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ROBERT C. WELSH, JR., Plaintiff, v. VALERIE NEWMAN and JOSHUA LIEBMAN, Defendants. _________________________/ COMPLAINT Plaintiff, Robert C. Welsh, Jr., sues Defendants Valerie Newman and Joshua Liebman and states: 1. This is an action for damages in excess of $15,000 based on Plaintiffs

claim that the Defendants slandered him during a meeting of the South Miami City Commission. 2. Venue is proper with this Court as the Defendants reside in South Miami,

Miami-Dade County, Florida, and the cause of action asserted herein, slander per se, accrued in Miami-Dade County, Florida. 3. 4. Plaintiff, Robert Welsh is a City of South Miami City Commissioner. Defendant Valerie Newman (Newman) is a City of South Miami City

Commissioner. 5. South Miami. Defendant Joshua Liebman (Liebman) is the Vice Mayor of the city of


The Defendant are sued in their individual capacities as their actions

alleged herein were taken in bad faith or with malicious purpose or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of Plaintiffs rights. 7. Both of the Defendants published a false statement about the Plaintiff, that

he distributed a racist flyer. 8. distribution. 9. During a City of South Miami City Commission meeting on November 19, Plaintiff did not distribute such a flyer and had no role in its creation or

2013, Liebman stated, "Commissioner Welsh is responsible for distributing another racist flyer featuring Dr. Price as the Queen of Spades, three monkeys representing three Black commissioners, and the Star Spangled Banner which was written in Ebonics". 10. At the same meeting Newman stated, "Mr. Welsh distributed the flyer of

the three monkeys". 11. Defendants comments, made during a televised City Commission

meeting, portrayed Plaintiff as a racist, and constitute defamation per se. 12. The comments constitute slander per se as they impute to the Plaintiff

conduct, characteristics or a condition incompatible with the proper exercise of his lawful business, trade, profession, or office. 13. Florida's concern for individual reputation is reflected in article I, section 4,

of the Florida Constitution. Florida has thus singled out defamation per se for special rules in civil tort litigation.


Statements defamatory per se, such as the noes made by the Defendants,

are presumed harmful as a matter of law and the law presumes malice in their utterance making it unnecessary to prove express malice. Additionally, general damages are conclusively presumed to result from defamation per se and special damages need not be shown to sustain the action. 15. Florida's unusually high protection of personal reputation derives from the

common consent of humankind and has ancient roots. It is highly valued by civilized people. Our state constitution and common law powerfully support it. This is a value as old as the Pentateuch and the Book of Exodus, and its command as clear as the Decalogue: "Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor." The personal interest in one's own good name and reputation surpasses economics, business practices or money. It is a fundamental part of personhood, of individual standing and one's sense of worth. Wherefore, Plaintiff demands judgment in his favor against the Defendants.

_________________________ Robert C. Welsh, Jr. 7437 SW 64 Court Miami, FL 33143