By US~Observer Staff
Douglas County, OR — On or about July 12, 2006 the Josephine County residents who actively participated in the protesting of Club 71, the county’s only strip club, and who were targeted by club owner Larry Lacey, his attorney Claud Ingram, and a Club 71 regular patron Greg Staton in two separate but strikingly similar lawsuits, have filed suit against Ingram and Staten claiming, “damages for wrongful use of civil proceedings (ORS § 31.230), intentional, reckless, or negligent infliction of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy.”
The protestors, Dorothy Sims, Herbert Gelwick, Jerry Franklin, Jeanette Franklin, Tiffany Gendron, Carl Pierce, Jan Pierce, Garry Rose, Olivia Wytcherley, and Carol Ahlf all contend in their lawsuit filing that Lacey, through his attorney Ingram, and Greg Staten, did maliciously file suit against them for the following, “unlawful and improper purposes: to retaliate against Plaintiffs for their exercise of First Amendment rights; to intimidate and discourage Plaintiffs from engaging in further demonstration activity at Club 71; to harass them; and to cause them severe emotional distress.” Both prior suits against the named protestors were dismissed. In Lacey’s case against them he was ordered to pay approximately $19,000 in attorneys’ fees, and Staten’s suit Staten moved to voluntarily dismiss his action against these named individuals as he admitted under oath that he had no knowledge that any of the defendants (those demonstrators named herein) committed any of the acts that formed the basis of his lawsuit.
The protestors listed above have been successfully represented by the AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION (AFA) CENTER FOR LAW & POLICY (www.afa.net) a not-for-profit organization who according to their web site, “responds to the requests of Christians for legal representation involving first amendment free speech and free exercise rights as well as the constitutional issues involved in the continuing battle against pornography and obscenity.”
The protestors are seeking total compensatory damages in excess of $10 million, punitive damages to be determined by a jury, litigation and attorneys’ fees, as well as any other relief they may be entitled to.
Editor’s Note: The US~Observer will keep you informed on the status of this suit as it unfolds.