Just googie any addiction,

Click liere to read other Ripoff Reports on G Holisj;jcs
SCilrch ~r iftddmcmal eeperts

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hey donna, Thank-you for your stary. sorry you went thru tllat---l almost was talked into it by a guy name George for same dollar amount. I've been in AA for the last 6 years sob.". and I stopped sleeping in Jiln of this year. Had this thing called Insomlnla 1T0m Sleep Jolts (probably anxiety related), So the dot;J:Qa I've been gOing to have me on some meds that have been making me extrernelv difficult to focus On and be a part of sodety 500000 I decided to look into this faollty since It looked interesting. I even got there anxiety formula which who knows what is in ltAnyway I· have also looked into a company called Sotto Pelle for help. Looks like another scam. I guess I have to stick with modern ffi.k.di~ no matter how crazy I feel right now---Thank-you ror saving my family money and time

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Copyright

© 1998-2010,

Ripoff Report. AU rights reserved.

LAURENCE A~ WANSHEL, P.A.
December 8,2010 Via Facsimile 602-248-0522 VIA Email atmcs@jaburgwilk.com Maria Crimi Speth, Esquire Jaburg & Wilk, P.C. Counsel to XCENTRIC Venture LLC 3200 North Central Avenue, Suite 2000 Phoenix, AZ 85012 Re: John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. v. Donna L. Romeo and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company Circuit Court Case No. 09-68539 CA 25

LAW

OFFICES

OF

Dear Maria Crimi Speth, .Please be advised that the undersigned is attorney for Donna L. Romeo in a case filed by John D. Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc., Case No. 2009-68539 CA 25, which was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh JUdicial Circuit in-and for Miami-Dade County, Florida. As you are well aware, based on the lawsuit, Donna L. Romeo was the author of a posting on Ripoffreport.com pertaining to' John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. It is my client's expressed desire as the author of the said posting for Ripoff.com to discontinue maintaining the statements contained in the posting on the website www.riooffreport.com and for you to remove the subject statements from the website forthwith. She wishes to mitigate all potential liability for damages against her relating to these statements, and therefore, requests the statements be removed and not be maintained against her strong desire for the same. In addition, the Court in the above referenced case in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has entered an Order requiring .the Defendant, Donna Romeo, to petition those responsible for maintaining and operating the website Ripoffreport.com to discontinue maintaining the statements about John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. that she posted on www.ripoffreport.com. and for her to make every effort to remove the subject statements from www.ripoffreport.com . Attached is a copy of the Order entered by the Court on December 2,2010, which requires her to seek to have the statements removed pursuant to the Agreed Order. . (iPl~Alt1T1FF~S»

'~IBlT. . . '''\<.''
12940

·t .'...~ ..
305-252-2300 F .. x: 305-255-5D01

sw

133rd

Court

Miami,

Florida

33186

Office;

December 8, 2010 Page Two

Regardless of Xcentric Venture LLC's policy as owner of the website, demand is. made to comply with the Court's Order and in the mitigation of any possible potentia! liability for damage claims against my client. We expect you to comply with the Court's Order, and any refusal to remove the same from the website is pointless and serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, inconvenience and hardship to everyone concerned. Certainly there must be a time when ripoffreport.com no longer maintains on its website outdated, unwanted or undesirable postings or statements· containing information that becomes stale, irrelevant or that may possibly be considered defamatory. We realize that Xcentric Ventures, LLC is the only entity that can control the content contained on the website. Therefore, my client as author of the postings strongly pleads, urges, demands, begs and most ardently requests that you take the only reasonable action under the present circumstances by forthwith removing the posting from the website.

Z:~7?v~(
Laurence LAW/mp

A. Wanshel

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF TIIE 11th nmICIAL CIRCillT IN AND FOR
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA

CIVJL DIV1SION CASE NO: 09-68539-CA-25 JOHN GIORDANO, individually, and G & G ADDICTION TREATMENT, INC.,
a Florida Corporation. Plaintiffs,

v. DONNA L. ROMEO, and XCENTRlC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Corporation,
Defendants.

----------------------------~/
AGREED ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION RELIEF
THIS CAUSE HAVING

FOR TEMPORARY

INJUNCTIVE

come before this Court on Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Affidavit in

Temporary Injunctive Relief: and the Court having reviewed the Motion, Plaintiffs'

Support, having been advised of the agreement of counsel and the Defendant having made no admissions advised of fact as to liability on Plaintiffs' damage claims, the Court being otherwise fully

in the premises, it is hereby
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows: a
b. Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Injunctive Relief is GRA.l\!TED; Defendant Romeo is immediately

ENJOrnEn from maintaining the statements

about Plaintiffs posted by her on www.ripoffreport.com; c. Romeo shall remove, or shall make every effort to remove, the subject statements .

1

from www.ripoffreport.com d.

Within 15 days

from the date of this Order; the subj ect statements a copy of this from to

AB part of her good faith efforts to remove
www.ripoffreport.com, .www.ripoffreport.com, Romeo shall furnish

Order

advising them that she is seeking to have the statements

removed pursuant to this Order; e. Romeo shall serve Plaintiffs' counsel with a copy of any documents reflecting her efforts to have the subject statements removed in accordance with this Order and

shall

also

serve

Plaintiffs'

counsel

with

a copy of any response

from

www.ripoffreport.com
f.

to her request;

If Romeo attempts to comply with this Order from. this Court but is stymied in her efforts by www .ripoffreport.com' s policy of maintaining even as against

statements on their site

this Order and against an express request by Romeo for its

removal, the Court will consider an appropriate motion by Plaintiffs at that ~

DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at Miami
dayof ~ ,2010.

de County, Florida on this

'}

.

EJERADRIEN TruDGE
Copies furnished to: All counsel of record

~~Ad!1en

._CiWlt Court Judge

-.

2

LAUItEN CE A. WANSHEL, P.A.
December 8, 2010

LAW

OFFICES

OF

. Via Email atTaxAttv@comcast.net
Thomas Brett Duffy, Esquire 739 Bayview Drive. Absecon, NJ 08201 Re: John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. v. Donna L. Romeo and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company Circuit Court Case No. 09-68539 CA 25

Dear Mr. Duffy, Please be advised that the undersigned is attorney far Donna l. Romeo in a case filed by John D. Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc., Case No. 2009-68539 CA 25, which was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in arid for Miami-Dade County, Florida. As you are well aware, based on the lawsuit, Donna L. Romeo was the author of a posting on Ripoffreport.com pertaining to John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. It is my client's expressed desire as the author of the said posting for Ripoff.com to discontinue maintaining the statements contained in the posting on the website www.ripoffreport.com and for you to remove the subject statements from the website forthwith. She wishes to mitigate all potential liability for damages against her relating to these statements, and therefore, requests the statements be removed and not be maintained against her strong desire for the same . . In addition, the Court in the above referenced case in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has entered an Order requiring the Defendant, Donna Romeo, to petition those responsible for maintaining and operating the website Ripoffreport.com to discontinue maintaining the statements about John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. that she posted on www.ripoffreport.com. and for her to make every effort to remove the subject statements from VMIW.ripoffreport.com. Attached is a copy of the Order entered by the Court on December 2, 2010, which requires her to seek to have the statements removed. pursuant to the .Agreed Order.

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December 8 2010
I

Page Two
Regardless of Xcentric Venture LLC's policy as owner of the website, demand is made to comply with the Court's Order and in the mitigation of any possible potential liability for damage claims against my client. We expect you to comply with the Court's Order, and any refusal to remove the same from the website is pointless and serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, inconvenience and h,ardship to everyone concerned. Certainly there must be a time when ripoffreport.com no longer maintains on its website outdated, unwanted or undesirable postings or statements containing infonnation that becomes stale, irrelevant or that may possibly be considered defamatory. We realize that Xcentric Ventures, L,LC is the only entity that can control the content contained on the website. Therefore, my client as author of thepostings strongly pleads, urges, demands, begs and most ardently requests that you take the only reasonable action under the present circumstances by forthwith removing the posting from the website.

LAW/mp

LAURENCE A. WANSHEL, P.A.
December 8,2010

LAW

OFFICES

OF

VIA Email atwww.ripoffrepori.com
Re: John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. v. Donna L. Romeo and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company Circuit Court Case No. 09-68539 25

ct.

Dear Ripoffreportcom, Please be advised that the undersigned is attorney for Donna L. Romeo in a case filed by John D. Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc., Case No. 2009-68539 CA 25, which was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida. As you are well aware, based on the lawsuit, Donna L Romeo was the author of a posting on Ripoffreport.com pertaining to John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. It is my client's expressed desire as the author of the said posting for Ripoff.com to discontinue maintaining the statements contained in the posting on the website www.riooffreport.com and for you to remove the subject statements from the website forthwith. She wishes to mitigate all potential liability for damages against her relating to these statements, and therefore, requests the statements be removed and not be maintained against her strong desire for the same. In addition, the Court in the above referenced case in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has entered an Order requiring the Defendant, Donna Romeo, to petition those responsible for maintaining and operating the website Ripoffreport.com to discontinue maintaining the statements about John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. that she posted on www.ripoffreport.com. and for her to make every effort to remove the subject statements from www.ripoffreport.com. Attached is a copy of the Order entered by the Court on December 2, 2010, which requires her to seek to have the statements removed pursuant to the Agreed Order.

12.9411

SW

133rd

CDur1

Mi~mi.

FIDrid"

33186

Office:

305-252.2300

Fax:

305·255·500]

December 8,2010 Page Two

Regardless of Xcentric Venture LLC's policy as owner of the website,demand-is made to comply wrth the Court's Order and in the mitigation of any possible potential liability for damage claims against my client. We expect you to comply with the Court's Order, and any refusal to remove the same from the website is pointless and serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, inconvenience and hardship to everyone concerned. Certainly there must be a time when ripoffreport.corn no longer maintains on its website outdated, unwanted or undesirable postings or statements containing information that becomes stale, irrelevant or that may possibly be considered defamatory. We realize that Xcentric Ventures, LLC is the only entity that can control the content contained on the website. Therefore, my client as author of the postings strongly pleads, urges, demands, begs and most ardently requests that you take the only reasonable action under the present circumstances by forthwith removing the posting from the.website.

LAW/mp

LAURENCE A. W ANSHEL, P.A.
December 8, 2010 VIA FACSIMILE 305-371-0002 VIA Email atsepelbaum@stackfemandez.com Sammy Epelbaum, Esq. Stack Fernandez Anderson & Harris, P.A. '1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 950 Miami, FL 33131 ' Re: John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. v. Donna L. Romeo and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company Circuit Court Case No. 09-68539 CA 25

LAW

OFFICES

OF

Dear Mr. Epelbaum, Please be advised that the undersigned is attorney for Donna L. Romeo in a case filed by John D. Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, lnc., Case No. 2009-68539 CA 25, which was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida. As you are well aware, based on the lawsuit, Donna L. Romeo was the author of a, posting on Ripoffreport.com pertaining to John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. It is my client's expressed desire as the author of the said posting for Ripoff.com to discontinue maintaining the statements contained in the posting on the website www.ripoffreport.com and for you to remove the subject' statements from the website forthwith. She wishes to mitigate all potential liability for damages against her relating to these statements, and therefore, requests the statements be removed andnot be maintained against her strong desire for the same. In addition, the Court in the above referenced case in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has entered an Order requiring the Defendant, Donna Romeo, to petition those responsible for maintaining and operating the website Ripoffreport.com to discontinue maintaining the statements about John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. that she posted on www.ripoffreport.com. and for her to make every effort to remove the subject statements from www.ripoffreport.com. , Attached is a copy of the Order entered by the Court on December 2, 2010, which requires her to seek to have the statements removed pursuant to the Agreed Order.

12940

SW 133rd

COLlH

Mj"mi,

Florid

.. 3318G

Office,

305.252·2300

Fnx:

305·255-5001

December 8, 2010 Page Two

Regardless of Xcentric Venture LLC's policy as owner of the website, demand is made to comply with the Court's Order and in the mitigation of any possible potentialllabtity for damage claims against my client, We expect you to comply with the Court's Order, and any refusal to remove the same from the website is pointless and serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, inconvenience and hardship to everyone concerned. Certainly there must be a time when ripoffreport.com no longer maintains on its website outdated, unwanted or undesirable postings or statements containing information that becomes stale, irrelevant or that may possibly be considered defamatory. We realize that Xcentric Ventures, LLC is the only entity that can control the content contained on the website. Therefore, my client as author of the postings strongly pleads, urges, demands, begs and most ardently requests that you take the only reasonable action under the present circumstances by forthwith removing the posting from the website.

Very ruly

Y7!J~

aurence A. Wanshel LAW/mp

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE 11 th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR MIAtV1I-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA CIVIL DIVISION CASE NO: 09-68539-CA-25 JOHN GIORDANO, individually, and G & G ADDICTION TREA TMENT, INC., a Florida Corporation, Plaintiffs, v.

DON'NA L. ROMEO, and XCENTRlC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Corporation,
Defendants . ..----------....--,...-.... ··--·7--·----NOTICE OF HEARING

--·-_Tq

(Special Set Evidentiary Hearing)
YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED hearing on: that the above-styled cause has been set fo

DATE: TIME:
JUDGE:

Tuesday, December 28,2010

9:15 a.m.
Honorable Judge Peter Adrien Dade County Courthouse 73 West Flagler Street Room 800 Miami, Fl. 33128

PLACE:

MATTER:

Plaintiffs Emergency Motion for Temporary Injunctive Relief against Xcentric Ventures, LLC

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, persons, including the hearing impaired, needing a special accommodation to participate in this proceeding, should contact the Court ADA Coordinator (305)(375-2006), no later than seven days prior to the proceeding for assistance. If hearing impaired, please call the COM TDD Number (305) 375-1007 for assistance. Movant COlIDSe1 certified that a bona fide effort to agree or to narrow the issues on the motion noticed hereby has been made with the opposing counsel or that because of time considerations such effort has not as yet "beenpossible, but will be made prior to the date of the above hearing. If you are agreeable for entry of an Order granting relief sought in the enclosed motion, please call so that the hearing may be avoided.

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE 11 th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA

CIVIL DMSION
CASE NO: 09-68539-CA-25

JOH:J'-.lGIORDANO, individually, and
G & G HOLISTIC ADDICTION TREATMEl\TT, INC., a Florida Corporation, Plaintiffs,
v.

DONNA L. ROMEO, and XCENTRIC

VEl\TTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited . Liability Corporation,
Defendants.

____ ~--------------~--------~I
PLAINTIFFS'
Plaintiffs,

EMERGENCY MOTION FOR TEMPORARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
JOHN GIORDANO ("Giordano") andG & G HOLISTIC ADDICTION

TREATMENT, INC ("G & G"), by and through the undersigned counsel and pursuant to Fla. R.
Civ, P. 1.610, hereby move this Court to issue an injunction against Defendant, XCENTRlC certain

VENTURES,
defamatory

LLC ("Xcentric"), requiring

Xcentric to remove from its website

information pertaining to Plaintiffs pending an adjudication

of the claims raised in

the Complaint, to prevent immediate motion, Plaintiffs state as follows:

and irreparable injury to Plaintiffs.

In support of this

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
1. On or about September 17, 2009, Plaintiffs filed the instant action seeking damages

against Defendant Romeo for publishing false, defamatory statements via Xcentric's website.

2.

Specifically, on or about July 8, 2009, Defendant Romeo published

information

on the

"Ripoff Report," a website that, by its own terms, is "a worldwide consumer reporting Web site and publication, by consumers, for consumers, to ·file and document complaints about companies or individuals. While we encourage and even require authors to only file truthful reports, Ripoff

Report does not guarantee that all reports are authentic [sic} or accurate. " Affidavit -of John
Giordano, at ~ 7. Mr. Giordano's Affidavit is attached hereto as Exhibit "A." 3. In her internet post, published for all the world to see, Romeo stated such things as: a. G & G's facility is "dangerous accommodations to one's health and well being" because the living

are "outdated and unsanitary." Id. at ~ 8;

b. "employees also illegal disburse medications." Id.;
c. "The owners and employees are not adequately .they advertise they expertise in." Id.; d. "The living accornodations, are outdated and unsanitary. an outdated motel in a questional part of North Miami There is a sewage problem which results in an odor educated to deal with the problems

permiating the facility, a problem with sand fleas (bed bugs), inadequate electrical supply, and fire hazards." Id.; e. "The food is not organic nor is it prepared by chefs, as is advertised." Jd.;

f. "Oh

yes, one of the

owners

is a

convicted

fellon.

Read

all

about

it ~

http://neuro.law .cornell. edu/nyctap/search/display.html _0309.htm. He is underhanded, worth your search, it 4. The above-quoted uncompassionate

?terms=fines&url+nyctapI195

and after your money. This is really

was a 'family' business, if you know what I mean." Jd.;
(the "statements") made by Romeo and posted on

statements

RipoffReport.com

are false. Id. at ~ 9.

2

5.

People contacting Plaintiff G & G have quoted the false statements as the reason for not

contracting

with G & G for services to be rendered. The names of these individuals cannot be

listed for privacy reasons and/or are unknown because they were not provided to the Plaintiffs. Id. at ~ 10. 6.

The article cited by Romeo purporting to show that Plaintiff Giordano is a convicted
at ~ 11.

felon further implies that the Giordano is a member of the mafia.ld. 7.

In fact the name of the person in the article happens to be the same as Plaintiff Giordano 12. As a result of this statement and others, the statements

who is not a convicted felon. Id. at,

published by Defendant Romeo and republished by Xcentric are defamatory per se. 8. In Defendant Romeo's Answer to the Complaint she admits making the statements and

publishing them on ripoffreportcom.

See, e.g .. Answer at ~ 11, 13 (admitting to publishing the

statements, but denying the defamatory nature of same). She has also admitted the statements were false in discovery in this matter. 9. Notwithstanding-their complete falsity, ripoffreporlcom provides that, per their policy,

the website will absolutely not remove false, defamatory information posted thereon, even when asked to do so by the maker of the defamatory statements. See WANT To Sue RIPOFF REpORT? YoufW antToSueRipofiReport.

available

at http://www.ripoifreport.comlConsumersSavThank
Giordano Aff. at ~ 15.

aspx (last visited Oct. 6,2009). 10.

Because Plaintiffs did not wish to engage in a costly - and more importantly, protracted! Xcentric may be liable for damages at law, Plaintiffs enjoining Xcentric from maintaining sued for an of false

legal battle as to whether equitable permanent

injunction

the posting

defamatory information about Plaintiffs on its website.

J

Every day that the defamatory statements continue to be made available on Xcentric's website, Plaintiffs lose

3

11.

However,

since this case was originally

filed, the Court entered an inuction enjoining and required Romeo to

Romeo from maintaining the defamatory postings on RipoffReport.com,

send a copy of her request to have the statements removed, together with. t he Order from this Court to Xcentric. 12. Ion Dismissing the prior claims against Xcentric, the Court specifically pointed out that if request to have the statements removed of the defamatory

Xcentric failed and refused to comply with Romeo's pursuant statements

to this Court's Order, Xcentric could be considered the publisher and thereby lose any possible immunity Decency Act of 1996.

from liability it could have previously held

under the Communications 13.

At a December 9, 2010 hearing, the Court clarified its ruling to make it even more clear

that if Defendant Xcentric failed to remove said postings by the deadline requested by Defendant Romeo, it could face tort liability for defamation, notwithstanding 14. the CDA.

Per the prior injunction entered against her, Defendant Romeo, the admitted publisher of statements, made a formal demand for the removal of the defamatory materials, damages and her exposure to same. This request was specifically made per 2 Order granting injunctive relief against Romeo, and copies of the

the defamatory

to mitigate Plaintiffs the Court's December

Court' s Order were enclosed with Romeo> s request.
15. Romeo asked Xcentric to advise no later than December 15, 2010 as to whether it

intended to comply with her request, made pursuant to the Court's Order. Xcentric indicated it would not in fact remove the posting, notwithstanding 16. the publisher's request.

Since Xcentric failed to remove said postings by December 15,2010, it is now subject to

the Court's injunctive powers for failure to remove the posting per Romeo's request issued under

additional potential clients. 4

the power of a valid injunction from this Com. 17.

In order to seek appropriate relief against Xcentric, Plaintiff moved for leave to amend

their pleading, which motion was granted by this Court on December 23, 2010. 18. Court's

In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs again injunctive relief against Xcentric, per this
Order, for improperly republishing for the entire world the defamatory comments posted

by Romeo. Plaintiffs now injunctive relief requesting that Xcentric be enjoined from maintaining the defamatory material on its website. 19. As explained more fully below, the damages from Xcentric's continued posting of said
statements is ongoing and egregious, and is damage for which there is plainly no

defamatory

adequate remedy at law. Accordingly, this Court should grant a temporary injunction prohibiting Xcentric from continuing to post the defamatory statements on its website pending a decision on the merits. of this case.

I.

THE STANDARD FOR A TEMPORARY INJUNCTION
A temporary injunction may be granted if the movant establishes (1) a likelihood of

irreparable succeeding injunction. Cosmic

harm; (2) unavailability

of an adequate legal remedy; (3) a substantial likelihood of of the public interest support the entry of the

on the merits; and (4) considerations Miami-Dade County v. Fernandez,

905 So. 2d 213,215 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005) (citing

Corp. v. Miami-Dade

County, 706 So. 2d 347, 348 (FIa 3d DCA 1998»; Snibbe v.

Napoleonic

Soc'y of Am.. Inc., 682 So.2d 568,570 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996). equitable. Plissner v. Goodall Rubber Co., 216 So. 2d it is meant to provide relief specifically where the

An injunction is quintessentially

228, 228 (Fla. 3d DCA 1968). Consequently,

moving party lacks an adequate remedy at law. See McNorton v. Pan American Bank of Orlando, NA., 387 So. 2d 393, 399 (Fla. 5th DCA 1980) (noting that Florida courts have long recognized

5

that an injunction, being equitable in nature, is only available where a remedy at law would be precluded); SeaEscape, Ltd., Inc. v. Maximum Marketing Exposure, Inc., 568 So. 2d 952 (Fla. 3d DCA 1990): The primary ptupose of entering a temporary injunction is to preserve the status quo pending the final outcome of a cause; the status quo which will be preserved by a preliminary injunction controversy. Pommier is the last, actual, peaceable, NRD investments, uncontested condition which preceded the pending

Inc. v, Velazquez, 976 So. 2d 1 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007); Michele

Models, Inc. v. Diel, 886 So. 2d 993 (Fla. 3d DCA 2004) (purpose of temporary

injunction is not to resolve disputes, but, rather, to prevent irreparable harm pending a trial on the merits). The following discussion because

will show that (A) there is a likelihood of irreparable harm
to lose potential clients as a result of Xcentric's

Plaintiffs have lost and continue

publication

of the defamatory statements; (B) because Xcentric may be able to use a legislative clearly

loophole to protect itself from being subject to liability at law, equitable considerations support the granting of the proposed injunction;

(C) given the clear falsity of the defamatory likelihood that Plaintiffs will succeed

comments and their per se nature, there is a substantial

with regard to the primary claim for defamation; and (D) because Xcentric openly flaunts a
policy to which continues to egregiously overwhelmingly defame individuals and businesses, the public interest

supports the issuance of an injunction against Xcentric,

A. Because Plaintiffs have lost, and continue to lose, potential clients as a result of Xcentric's publication of the defamatory statements, Plaintiff will be irreparably harmed unless the Conrt grants the requested injunction.
A party moving for temporary injunction must show that immediate and irreparable

injury, loss or damage will result if the temporary injunction is not issued. Grand Condominium Ass'n, Inc. ·v. Cohn, 970 So. 2d 365 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007). See also Travelers Ins. Co. v. Conley,

6

637 So. 2d 373 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994) (to obtain an injunction, it must be shown that some act has been done or is threatened which
"II':

win

result in irreparable

injury to the movant).

Irreparable

injury sufficient to justify the grant of an injunction is an injury of such a nature that it cannot be redressed in a court oflaw. Gonzalez v. Benoit, 424 So. 2d 957 (Fla. 3d DCA 1983). Another

court has explained that to constitute "irreparable harm," the injury must be of a "peculiar nature so that compensation in money cannot atone for it." First Nat. Bank in St. Petersburg v. Ferris, 156 So. 2d 421, 423 (Fla. 2d DCA 1963). However, it is not necessary that irreparable harm to have already been sustained in order for a court to grant injunctive relief, it is enough if there is a reasonable probability such damage will be sustained in the future. City of Pompano Beach v.

Yardarm Restaurant, Inc., 509 So. 2d 1295 (Fla, 4th DCA 1987)~ Paul's Drugs, Inc. v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., 175 So. 2d 203 (Fla. 3d DCA 1965). Further, even where some legal remedy may be available, an injury is irreparable for purposes of granting a temporary injunction where the damage is estimable only by conjecture, and not by any accurate standard. Hatfield v,

AutoNation, Inc., 939 So. 2d 155 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006); JonJuan Salon, Inc. v. Acosta, 922 So. 2d 1081 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006). In the instant case, Xcentric is expected to argue, as it has in virtually every defamation case

filed against it,2 that it has immunity from-liability for damages under the Communications
assuming for purposes of this Motion

Decency Act C'CDA"), 47 U.S.C. § 230.3 Accordingly,

See, e-s. Global Royalties, Ltd. v. Xcentric Ventures. LLC. No. 07-956-PHX-FlM, 2007 WL 2949002, at oF 3 (D. Ariz" Oct. la, 2007); Whitney lifo. Network, Inc. v, Xcentric Ventures, LLC, No. 2:04-cv-41-FtM-34SPC, 2008 WL 450095, at *10 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 15,2008). 3 The CDA provides that "[nJo provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." 47 U.S.C. § 230(0)(1). As a result of the CDA "interactive computer service" providers are immune from a defamation action. 'Id, See also Ben Ezra Weinstein, and Company, Inc. v. America Online Inc., 206 F.3d 980,983,986 (lOth Cir. 2000). The purpose of the CDA was "to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet" while "ensur[ing] vigorous enforcement of Federal criminal laws to deter and punish trafficking in obscenity, stalking, and harassment by means of computer." 47 US.C. § 230(b)(2),(5). Accordingly, the CDA protects from liability any "good Samaritan" blocking and screening of offensive material. See 47 U.S.C. § 230(c).
2

7

only that Xcentric is an 'interactive computer CDA, Plaintiffs plainly have no remedy
at

service" provider as that term is defined in the law for defamation against Xcentric immunity given the from legal

immunity

from s8!lle granted under the CDA. As a result of Xcentric's

liability, the first prong of the injunctive relief analysis has clearly been met.
Further, lest Xcentric claim that is not subject to an equitable injunctive remedy under the CDA, Plaintiffs note that the CDA only provides Xcentric with immunity, if any, from liability. However, liability, the CDA expressly permits the application even though such law may impose restrictions

state law that does not impose legal
upon an interactive computer service

provider. See 47 U.S.C. § 230(e)(3) ("Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any State from enforcing any State law that is consistent with this section. "); Zeran v. America

Online, Inc., 958 F. Supp. 1124 (E.D. Va.), aff'd, 129 F.3d 327, certiorari denied, 524 U.S. 937 (1997) (COA reflects no congressional intent, express or implied, to preempt all state law causes

of action concerning interactive computer services; CDA provision reflects Congress' clear and unambiguous intent to retain state law remedies except in event of conflict between those

remedies and CDA).

In any event, this Court has indicated that Xcentric, inasmuch as it specifically maintains
the materials on its site over the objection of the publisher and in violation of the injunction

entered against Romeo by this Court, is subject to - at least - the equitable powers of this Court to protect Plaintiffs as well as the integrity of this Court's own injunction against Romeo. The instant Plaintiffs, despite their belief the CDA does not bar liability against Xcentric

in this instance of Xcentric's refusal to remove posts over the objection of Romeo (and in open
violation of this Court's prior injunction), Xcentric's have elected not to sue Xcentric for damages, given

possible immunity. However, nothing in the CDA requires a court sitting in equity to

8

allow

an internet

service such as Xcentric

to refuse

to remove defamatory

information,

as

Xcentric

has done. Indeed, if the Court were to allow Xcentric to brazenly continue hosting statements, it would undermine the very ideals of justice,

defamatory which

equity, and fairness on
similar to

our legal system is predicated

and would

cloak internet service providers

Xcentric with a form of limitless immunity never intended by Congress. See 47 U.S.c. § 230(c)
(CDA seeks to protect "Good Samaritan" web sites from liability for removing offensive and web sites with assist websites in the wholesale See also 47 U .S.C. §. 230(b)(2),(5) (while

harassing material, not to shroud offending distribution

of harassing and defamatory information).

policy behind CDA is "to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet," this freedom must only be allowed to develop while "ensur[ing] enforcement vigorous

of Federal criminal laws to deter and punish trafficking in obscenity, stalking, and

harassment by means of computer."). In sum, because the CDA expressly contemplates liability for damages upon an interactive undisturbed, computer that state remedies that do not impose

service provider are available and remain

the Court should enter an Order enjoining Xcentric from continuing to publish

defamatory information about Plaintiffs on its website.

B. Because Xcentric may be able to use a legislative loophole to protect itself from being subject to liability at law, equitable considerations clearly support the granting of the proposed injunction
Injunctive relief is appropriate if there is no adequate remedy at law. This means that the

injury must be of a peculiar nature, so that compensation in money cannot atone for it. First Nat.
Bank in St. Petersburg :v. Ferris, 156 So. 2d 421 (Fla. 2d DCA 1963). In Florida, "[t]he test of whether law or equity affords the most adequate remedy may be revealed by the answer to the question, which remedy will afford the most expeditious 'relief to the person. wronged. . .. If the.

9

remedy at law is not as sensitive to the prompt administration

of justice as the remedy at equity,

then the latter should be adopted. Ponce v. Demos, 31 So. 2d 58 (Fla. 1947). Further, the mere existence of a legal remedy does not prevent a suit in equity unless the legal remedy be plain, certain, prompt, speedy, sufficient, full and complete, practical and efficient in attaining the ends of justice. Citizens & So. Nat. Bank v. Taylor. 191 So. 2d 866, 867 (Fla. 1st DCA 1966). Finally, the test for inadequacy of remedy at law, for purpose of whether injunction is appropriate, whether judgment can be obtained, not whether, once obtained, it will be collectible. is

Mary

Dee's. Inc. v, Tartamella, 492 So. 2d 815 (Fla. 4th DCA 1986). And, the remedy at law, if
1

available, must exist against the same person from whom the relief in equity is sought. Mcieorton v. Pan American Bank of Orlando, NA .. 3-87 So. 2d 393, 399 (Fla. 5th DCA 1980).

In the instant case, Plaintiffs have shown that they may have no remedy at law at all, let
alone an adequate remedy, against Xcentric, due to the CDA's grant of immunity from liability for damages. As a result, injunctive relief is the only way for Plaintiffs to protect their reputations and livelihood from the baseless smears published and republished by Xcentric every day to

millions of people world-wide. Further, to the extent Xcentric may argue that Plaintiffs have an adequate legal remedy by pursuing their claims against Defendant Romeo for legal damages, this argument is inapposite. For one thing, there is no adequate remedy at law if such a remedy is not available against the same person from whom the relief in equity is sought. McNorton, 387 So. 2d at 399. Further, courts have long held that where damages are hard to calculate, such

as loss

of

business goodwill, there is no adequate remedy at law. See, e.g., Hatfield. 939 So. 2d at (even where some legal remedy may be available, an injury is irreparable for purposes of granting a temporary injunction where the damage is estimable only by conjecture, and not by any accurate standard); Jon.Iuan Salon. Inc., 922 So. 2d at (same); Rent-A-Center, Inc. v. Canyon Television &

10

Appliance Rental, Inc., 944 F.2d 597, 603 (9th Cir. 1991) (holding that damage to a business' goodwill is typically an irreparable injury because it is difficult to calculate). See also Petereit v. S.B. Thomas, Inc., 63 F.3d 1169, 1186 (2nd Cir. 1995) (irreparable harm is found where the conduct of a defendant threatens the existence of the business itself). In the instant case, Plaintiffs have already suffered the loss of many potential customers, and have likely lost countless others who failed to even contact Plaintiffs defamatory report published, on Xcentric's website. However, after reading the of the

given the anonymity

internet, it is difficult

- nay, impossible - for Plaintiffs to calculate with exactitude what business

it has lost, and - more importantly for purposes of this Motion - what it will continue to lose, as a result of the defamatory comments. Accordingly, while Plaintiffs expect to recover some

damages for the losses it can prove against Romeo, this recovery will be relatively small and wholly inadequate given the millions of unidentified individuals who have been exposed to the

defamatory comments and who have decided not to patronize Plaintiffs' business as a result. In sum, because Plaintiffs have no remedy at law at all against Xcentric, the incommensurate nature of any recovery Plaintiffs and also given

may ultimately have against Defendant relief is therefore

Romeo, Plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law and equitable injunctive justified.

C. Because of the clear falsity of the defamatory statements and their per se nature, there is a substantial likelihood that Plaintiffs will succeed on the merits of their primary claim for defamation
Substantial likelihood of success on merits is a necessary element for issuance of

preliminary injunction. PCA Life Ins. Co. v. Metropolitan DCA 1995). Accordingly, in the case, the likelihood

Dade County, 682 So. 2d 1102 (Fla. 3d

in ruling on a temporary injunction, the court must estimate, early on
of the plaintiff prevailing on themerits and securing a permanent

11

injunction. Substantial
~".:

Gold Coast Chemical Corp. v. Goldberg, likelihood of success on the merits is

668 So. 2d 326 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996). if good reasons for anticipating

ShOVVD

that

result are demonstrated. (Fla, 1st DCA' 1994). likelihood

Ciry of Jacksonville v. Naegele OUtdoor -:fdvertising Co., 634 So. 2d 750
Finally, .one court has recently explained that to show a substantial a prima

of success on the merits, the petition

or other pleadings must demonstrate

facie. clear legal right to the relief requested.

Colonial Bank, N.A. v. Taylor Morrison Services,

Inc., 10 So. 3d 653 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009).
. In the instant case, Plaintiffs have alleged a pnma facie case for defamation and

defamation per se and have a substantial likelihood on succeeding as to said claims. For example, Romeo stated that Plaintiff Giordano is a convicted medication illegally - defamatory statements felon, and that Plaintiff G & G dispenses

that are patently false. Given their falsity and the website impute false criminal activity to

fact that these statements published
.,

on Xcentrics

Plaintiffs,

Plaintiffs have a very good likelihood

of succeeding on the merits of their underlying

claims against Romeo, and thus in their claim for a permanent injunction against Xcentric. Most important, Romeo has admitted under oath that some of the statements she made were false, and she has agreed to an injunction ordering all ber statements about Plaintiff to be removed. Consequently, because this factor also weighs in favor of Plaintiffs, the Court should

enter a temporary injunction against Xcentric, pending a trial on the merits. D. Because Xcentric openly flaunts a policy of continuously and egregiously defaming individuals and businesses, the public interest overwhelmingly supports the issuance of an injunction against Xcentric. The party seeking temporary injunction must establish that the public interest will be
v,

served by the temporary injunction. Bay N Gulf, Inc.

Anchor Seafood, Inc., 971 So. 2d 842

(Fla. 3d DCA 2007). In the instant case, an injunction is appropriate because Xcentric openly

12

flaunts

a federal statute enacted to protect internet

service provider "Good Samaritans"

that

remove offensive and harassing material and uses it to justify its refusal to remove defamatory
statements - even when requested to do so by the defamer! In other words, Xcentric perverts" a law meant to protect private individuals and businesses continuing and egregious damage. from harm to allow it to instead cause
RIPOFF REPORT?

See W ANT To SUE

available at
(last the

http://www.ripoffreport.comlConsumersSayThankY visited Oct, 6, 2009). Clearly, Xcentric's

oufW antToSueRipofiReport.asPx. and exacerbating

stated policy of perpetuating

spread of a defamatory statement - even against the wishes of the defamer - does not serve the public interest at all. See 47 U.S.C. § 230(c) (policy of CDA is to protect internet service information), See also 47 U.S.c. § 230(b)(2),(S)

provider who remove negative or inappropriate

(while policy behind CDA is "to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet," this freedom must only be allowed to develop while "ensur[ing] vigorous enforcement of Federal criminal laws to deter and punish trafficking in obscenity, stalking, and

harassment by

means of computer.'').

Further, by refusing to remove defamatory statements even when requested to do so by the defamer, Xcentric increases the damage caused by said statements and thus opens a defamer up to liability for damages the defamer may wish to settle or avoid. Plainly, the public interest is not served by imposing upon civil defendants additional liability for damage they seek to

mitigate. Neither is the public interest - or the court dockets - served by a policy that can only lead to continued litigation because of the perennial nature of defamatory statements posted on web sites like that run by Xcentric. In sum, Xcentric should not be allowed to bide behind its perverted interpretation CDA to perpetuate and exacerbate the spread of a defamatory statement of the

Such a finding would

13

run counter to the public interest because (1) the public has a strong interest in protecting individuals involuntarily and business from baseless defamatory attacks; (2) it would make civil defendants susceptible for damages they wish to mitigate; and (3) it would discourage

settlement offers and clog court dockets because a defamatory statement will never be removed, making any settlement of a defamation case ineffective.

E. Because Xcentric openly disregarded this Court's Order Granting Injunctive Relief Against Xcentric, Xcentric should be held in. contempt and it should be enjoined from further violations.
Florida law requires that third parties comply with a valid court order they have

knowledge of. Fla. R. Civ. P.1.590

("every person, not a party, against whom obedience to any

order may be enforced shall be liable to the same process for enforcing obedience to such orders as if that person were a party."). Courts have also held that third parties with knowledge of a

Court's injunction maynot assist the party enjoined in violating an injunction, and may be liable
for both injunctive relief and contempt for knowingly violating a court order. See Lewis v. Nical

oj Palm Beach, Inc., 959 So.2d 745 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007) (Injunction prohibiting buyer of
landscaping business from contacting, communicating with, interfering with, or soliciting seller's

clients could be enforced at contempt hearing against shareholder and employee of buyer, who was aware of injunction, even though he was not specifically
v.

named in the injunctive order);

Advantage Digital Systems, Inc.

Digital Imaging Services, Inc., 870 So.2d 111 (Fla. 2d DCA who worked for company that sold in breaching their

2003) (Competing corporation that hired service technicians and serviced noncompetition corporation wide-format agreements, printing systems

could not .assist technicians

which precluded solicitation

of printing company's customers, and

was required

to ensure that technicians

did not violate any temporary injunctive

restraint that issued based on noncompetition

agreement).

In the words of one Court

14

The facts that petitioner was not a party to such suit, nor served with process of subpoena, nor had notice of the application made by the complainant for the .mandatory' injunction, nor was served by the officers of the court with such injunction, are immaterial so long as it was made to appear that he had notice of the issuing of an injunction by the court. To render a person amenable to an injunction, it is neither necessary that he should have been a party to the suit in which the injunction was issued, nor to have been actually served with a copy of it, so long as he appears to have had actual notice. Hill, Darlington & Grimm v. Duggar, 177 So.2d 734 (Fla. 2d DCA 1965) (citing Ex parte Lennon, 166 U.S. 548(1897).

In this case, Xcentric was provided with copies of this Court's Order enjoining Romeo
from maintaining the statements on its website, and has also received a specific request from comments. Nonetheless, in open disregard for this Court As a result of

Romeo to remove the defamatory Xcentric totally ignored

the injunction

and refuses

to remove the postings.

Xcentric's flagrant disregard of the Court's Order, it should be subject to contempt and the Court should enjoin further noncompliance.

CONCLUSION
This Court should enter a temporary injunction probibiting Xcentric from continuing to

post certain defamatory statements about Plaintiffs on its website because (1) there is a likelihood of irreparable harm because Plaintiffs have lost and continue to lose potential clients as a result ofXcentric's publication of the defamatory statements; (2) because Xcentric may be able to use a

legislative loophole in the CDA to protect itself from being subject to liability at law, equitable considerations clearly support the granting of the proposed injunction; (3) given the comments and their per se nature, there is a substantial

clear falsity
that

of the defamatory

likelihood

Plaintiffs will succeed with regard to the primary claim for defamation, and thus int heir claim for a permanent continuously injunction; and (4) because Xcentric openly flaunts a legislative defame individuals and businesses, the loophole to interest

and

egregiously

public

15

overwhelmingly

supports the issuance

of an injunction

against Xcentric.

Finally, the Court

should find Xcentric in contempt for Xcentric's

knowing and intentional disregard of this Court's

Order and it should be enjoined from further non compliance with the injunction entered against Romeo. Respectfully submitted,

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I HEREBY CERTIFY that a oopy of the foregoing has been faxed and mailed this 23rd Miami FL. 33186; rieken e-Suite

day of December 2010 to: Laurence A. WansheI, Esq, 12940 SW ~23rd O~ Sammy Epelbanm.Esq., Stack, Fernandez, And~

. 950, Miami, Florida 33131 (305) 371-0002.

I~

/

Harris, P/jA., 12£0

I

t

(I

h

~

16

rn

THE

11 TI:t JUDICAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR

cracorr COURT

OF THE

lv1.lAlvfi-DADE COlTh'TY; FLORIDA

crvn.. DIVISION
CASE NO: 09-68539-CA-Ol
JOHN GIORDANO, individually, and G & G HOLISTIC ADDICTION TREATMENT, INC., a Florida Corporation,

Plaintiff,
VS.

DONNA L. RON1EO, and
XCENlRlC

an Arizona

VENTIJRES,

LLC,

Limited Liability

Corporation

--~------------------I
AFFroA VIT OF MR. JOHN GIORDANO IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS' EMERGENCY MOTION FOR TEMPORARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

Defendants.

BEFORE ME the undersigned
GIORDANO

authority,· on this date personally

appeared

JOFrn

who, after being first duly sworn, deposes and says that he has personal knowledge

of ill the facts and allegations stated herein and testifies as follows:

1.

My name is JOHN GIORDANO. otherwise sui juri~.

I am over the age of twenty-one (21) years, and.

2.

I am. currently employed by G & G HOLISTIC ("G & O") as an officer and director.

ADDICTION

TREATlvffiNT, INC.,

3.

G &G was and is a Florida for-profit

corporation

with its principal place of business in

1

EXHIBIT
tl ~
2 _.!--' _:__., __

( tL:L

4.

G & G is a Holistic Drug and Alcohol Reh.abilitation overcoming various
fOIIllS

Center that assists individuals in

of addiction, County Florida with the

5.

Defendant Romeo had business dealings in Miami-Darl.e Plaintiffs.

6.

Subsequently,

OD

or about July 8, 2009, Defendant

Romeo published information

on

the

"www.Ripoffkeport.com,

.. a website that by vits terms.js «a worldwide consumer for consumers, to file and document we encourage and even require authors

reporting Web site and publication, by ccnsurners, complaints about companies or individuals. While

to only file truthful reports, Ripoff Report does not guarantee that all reports are
authentic [sic] or accurate. " 7.

In her internet post, published for all the world to see, Romeo stated such things as: a. . G & G'-s facility is "dangerous to one's health and well being";
b. "The majority of the personnel are recovering addicts and have no business counseling their clients";

c. The living accommodations
d. "employees

are "outdated and unsanitary"

also illegal disburse medications"; educated to deal with the problems

.e. "The owners and employees are not adequately they advertise they expertise in" f.

"There is plenty of negative talk about the consequences

of your addition/behaviors,

like death or insanity, but coping skills after your departure from this 'safe haven' are not taught. TIlls is why they nave-as high suicide rate of their former clients. (while I was there, in June 2009, a young man killed himself after only two weeks of leaving G & G .. They estimate that there is at least 8 client suicides a year that are reported)"

2

g. "The 'living accomodarions, an outdated motel in a questional part ofNortb:Miami outdated and unsanitary. There is a sewage problem which results in an odor penniating the facility, a problem with.sand fleas (bed bugs), inadequate electrical

axe

SUPPlY, and fire hazards"
h. "The food is not organic nor is it prepared by chefs, as is advertised"
1.

"Detox, Highpoint. is ajoke. You are noti.detoxed similar to what you were on"

there, just changed to a medication.

J.

"Oh yes, one of the owners is a convicted fellon. Read all about it http://neUIo.1aw.comell.edulnycmp!searchfdisplay.html?terms=fines&url+nyctap/l95 _ 0309.htm. He is underhanded, uncompassionate and after your money. This is really

worth your search, it was a 'family' busin ess, if you know what I mean"

8.

The above-quoted statements (the "statements") made by Romeo and posted on RipofiReport.com are false.

9.

People contacting G & G have quoted the false statements as the reason for not 'contracting with G & G for services to be rendered. The names of these individuals
cannot be listed for privacy reasons andJor are unknown because they were not provided to G & G.

10.

The article cited by Defendant Romeo purporting to show that I am a convicted felon further implies that I am a member of the mafia.

11.

In fact, the name of the person in the article cited by Defendant Romeo happens to be the
same as mine, but 1 am not a convicted felon, nor am I a member of the mafia.

12.

Prior to the publication

of Defendant Romeo's

defamatory statements G & G was a

business of good name, credit and reputation, it enjoyed the esteem and good opinion of

3

others in the community, and is accredited

by

the J oint Commission on Accreditation of tarnish~

Healtheare Organizations. This opinion has been published by Defendant Romeo on Defendarrt 13.

by the defumatorystatements

Xcentric's website.

As a Director of G & G

and the

chaplain for a local police department I am an individual

. of good name, credit and reputation and enjoyed the esteem and good opinion of others in the community. This opinion has been. tarnished

by the defamatory statements published

. by Defendant Romeo on Defendant Xcentric ., s website.
14. 1 did not contact Xcentric to have them remove the false and defamatory statements from ripoffreport.com because that website expressly provides that, per their policy, the website will absolutely nat remove false, defamatory information posted. thereon, even when asked to do so by the maker of the defamatory statements. I read this policy at

htto:llwww.rinoffreport.com/ConsumersSavTIankYouIWantToSueRinoffReportasnx 15. It is my belief that my personal reputation

an d the reputation of G

&G

has suffered and

will continue to suffer great and irreparable harm unless the Court enters an injunction prohibiting Xcentric from continuing ripoffieport.com 16.
to

post the false defamatory statements on

or on any other website it operates.

I declare under the penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. FURTHER AFFIANT SA )'ETR NAUGHT.

{/Affiant

ADHN

td~~
GIORDA.NO

4

STATE OF FLORIDA COtJ1'..r"TY OF MIAMI-DADE )

BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority, personally appeared, ~ who has produced .

~t;

...... b/·

2r

c.L ...

i)

as identification and wh..&Cdid

not) take an oath, states that he/she has read the foregoing Affidavit and same are true to the best of Ins/her knowledge and belief

WITNESS my band and official seal in the County and State last aforesaid, this ~y

of

Official Notary Signature

Name of Notary Typed, Printed or Stamped Commission Number:

Notary Public State of Florida at Large

MY COlVIMISSION EXPIRES:

5

LAUR_ENCE Aa WANSHEL, P.A.
December 8, 2010 Via Faosimile 602-248-0522 VIA Emaif at mcs@;aburgwilk.com Maria Crimi Speth, Esquire Jaburg & Wilk, P.C. Counsel to XCENTRIC Venture LLC 3200 North Central Avenue, Suite 2000 Phoenix, AZ. 85012 . Re: John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. v. Donna L Romeo and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company Circuit Court Case No. 09-68539 CA 25

LAW

OFFICES

OF

Dear Maria Crimi Speth, _Please be advised that the undersigned is attorney for Donna L. Romeo in a case filed by John D. Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, lnc., Case No. 2009-68539 CA 25, which was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit inand for Miamj.;.Dade County, Florida. As you are well aware, based on the lawsuit, Donna L. Romeo was the author of a po·sting on" Ripoffreport.com pertaining John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. It is my client's expressed desire as the author of the said posting for Ripoff.com to discontinue maintaining the statements contained in the posting on the website www.ripoffreport.com and for you to remove the subject statements from the website forthwith. She wishes to mitigate all potential liability for damages against her relating to these statements, and therefore, requests the statements be removed and not be maintained against her strong desire for the same.

to

In addition, the Court in the above referenced case in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has entered an Order requiringthe Defendant, Donna Romeo, to petition those responsible for maintaining and operating the website Ripoffreport.com to discontinue maintaining the "statements about John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. that she posted on www.ripoffreport.com. and for her to make every effort to remove the subject statements from www.ripoffreport.com. Attached is a copy of the Order entered by the Court on December 2, 2010, which requires her to seek to have the statements removed pursuant to the ""Agreed Order,

:P~INJ.IFF.s"'"":~
" ""-EXfUBIT

"____,";~~"

"_-:

~

· December 8, 2010 Page Two

Regardless of Xcentric Venture LLC's policy as owner of the website, demand is. made to comply with the CoLirt'sOrder and in the mitigation of any possible potential liabIlity for damage claims against my client. We expect you to comply with the Court's Order, and any refusal to remove the same from the website is pointless and serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, inconvenience and hardship to everyone concerned. Certainly there must be a time when ripoffreport.com no longer maintains on its website outdated, unwanted or undesirable postings or state;ments·containing information that becomes stale, irrelevant or that may possibly be considered defamatory. We realize that Xcentric Ventures, LLC is the only entity that can control the content contained on the website. Therefore, my client as author of the postings strongly pleads, urges, demands, begs and most ardently requests that you take the only reasonable action under the present circumstances by forthwith removing the posting from the website. ve7J truly yours

Laurence A. Wanshel LAW/mp

l/UlI(J111il

J.

i1/ . f I WamAtu\

IN THE CIRClITT COURT OF THE 11 th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN' AND FOR lvllAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA CIVIL nIVlSION CASE NO: 09-68539-CA-25
JORN GIORDANO, individually, and G & G ADDICTION TREATMENT, a Florida Corporation,

me,

v.

Plaintiffs,

DONNAL.RON.ffiO,~dX~C
Liability Corporation,

VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Defendants.

----------------------------~/
AGREED ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR TEMPORARY INJUNCTIVR

RELIEF
THIS CAUSE HAVING Temporary

come before this Court on Plaintiffs'. Emergency Motion for

Injunctive Relief, and the Court having reviewed the Motion, Plaintiffs' Affidavit in

Support, having been advised of the agreement of counsel and the Defendant having made no admissions of fact as to liability on Plaintiffs' damage claims, the Court being otherwise fully

advised in the premises, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADruDGED a. b. as follows:

Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Jnjunctive Relief is GRAN1ED;
Defendant Romeo is immediately ENJOINED from maintaining

fhe statements

about Plaintiffs posted by her on www.ripoffreport.com;

Romeo shall remove, or shall make every effort to remove, the subject statements

1

from www.ripoffreport.com d.

within 15 days from the date of this Order;
the subject statements from to

As part of her good faith efforts to remove www.ripoffreport.com,
-www.ripoffreport.com. Romeo

shall

furnish

a copy

of this

Order

advising them that she is seeking to have the statements

removed pursuant to this Order; e.

Romeo shall serve Plaintiffs' counsel with a copy of any documents reflecting her efforts to have the subject statements removed in accordance with this Order and
shall

also

serve Plaintiffs'

counsel

with a copy of any response

from

-www.ripoffieportcom
f.

to her request;

If Romeo attempts to comply with this Order from this Court but is stymied in her
efforts by www.ripo:ffreportcom's policy of maintaining statements on their site

even as against this Order and against

an express request by Romeo for its

removal, the Court will consider an. appropriate motion-by Plaintiffs at that tim~ DONE ANlJ ORDERED In Chambers, at Miami dayof ~ ,2010. de County, Florida on tlris } -

ETERADRIEN T JUDGE
Copies furnished to: All counsel of record

~~Adnen

_,CWuit Court Judge

-.

1

LAURENCE A. WANSHEL, P.A.
December 8,2010 . Via Email atTaxAtty@comcast.net Thomas Brett DuffY, Esquire 739 Bayview Drive. Absecon, NJ 08201 . Re: John Giordano and G·& G Addiction Treatment, Inc. v. Donna L. Romeo and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company Circuit Court Case No. 09-68539 CA 25

LAW

OFFICES

OF

Dear Mr. Duffy,

Please be advised that the undersigned is attorney for Donna L. Romeo in a case filed by John D. Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, lnc., Case No. 2009-68539 CA 25, which was filed in the Circuit Court. of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida.
As you are well aware, based on the lawsuit, Donna L. Romeo was the author of a posting on Ripoffreport.com pertaining to John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. It is my client's expressed: desire as the .author of the said posting for Ripoff.com to discontinue maintaining the statements contained in the posting on the website www.ripoffreport.com and for you to remove the subject statements from the website forthwith. She wishes to mitigate all potential liability for damages against her relating to these statements! and therefore, requests the· statements beremoved and not be maintained against her strong desire for the same. . In addition, the Court in the above referenced case in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has entered an Order requiring the Defendant, Donna Romeo, to petition those responsible for maintaining and operating the website Ripoffreport.com to discontinue maintaining the statements about John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. that she posted on WW'IN.ripoffreport.com, and for her to make every effort to remove the subject statements from wwvv.riooffreport.com . .Attached is a copy of the Order entered by the Court on December 2, 2010, which requires her to seek to have the statements removed pursuant to the Agreed Order.

12940

sw

133ro

Court

MiDrni.

Floridn

331116

Office:

305.252-2300

F:ox:

305·255.5001

December 8,2010

Page Two
Regardless of Xcentric Venture LLC's policy as owner of the website, demand is made to comply with the Court's Order and in the mitigation of any possible potentialliabllity for damage claims against my client. We expect you to comply with the Court's Order, and any refusal to remove the same from the website is pointless and serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, inconvenience and hardship to everyone concerned. . Certainly there must be a time when ripoffreport.com no longer maintains on its website outdated, unwanted or undesirable postings or statements containing information that becomes stale, irrelevant or that may possibly be considered defamatory. We realize that Xcentric Ventures, LLC is the only entity that can control the content contained on the website. Therefore, my client as author of the postings strongly pleads, urges, demands, begs and most ardently requests that you take the only reasonable action under the present circumstances by forthwith removing the posting from the website. Veryluly yours, /~
.'

.

. /1!UUt111fil ~
LAW/mp

J

II

IA/~

Laurence A. Wanshel

LAUR..ENCE A. WANSHEL, P.A.
December 8, 2010

LAW

OFFICES

OF

VIA Email atwww.ripoffreport.com

Re:

John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. v, Donna L. Romeo and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company Circuit Court Case No. 09-68539 cA. 25

Dear Ripoffreport.com, Please be advised that the undersigned is attorney for Donna L. Romeo in a case filed by John D. Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc., Case No. 2009-68539 CA 25, which was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida. As you are well aware, based on the lawsuit, Donna L. Romeo was the author of a posting on Ripoffreport.com pertaining to John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. It is my client's expressed desire as the author of the said posting for Ripoff.com to discontinue maintaining the statements contained-in the posting on the website www.ripoffreport.com and for you to remove the subject statements from the website forthwith. She wishes to mitigate all potential liability for damages against her relating to these statements, -and therefore, requests the statements be removed and not be maintained against her strong desire for the same. In addition, the Court in the above referenced case in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has entered an Order requiring the Defendant, Donna Romeo, to petition those responsible for maintaining and operatingthe website Ripoffreport.com to discontinue maintaining the statements about John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. that she posted on www.ripoffreport.com. and for her to , make every effort to remove the subject statements from 'NWW.ripoffreport.com. Attached is a copy of the Order entered by the Court on December 2, 2010, which requires her to seek to have the statements removed pursuant to the Agreed Order.

12940

SW 133rd

Caurl

Mi:lrn;.

Fl.,ddg

33186

Offie,,:

305-252-2300

Fa":

:;05-2;5-5001

December 8, 2010 . Page Two

. Regardless of Xcentric Venture LLC's policy as owner of the website, demand is made to comply with the Court's Order and in the mitigation of any possible potential liability for damage claims against my client. We expect you to comply with the Court's Order, and any refusal to remove the same from the website is pointless and serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, inconvenience and hardship to everyone concerned. Certainly there must be a time when ripoffreport.corn no longer maintains on ·its website outdated, unwanted or undesirable postings or statements containing information that becomes stale, irrelevant or that may possibly be considered defamatory. We realize that Xcentric Ventures, LLC is the only entity that can control the content contained on the website. Therefore, my client as author of the postings strongly pleads, urges, demands, begs and most ardently requests that you take the only reasonable action under the present circumstances by forthwith removing the posting from the website. Very July yours,

Laurence A. Wanshel LAW/mp

~4-t~

I;! f #

LAUR-ENCE A. WANSHEL, P.A.
December 8, 2010 VIA FACSIMILE 305~371-0002 VIA Email atsepelbaum@stackfemandez.com Sammy Epelbaum, Esq. Stack Fernandez Anderson & Harris, P.A. '1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 950

LAW

OFFICES

OF

Miami,FL 33131 Re:

.

John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. v. Donna L. Romeo and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company Circuit Court Case No. 09-68539CA 25

Dear Mr. Epelbaum, Please be advised that the undersigned is attorney for Donna L. Romeo in a case filed by John D. Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, lnc., Case No. 2009-68539 CA 25, which was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida. As yo.u are well aware, based on the lawsuit, DonnaL Romeo was the author of a posting on Ripoffreport.com pertaining to John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. It is my client's expressed desire as the author of the said posting for Ripoff.com to discontinue maintaining the statements contained in the posting on the website www.ripoffreport.com and for you to remove the subject" statements from the website forthwith, She wishes to mitigate all potential liability for damages against her relating to these statements, and therefore, requests the statements be removed andnotbe maintained against her strong desire for the same. . In addition, the Court in the above referenced case in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has entered an Order requiring the Defendant, Donna Romeo, to petition those responslble for maintaining and operating the website Ripoffreport.com to discontinue maintaining the statements about John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. that she posted on www.ripoffrepart.com. and for her to make every effort to remove the subject statements from www.ripoffreport.com . . Attached is a copy of the Order entered by the Court on December 2, 2010, which requires her to seek to have the statements removed pursuant to the Agreed Order.

12940

SW

lJ3rd

Court

Mi:>cni,

Florida

33186

Office:

305-252.-2.300

Far.:

3115-255-5001

December 8, 2010

Page Two
Regardless of Xcentric Venture LLC's policy as owner of the website, demand is made to comply with the Court's Order and in the mitigation of any possible potential liability for damage· claims against my client. We expect you to comply with the Court's Order, and any refusal to remove the same from the website is pointless and serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, inconvenience and hardship to everyone concerned. Certainly there must be a time when ripoffreport.com no longer maintains on its website outdated, unwanted or undesirable postings or statements containing information thatbecomes stale, irrelevant or that may possibly be corisidered defamatory. We realize that Xcentric Ventures, LLC is the only entity that can control the content contained on the website. Therefore, my client as author of the postings strongly pleads, urges, demands, begs and most ardently requests that you take the only reasonable action under the present circumstances by forthwith removing the posting from the website. .

LAW/mp

ill TIIE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE 11th JUDICIAL CIRCillT IN AND FOR lV!IAJY.11-DADECOUNTY, FLORIDA

crvn, DIV1SION
CASE NO: 09-68539-CA-2S JOHN GIORDANO, individually. and G & G ADDICTION TREATMENT, mc., a. Florida Corporation, Plaintiffs,
'1,1.

DONNA L. ROl:Y1EO,and XCBN1RIC VE~lURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Corporation, Defendants. I AGREED ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION INJUNCTIVE.

FOR TEMPORARY

RELlEF
TillS CAUSE HAVING

come before this Court on Plaintiffs'. Emergency Motion for

Temporary Injunctive Relief, and the Court having reviewed the Motion, Plaintiffs' Affidavit in Support, having been advised of the agreement of counsel and the Defendant having made no
admissions of fact as to liability on Plaintiffs' damage claims, the Court being otherwise fully

advised in the premises, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED a. b.

as follows:

Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Injunctive Relief is GR..AJ\1'fEO;
Defendant Romeo is immediately ENJOlNED from maintaining the statements

about Plaintiffs posted by her on www.ripoffreport.com;
C.

Romeo shall remove, or shill make every effort to remove; the subject statements

1

from www.ripoffreport.com
d.

within 15 days from the date of this Order, the subject statements from a copy of this Order to

A.J:. part of her good faith efforts to remove www.ripoffreport.com, -www.ripoffreport.com, Romeo
shall furnish

advising them that she is seeking to havetne statements

removed pursuant to this Order;
e.

Romeo shall serve Plaintiffs' counsel with a copy of any documents reflecting her efforts to have the subject statements removed in accordance with this Order and shall also serve Plaintiffs' counsel with a copy of any response from

www.ripoffreport.com
f.

to her request;

If Romeo attempts to comply with this Order from this Court but is stymied in her
efforts by www.ripoffreport.com's policy of maintaining statements on their site

even as against this Order and against an express request by Romeo for its removal, the Court will consider an appropriate motion by Plaintiffs at that DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at Miami
day of ~-

tirn.:A
"} -

de County, Florida on this

.2010.

ETERADRIEN T JUDGE Copies furnished to:
All counsel of record

E'~

_.Cfrouit

Court Judge

Adneii

-,

2

LAUR_EN,CE A. WANSHEL, P.A.
December 8,2010 . Via Email·atTaxAtty@comcast.net Thomas Brett DuffY, Esquire 739 Bayview Drive. Absecon, NJ 08201 Re: John Giordano and G' & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. v. Donna L. Romeo and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company Circuit Court Case No. 09-68539 CA 25

LAW

OFFICES

OF

. Dear Mr. Duffy, Please "be advised that the undersigned is attorney for Donna L. Romeo in a case filed by John D. Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc., Case No. 2009-68539 CA 25, which was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida. As you are well aware, based on the lawsuit, Donna L. Romeo was the author of a posting on Ripoffreport.com pertaining to John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. tt is my client's expresseddesire as the author of the said posting for Ripoff.com to discontinue maintaining the statements contained in the posting on the website www.ripoffreport.com and for you to remove the subject statements from the website forthwith. She wishes to mitigate all potential liability for damages against her relating to these statements, and therefore, . requests the-statements be ,removed and not be maintained against her strong desire for the same. . In addition, the Court in the above referenced case in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has entered an Order requiring the Defendant, Donna Romeo, to petition those responsible for maintaining and operating the website Ripoffreportcom to discontinue maintaining the statements about John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. that she posted on www.ripoffreport.com. and for her to make every effort to remove the subject statements from www..ripoffreoort.com. Attached is a copy of the Order entered by the Court on December 2, 2010, which requires her to seek to have the statements removed pursuant to the Agreed Order.

12940

SW 133r,;

Court

Mi:1mi,

Florid

.. 33186

Office:

305.252.230U

Fa,,:

305.255.S001

December 8, 2010 Page Two

Regardless of Xcentric Venture LLC's policy as owner of the website, demand is made to comply with the Court's Order and in the mitigation of any possible potential liability for damage claims against my client. We expect you to comply with the Court's Order, and any refusal to remove the same from the website is pointless and serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, inconvenience and hardship to everyone concerned. . Certainly there must be a time when Jipoffreport.com no longer maintains on its website outdated, unwanted or undesirable postings or statements containing information that becomesstale, irrelevant or that may possibly be considered defamatory. We realize that Xcentric Ventures, LLC is the only entity that can control the content contained on the website. Therefore, my client as author of the postings strongly pleads, urges, demands, begs arid most ardently requests that you take the only reasonable action under the present circumstances by forthwith removing the posting from the website.

=v=
LAW/mp

yours,

~tiJVt1Itfil

Laurence A Wanshel

J

I~ /

W~

II

LAURENCE A. WANSHEL, P.A.
December 8,2010

LAW

0

F Fie

"E S

0

F

VIA Email atwww.ripoffreport.com

Re:

John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. v. Donna L. Romeo and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company Circuit Court Case No. 09-68539 cA 25

Dear Ripoffreport.com, Please be advised that the undersigned is attorney for Donna L. Romeo in a case filed by John D. Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc., Case No. 2009-68539 CA 25, which was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida. As you are well aware, based on the lawsuit, Donna L. Romeo was the author of a posting on Ripoffreport.com pertaininqto John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. It is my client's expressed desire as the author of the said posting for Ripoff.corn to discontinue maintaining the statements containedm the posting on the website www.ripoffreport.com and for you to remove the subject statements from the website forthwith. She wishes to mitigate all potential liability for damages against her relating to these statements,and therefore, requests the statements be removed and not be maintained against her strong desire for the same. In addition, the Court in the above referenced case in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has entered an Order requiring the Defendant, Donna Romeo, to petition those responsible for maintaining and operating the website Ripoffreport.com to discontinue maintaining the statements about John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, InG-. hat she posted on www.ripoffreport.com. t and for her to make every effort to remove the subject statements from www.rjpoffreport.com. Attached is a copy of me Order entered by the Court on December 2, 2010, which requires her to seek to have the 'statements removed pursuant to the Agreed Order.

12940

SW 133.d

Court

Mi"mi,

Florida

33186

Office:

31l5-2S2-2:l00

F .. ,,:

:105-255-5001

December 8,2010 Page Two

Regardless of Xcentric Venture. LLC's policy as owner of the website, demand is made to comply with the Court's Order and in the mitigation of any possible potential liability for damage claims against my client. We expect you to comply with the Court's Order, and any refusal to remove the same from the website is pointless and serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, inconvenience and hardship to everyone concerned. Certainly there must be a time when ripoffreport.com no longer maintains on its website outdated, unwanted or undesirable postings or statements containing information that becomes stale, irrelevant or that may possibly be considered defamatory. We realize that Xcentric Ventures, LLC is the only entity that can control the content contained on the website. Therefore, my client as author of the postings strongly pleads, urges, demands, begs and most ardently requests that you take the only reasonable action under the present circumstances by forthwith removing the posting from thewebsite.

VZ:;7it~
Laurence A. Wanshel

LAW/mp

LAUFlENCE A. WANSHEL, P.A.
December 8,2010 VIA FACSIMILE 305-371-0002 VIA Emaif at sepelbaum@stackfemandez.com Sammy Epelbaum, Esq. Stack Fernandez Anderson & Harris, P.A. --1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 950 Miami, FL 33131 Re: John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. v. Donna L. Romeo and XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company Circuit Court Case No. 09..fl8539 CA 25

LAW

OFFICES

OF

Dear Mr. Epelbaum, Please be advised that the undersigned is attorney for Donna L. Romeo in a case filed by John D. Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, lnc., Case No. 2009-68539 CA 25, which was filed in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and far Miami-Dade County, Florida. As you are weH aware, based on the lawsuit1 Donna L. Romeo was the author of a posting on Ripoffreport.com pertaining to John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. It is my client's expressed desire as the author of the said posting for Ripoff.com to discontinue maintaining the statements contained in the posting on the website W1ftMf.ripoffreport.com and for you to remove the subject" statements from the website forthwith. She wishes to mitigate all potential liability for damages against her relating to these statements, and therefore, requests the statements be removed and-not be maintained against her strong desire for the same. In addition, the Court in the above referenced case in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has entered an Order requiring the Defendant, Donna Romeo, to petition those responsible for maintaining and operating the website Ripoffreport.com-to discontinue maintaining the statements about John Giordano and G & G Addiction Treatment, Inc. that she posted on www_ripoffreport.com, and for her to make every effort to remove the subject statements from wWIN.ripoffreoort.com . . Attached is a copy of the Order entered by the C-ourt on December 2, 2010, which requires her to seek to have the statements removed pursuant to the Agreed Order.

12940

sw

133rd

COUrt

Miami,

Florid"

33186

OCfice:

305-2.57.-2300

Fa",

305-255-50111

December 8, 2010 Page Two

. Regardless of Xcentric Venture LLC's policy as owner of the website, demand is made comply with the Court's Order and in the mitigation of any possible potential liability for damage claims against my client. We expect you to comply with the Court's Order, and any refusal to remove the same from the website is pointless and serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, inconvenience and hardship to everyone concerned.

to

Certainly there must be a time when ripoffreport.com no longer maintains on its website outdated, unwanted or undesirable postings or statements containing information that becomes stale, irrelevant or that may possibly be considered defamatory. We.realize that Xcentric Ventures, LLC is the only entity that can control the content contained on the website. Therefore, my client as author of the postings strongly pleads, urges. demands, begs and most ardently requests that you take the only reasonable action under the present circumstances by forthwith removing the posting from the website.

LAW/mp