My Freedom of Speech is NOT Negotiable
When I learned of this frivolous case, I wasn't concerned but I also thought it would be thrown own because of the foolish claims. I also am reminded that this is a small town in Mississippi where judges and attorneys are generally friends. As a result, I don't take anything lightly. Thankfully, I am aware of the laws but that's not a guarantee of justice. I'm still laughing at the fact that there's an attorney that made a claim that reporting events happening at city hall was considered stalking. The lengths some people will go to try to trample your civil rights.
There's so many issues plaguing the City of Lumberton but they're going to put the city's business on the backburner to attend a trial to silence the Lumberton Informer. It's no secret that the officials of Lumberton continue to under-budget, under manage and overspend but they're spending an excessive amount of time focused on what I have to say. To be clear, I blog to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. It's discouraging to thing how many people are shocked and/or offended by honesty and how few by deceit. Welcome to the backwards City of Lumberton. When I was served the papers for the lawsuit, I posted a copy. Most of the responses I received were from people asking "Can a blogger be sued by a public official?" Well, the sad truth is that almost anybody can sue you for almost anything these days. Hence the case of Merlene Wall vs Jonathan Griffith d/b/a The Lumberton Informer.
Despite the fact that I received comments from people that were concerned about the relationship between Ducker and Judge Andrews, Ducker must prove that I published a false statement of fact about the plaintiff that harmed the plaintiff's reputation. Let's break it down. What suffering occured because of the posts in the Lumberton Informer. According to the 2015 budget, she 's getting paid more than the other department heads, her department is the only department that continues to grow while ever other department has suffered severe cuts, all training for the city clerk is approved and every request she present to the board (security cameras) is granted. So where's the suffrage? Regardless of how many questionable witnesses presented, I am acutely aware that truth is the best defense against libel. Based on the details documented in the paperwork I received, one would think it would be difficult to obtain an attorney to defend the fact that you're offended but we also know that they're a greedy lot. (That's an opinion, not a statement of fact.) I'm thinking that's where Ben Winston came into the picture. I'm sure he pulled some strings to get his buddy on this case because he definitely want to have the Lumberton Informer silenced and if he must hid behind the slip of his clerk to get it done it wouldn't be outside his character.
But the case is more complicated that it may appear. Since the city clerk is not your average, everyday, run of the mill person but an public figure that mean she must prove actual malice which is a higher burden of proof. In order to win this case, Merlene must prove that I knew the statement wasn't true. Now, how can a person claim to know what was in the mind of another individual? The fact that this case has made it this far is amazing and I must get off the internet so I can rest my mind and be prepared to go into battle on tomorrow. I am thankful for the prayers and messages from those that support me as I fight for transparency in the City of Lumberton. Someone sent me a text of a scripture from the Message bible and it reads as thus:
"But not weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged. Any accuser who takes you to court will be dismissed as a liar. This is what God's servants can expect. I'll see to it that everything words out for the best." -Isaiah 54:17