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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    3

    Default How to File a Motion to Dismiss in Federal Court

    95% certain I'll be sued for libel in federal court. I want the venue to be in the state where I live and where the libel originated.
    When I get a summons, do I first file a Motion to Dismiss, and then wait for him them to refile their complaint in the proper venue?
    Or do I file a Motion for Change of Venue?

    I need some help on understanding how the system works, thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
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    35,894

    Default Re: Motion to Dismiss Complaint of Libel in Federal Ct

    Do you have an attorney?

    If you're about to be sued for libel, you really have to do whatever it takes to get an attorney on board. These suits can take years - and tens of thousands of dollars - to litigate. You can be buried by legal fees trying to defend such a suit.

    Can you explain the circumstances though?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Motion to Dismiss Complaint of Libel in Federal Ct

    This is a public forum, so I can't really share much. Yes, I will definitely have an attorney on board, but he wants to "wait" until I get the summons.

    And you're right -- this will indeed cost thousands.
    So I'd like to be able to save a few initial bucks by filing my own Motion to Dismiss, or whatever I'm supposed to file.
    A jumpstart so to speak.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,774

    Default Re: Motion to Dismiss Complaint of Libel in Federal Ct

    People THREATEN suits all the time. Your attorney is correct in that there's no point in doing anything until one is actually filed.

    You can't just say I want it dismissed because it would be more convenient that it be heard near where I live.
    If the court filed in has no juridiction, you can certainly make that point in a motion.

    Just because you libeled him from your home state, if you did so in away that caused injury to him in his state (i.e., over the internet, etc.) then the the court may indeed have jurisdiction. There was a decision in the Fourth Circuit (Virginia) that may lean in your favor but that's not set a national precedent (Young V. New Haven Advocate, et al).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Motion to Dismiss Complaint of Libel in Federal Ct

    Yes, his complaint will be that I libeled him in a way that caused injury to him in his state over the internet. That's a no-brainer.

    According to the attorney, I have the right to choose the venue. So let's go with that assumption.

    Can someone help me with my original questions?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Motion to Dismiss Complaint of Libel in Federal Ct

    One of the most important first things is to ask for a change of venue. For one thing, it greatly increases the costs for the plaintiff who might decide it isn't worth it. This is where you first really need that attorney. He'll probably ask for dismissal due to lack of jurisdiction, or ask for a change of venue and apparently he thinks he has cause to get it.

    That motion, and he might ask for both as alternative theories, won't cost a lot in the big scheme and it's vital to you.

    Damage awards in libel cases tend to be small, although there are exceptions. If sued, you first try to settle because it might be cheaper.

    Most threats of suits are a bluff. Wait it out.

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