IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF FULTON COUNTY STATE OF GEORGIA ) RASHAD RICHEY; ) Plaintiff, ) ) ) v.

) CIVIL ACTION FILE ANDRE WALKER individually and in his ) NO.2012-CV-214700 ) Capacities as owner of and web master of ) GEORGIA POLITICS UNFILTERED, GEORGIA POLITICS UNFILTERED, ) MELANIE GOUX individually and in her ) ) capacities as owner and web master of ) BLOG FOR DEMOCRACY, BLOG FOR ) DEMOCRACY, JANE BRADSHAW, JOHN DOES 1-5, and JANE DOES 1-5; ) ) ) Defendants. ANDRE WALKER'S AND GEORGIA POLITICS UNFILTERED'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR DEFAMATION, SLANDER, SLANDER PER SE, LIBEL, AND LIBEL PER SE COME NOW Andre Walker, individually and in his capacities as owner of and webmaster of Georgia Politics Unfiltered and Georgia Politics Unfiltered (collectively "These Defendants"), Defendants in the above-styled action, file their Answer to Plaintiffs

Complaint for Defamation, Slander, Slander Per Se, Libel, and Libel Per Se and states the following: FIRST DEFENSE All or part of the allegedly slanderous or libelous material or content is true and is protected political speech under the Constitutions of the State of Georgia and the United States of America.

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SECOND DEFENSE Part of the allegedly slanderous or libelous material or content was pure opinion and protected political speech under the Constitutions of the State of Georgia and the United States of America. THIRD DEFENSE Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and, therefore, the Complaint should be dismissed. FOURTH DEFENSE Plaintiff fails to state claims under which relief can be granted pursuant to O.C.G.A. §9-11-11.1 and, therefore, the Complaint should be dismissed. FIFTH DEFENSE Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted as to the negligent infliction of emotional distress and, therefore, the Complaint should be dismissed. SIXTH DEFENSE Plaintiff is a public figure or a limited purpose public figure and has not proven malice. SEVENTH DEFENSE The matters which the subject matter of the Complaint were true, were opinions, and were matters of public interest, concern, or significance and are reasonably to be construed as acts in furtherance of these Defendants' right of free speech. EIGHTH DEFENSE The Plaintiff failed to mitigate his damages, if any.

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NINTH DEFENSE The Plaintiff failed to seek a retraction of any matter published by these Defendants which the Plaintiff contends is untrue in accordance with O.C.G.A. §51-5-11, therefore, the Plaintiff may recover only special damages, if any, arising from any proven defamation, if any, by these Defendants, which is specifically denied. TENTH DEFENSE Specifically responding to the allegations contained in the Plaintiffs Complaint, these Defendants show as follows: 1. These Defendants admit that Andre Walker is a resident of Fulton County, that he is a member of the press, and that he is the owner and/or operator of a news outlet known as "Georgia Politics Unfiltered." These Defendants are without knowledge or information

sufficient to form a belief as to the truth or falsity the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 1 of the Complaint. 2. These Defendants admit that Andre Walker resides at 300 Pointer Court, College Park, Georgia 30349 and that, as to these Defendants, venue of this matter is proper in this Court. These Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth or falsity the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 2 of the Complaint. 3. These Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth or falsity the allegations contained in paragraph 3 of the Complaint.

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4. These Defendants deny the allegations contained in paragraph 4 of the Complaint.
5.

These Defendants deny the allegations contained in paragraph 5 of the Complaint. 6. These Defendants admit that the named Defendant "Georgia Politics Unfiltered is the name of a news outlet on the Internet and that it is not a corporate entity. These Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth or falsity the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 6 of the Complaint. CAUSE OF ACTION FOR DEFAMATION: LIBEL AND LIBEL PER SE
7.

These Defendants

incorporate by reference all of its defenses and responses to

paragraphs 1 through and including 6 as if restated herein.
8.

The assertions in paragraph 8 of the Complaint regarding Georgia statutory law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' conduct falls within this statute or is in anyway wrongful, these Defendants deny the allegations contained in paragraph 8 of the Complaint. remaining allegations contained in paragraph 8 of the Complaint.
9.

These Defendants deny the

These Defendants admit that these Defendants, in the exercise of their free speech rights under the Constitutions of Georgia and the United States of America, published true

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statements of fact and OpInIOnS with respect to matters of public interest, concern, or significance and which were acts in furtherance of these Defendants' right of free speech.

These Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 9 of the Complaint.
10.

These Defendants admit that the statements at issue were made in the exercise of these Defendants' right of free speech under the Constitutions of Georgia and the United States of America and that these statements may have been viewed by a number of people. assertions in paragraph 10 of the Complaint regarding The

Georgia statutory law are not

allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' conduct falls within this statute or is in anyway wrongful, these Defendants deny the allegations contained in paragraph 10 of the' Complaint. remaining allegations contained in paragraph 10 of the Complaint.
11.

These Defendants deny the

These Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth or falsity the allegations contained in paragraph 11 of the Complaint. 12. These Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth or falsity the allegations contained in paragraph 12 of the Complaint. 13. The assertions in paragraph 13 of the Complaint regarding Georgia case law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that

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these Defendants' Defendants

conduct falls within this case law or contained in paragraph

IS III

anyway wrongful, these These

deny the allegations

13 of the Complaint.

Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 13 of the Complaint. 14. These Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth or falsity the allegations understood. regarding what unidentified readers may have

These Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 14 of

the Complaint. 15. These Defendants deny the allegations contained in paragraph 15 of the Complaint. 16. The assertions in paragraph 16 of the Complaint regarding Georgia case law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' Defendants conduct falls within this case law or is in anyway wrongful, these contained in paragraph 16 of the Complaint. These

deny the allegations

Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 16 of the Complaint. 17. The assertions in paragraph 17 of the Complaint regarding Georgia case law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' conduct falls within this case law or is in anyway wrongful, these

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Defendants

deny the allegations

contained in paragraph

17 of the Complaint.

These

Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 17 of the Complaint. CAUSE OF ACTION FOR SLANDER AND SLANDER PER SE 18. These Defendants incorporate by reference all of its defenses and responses to

paragraphs 1 through and including 17 as if restated herein. 19. The assertions in paragraph 19 of the Complaint regarding Georgia statutory law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' Defendants conduct falls within this statute or is in anyway wrongful, these contained in paragraph 19 of the Complaint. These

deny the allegations

Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 19 of the Complaint. 20. The assertions in Paragraph 20 of the Complaint regarding Georgia statutory law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' Defendants conduct falls within this statute or is in anyway wrongful, these contained in paragraph 20 of the Complaint. These

deny the allegations

Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 20 of the Complaint.
21.

In response to the allegations contained in paragraph 21 of the Complaint, these Defendants admit that it appears from the statements made by the Plaintiff subsequent to the

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filing of this lawsuit that the Plaintiffwas charged with a felony, aggravated assault, and plead either guilty or nolo contendere, and that the Plaintiff proceeded under the Georgia First Offender Statute regarding that felony. These Defendants admit that they were not aware of the Plaintiffs felony which was treated under the Georgia First Offender Statute until after These Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in

this lawsuit was filed.

paragraph 21 of the Complaint. 22. These Defendants deny the allegations contained in paragraph 22 of the Complaint. 23. The assertions in paragraph 23 of the Complaint regarding Georgia statutory law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' Defendants conduct falls within this statute or is in anyway wrongful, these contained in paragraph 23 of the Complaint. These

deny the allegations

Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 23 of the Complaint. 24. The assertions in paragraph 24 of the Complaint regarding Georgia case law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' Defendants conduct falls within this case law or is in anyway wrongful, these contained in paragraph 24 of the Complaint. These

deny the allegations

Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 24 of the Complaint.

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25 .. These Defendants deny the allegations contained in paragraph 25 of the Complaint. 26. These Defendants deny the allegations contained in paragraph 26 of the Complaint. NEGLIGENT INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS 27. These Defendants incorporate by reference all of its defenses and responses to

paragraphs 1 through and including 26 as if restated herein. 28. The assertions in paragraph 28 of the Complaint regarding Georgia case law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' Defendants conduct falls within this case law or is in anyway wrongful, these contained in paragraph 28 of the Complaint. These

deny the allegations

Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 28 of the Complaint. 29. The assertions in paragraph 29 of the Complaint regarding Georgia case law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' Defendants conduct falls within this case law or is in anyway wrongful, these contained in paragraph 29 of the Complaint. These

deny the allegations

Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 29 of the Complaint.

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30. These Defendants deny the allegations contained in paragraph 30 of the Complaint. INTERFERENCE WITH BUSINESS OR EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS 31. These Defendants incorporate by reference all of its defenses and responses to

paragraphs 1 through and including 30 as if restated herein. 32. These Defendants admit that the Plaintiff is in a position of public trust, has inserted himself into the public realm as a radio host, and is a public figure for the purposes of defamation litigation. These Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to

form a belief as to the truth or falsity the allegations that: (a) the Plaintiff had had any success as a "Political Director" or whether others consider him good or bad at his job; (b) the Chairman of the "Party" received any communications or was influenced by any act of these Defendants; or (c) the Plaintiffs employer thought any less of him because of his criminal

past. These Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth or falsity the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 32 ofthe Complaint. 33. The assertions in paragraph 33 of the Complaint regarding Georgia case law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' Defendants conduct falls within this case law or is in anyway wrongful, these contained in paragraph 33 of the Complaint. These

deny the allegations

Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 33 of the Complaint.

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34. The assertions in paragraph 34 of the Complaint regarding Georgia case law are not allegations of fact nor do they comply with the requirements of the Georgia Civil Practice Act and, thus, these Defendants have no obligation to respond. To the extent Plaintiff implies that these Defendants' Defendants conduct falls within this case law or is in anyway wrongful, these contained in paragraph 34 of the Complaint. These

deny the allegations

Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 34 of the Complaint. 35. These Defendants deny the allegations contained in paragraph 35 of the Complaint as stated. 36. Each and every allegation of the Complaint, including without limitation, all

allegations in the style of the case, all allegations contained in any footnote, all allegations contained in any numbered paragraph, all allegations contained in any unnumbered paragraph, and otherwise which are not expressly admitted herein is hereby denied.

WHEREFORE, having answered the Plaintiffs Complaint, these Defendants pray: (a) that judgment be awarded and entered in favor of Defendants Andre Walker and

Georgia Politics Unfiltered and against Plaintiff as to each and every claim set forth in the Plaintiffs Complaint; (b) (c) (d) that Plaintiff take nothing; that the costs of this action be taxed against Plaintiff; and that Defendants Andre Walker and Georgia Politics Unfiltered have and recover such

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other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper. This JJ..Yaay of May, 2012. AUSTIN & SPARKS, P.C .

. Sparks, Sr. ia Bar No. 669575

By:

Attorneys for e Defendants Andre Walker and Georgia Politics Unfiltered 2974 Lookout Place, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30305 404-869-0100 /404-869-0200 j sparks@austinsparks.com aking@austinsparks.com

(fax)

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IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF FULTON COUNTY STATE OF GEORGIA RASHAD RICHEY; ) Plaintiff,
v.

) ) ) )

) ANDRE WALKER individually and in his Capacities as owner of and webmaster of GEORGIA POLITICS UNFILTERED, GEORGIA POLITICS UNFILTERED, MELANIE GOUX individually and in her capacities as owner and webmaster of BLOG FOR DEMOCRACY, BLOG FOR DEMOCRACY, JANE BRADSHAW, JOHN DOES 1-5, and JANE DOES 1-5; Defendants.
) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

CIVIL ACTION FILE NO.2012-CV-214700

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I HEREBY CERTIFY that I have this day served the following counsel ofrecord with a true and correct copy of the foregoing pleading by depositing said copy in the United States Mail, with sufficient postage affixed thereon, and properly addressed to the following: Quinton G. Washington, Esq. Bell & Washington LLP 196 Peachtree Street SW Suite 310 Atlanta, Georgia 30303 This Reginald J. Lewis, Esq. The Mabra Firm 197 14th Street Suite 200 Atlanta, Georgia 30318

liT day

of May, 2012. AUSTIN & SP By: Andre Georgi

2974 Lookout Place, N.E., Suite 200 Atlanta, Georgia 30305 404-869-0100 / 404-869-0200 (fax) aking@austinsparks.com 13

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