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O'Keefe Libel Complaint against Star-Ledger

O'Keefe Libel Complaint against Star-Ledger

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03/14/2012

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AROMANDO & LIGHT~ LLC 195 Fairfield Avenue - Suite 4D West Caldwell, New Jersey 07006 973-403-9100

Attorneys for Plaintiff

JAMES O'KEEFE, III, Plaintiff, vs. ADVANCE PUBLICATIONS, THE STAR LEDGER INC. d/b/a COMPLAINT SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY BERGEN COUNTY - LAW DIVISION DOCKET NO.:

Defendant.

Plaintiff James O'Keefe, III, residing at 121 Goodwin Terrace, Westwood, New Jersey, by way of complaint against the Defendant Advance Publications, Ledger, alleges as follows: COUNT ONE Libel and Libel Per Se Defendant publishes a daily newspaper and maintains an internet news website. On October 29, 2010, Defendant misdemeanor published that Plaintiff "pleaded guilty to a Inc. d/b/a The Star

1. 2.

after he was caught tampering with the phones of Louisiana Sen. This statement was not true when made by the Defendant. falsity, Defendant printed a described legal

Mary Landrieu." 3.

After being advised by the Plaintiff of the statement's retraction on November

3, 2010 by stating that "it incorrectly

findings against James O'Keefe" Senator's phones. 4.

when it printed that he had tampered with the

Defendant printed the retraction because it was made aware that the responsible

1

United States Attorney

determined

that there was no evidence

that Plaintiff

tampered or intended to tamper with the Senator's phones. 5. Despite this retraction, on January 23, 2012, the Defendant again published the falsehood that Plaintiff had tried to "tap the phones of Sen. Mary Landrieu." 6. By publishing for a second time the false statement that Plaintiff had attempted to tap a Senator's phones, which would constitute a felony if true, the Defendant committed libel or defamation per se. Moreover, the statement was made with actual knowledge of its falsity and malice driven by the Defendant's Plaintiff was the "Knucklehead ofthe Week." 7. In addition to the allegations of libel above, the Defendant has defamed Plaintiff on other occasions. 8. Plaintiff has suffered damages as a result of the conduct of the Defendant opinion that

including but not limited to loss of reputation in the community and the reluctance of others to associate with him in his business.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment
damages permitted by law, plus a mandatory

against the Defendant injunction compelling

for all monetary the Defendant to fees and

print another retraction with language approved by the Court, costs, attorneys' such other relief as the Court may deem appropriate and just. AROMANDO & LIGHT, LLC Attorneys for Plaintiff

BY:~ Dated: January 30, 2012

Benjamin D. Light

2

CERTIFICATION

PURSUANT TO R. 4:5-1

I certify that the matters in controversy in this action are not the subject of any other action pending in any other court or of a pending arbitration proceeding. No other action

or arbitration proceeding is presently contemplated and I am presently aware of no other parties that should be joined in this action.

JURY DEMAND Plaintiff hereby demands trial by a jury on all issues in this matter.

DESIGNATION

OF TRIAL COUNSEL

Benjamin D. Light, Esq. is hereby designated as trial counsel.

Dated: January 30, 2012

::o~ ---;':amlnn.iXght
AROMANDO

& LIGHT, LLC

3

Appendix XII-HI

CIVIL CASE INFORMATION STATEMENT (CIS)
Use for initial Law Division Civil Part pleadings (not motions) under Rule 4:5-1 Pleading will be rejected for filing, under Rule 1:5-6(c), if information above the black bar is not completed or attorney's signature is not affixed
ATTORNEY/PROSE NAME TELEPHONE NUMBER

FOR USE BY CLERK'S OFFICE ONLY PAYMENT TYPE: CHG/CKNO. AMOUNT: OVERPAYMENT: BATCH NUMBER: DCK DCG DCA

COUNTY OF VENUE

Benjamin D. Light, Esq,
FIRM NAME (if applicable)

(973) 403-9100

Bergen
DOCKET NUMBER (when available)

Aromando & Ught, LLC
OFFICE ADDRESS DOCUMENT TYPE

195 Fairfield Avenue

Suite 40 West Caldwell, New Jersey 07006
NAME OF PARTY (e.q. John Doe, Plaintiff) CAPTION

Complaint
JURY DEMAND

0

YES

No

James O'Keefe, III, Plaintiff

James O'Keefe, III, v. Advance Publications, Inc, d/b/a The Star Ledger

CASE TYPE NUMBER (See reverse side for listing)

IS THIS A PROFESSIONAL

MALPRACTICE CASE?

DYES

NO CASE LAW

609
RELATED CASES PENDING? DYES • No

IF YOU HAVE CHECKED "YES," SEE N. J. S.A. 2A:53 A -27 AND APPLICABLE REGARDING YOUR OBLIGATION TO FILE AN AFFIDAVIT OF MERIT, IF YES, LIST DOCKET NUMBERS

DO YOU ANTICIPATE ADDING ANY PARTIES (arising out of same transaction or occurrence)? DYEs • No

NAME OF DEFENDANTS

PRIMARY INSURANCE COMPANY

(if known)

o

NONE UNKNOWN

THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS FORM CANNOT BE INTRODUCED INTO EVIDENCE.
CASE CHARACTERISTICS FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING IF CASE IS APPROPRIATE FOR MEDIATION FRIEND/NEIGHBOR BUSINESS DO PARTIES HAVE A CURRENT, PAST OR RECURRENT RELATIONSHIP? DYES • No

o o

IF YES, IS THAT RELATIONSHIP: EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE FAMILIAL

o o

o

OTHER (explain)

DOES THE STATUTE GOVERNING THIS CASE PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF FEES BY THE LOSING PARTY? USE THIS SPACE TO ALERT THE COURT TO ANY SPECIAL CASE CHARACTERISTICS ACCELERATED DISPOSITION

DYES

o

No

THAT MAY WARRANT INDIVIDUAL MANAGEMENT OR

10.!

Do YOUOR YOURCLIENTNEEDANY DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS? • No WILL AN INTERPRETER NEEDED? BE DYES • No DYES

IF YES, PLEASEIDENTIFY THE REQUESTED ACCOMMODATION IF YES, FORWHATLANGUAGE?

I certify that confidential personal identifiers have been redacted from documents now submitted to the court, and will be redacted from a" documen~bm~n the future in accordance with Rule 1:38-7(b).
ATIORNEY SIGNATURE:
~.

Effective 06/20/2011,

<..---"'" eN 10517·English

page 1 of2

CIVIL CASE INFORMATION STATEMENT
(CIS)
Use for initial pleadings (not motions) under Rule 4:5-1

CASE TYPES (Choose one and enter number of case type in appropriate space on the reverse side.)
Track I - 150 days' discovery
151 NAME CHANGE 175 FORFEITURE 302 TENANCY 399 REAL PROPERTY (other than Tenancy, Contract, Condemnation, Complex Commercial or Construction) 502 BOOK ACCOUNT (debt collection matters only) 505 OTHER INSURANCE CLAIM (including declaratory judgment actions) 506 PIP COVERAGE 510 UM or UIM CLAIM (coverage issues only) 511 ACTION ON NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENT 512 LEMON LAW 801 SUMMARY ACTION 802 OPEN PUBLIC RECORDS ACT (summary action) 999 OTHER (briefly describe nature of action)

Track II • 300 days' discovery
305 509 599 603N 603Y 605 610 621 699 005 301 602 604 606 607 608 609 616 617 618 156 303 508 513 514 620 701 280 285 288 289 248 266 271 274 278 279 CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYMENT (other than CEPA or LAD) CONTRACT/COMMERCIAL TRANSACTION AUTO NEGLIGENCE - PERSONAL INJURY (non-verbal threshold) AUTO NEGLIGENCE - PERSONAL INJURY (verbal threshold) PERSONAL INJURY AUTO NEGLIGENCE - PROPERTY DAMAGE UM or UIM CLAIM (includes bodily injury) TORT - OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS CONDEMNATION ASSAULT AND BATTERY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE PRODUCT LIABILITY PROFESSIONAL MALPRACTICE TOXIC TORT DEFAMATION WHISTLEBLOWER I CONSCIENTIOUS EMPLOYEE PROTECTION INVERSE CONDEMNATION LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION (LAD) CASES

Track III • 450 days' discovery

ACT (CEPA) CASES

Track IV " Active Case Management

by Individual

Judge 1450 days' discovery

ENVIRONMENTAUENVIRONMENTAL MT. LAUREL COMPLEX COMMERCIAL COMPLEX CONSTRUCTION INSURANCE FRAUD FALSE CLAIMS ACT ACTIONS IN LIEU OF PREROGATIVE

COVERAGE LITIGATION

WRITS 290 291 292 293 281 282 284 286 287 601 POMPTON LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION PELVIC MESH/GYNECARE PELVIC MESHIBARD DEPUY ASR HIP IMPLANT LITIGATION BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB ENVIRONMENTAL FOSAMAX NUVARING LEVAQUIN Y AZJY ASMINJOCELLA ASBESTOS

Centrally

Managed Litigation

(Track IV)

lELNORM STRYKER TRIDENT HIP IMPLANTS PRUDENTIAL TORT LITIGATION REGLAN CIBA GEIGY HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT) ACCUTANEJISOTRETINOIN RISPERDAUSEROQUEUlYPREXA lOMETA/AREDIA GADOLINIUM

Mass Tort (Track IV)

If you believe this case requires a track other than that provided in the space under "Case Characteristics.

above, please Indicate the reason On Side 1,

Please check off each applicable
Effective 06/20/2011, CN 10517-English

category

0

Putative Class Action

o Title

59
page 2 of 2

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