More Bizarre Lawsuits

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Former Utah Man Wins First Round Against Trump in a Court Case

When you are driving across the interstate or watching a local TV station, you are bound to see advertisements for car accident lawyers or personal injury lawyers, but you will not see ads for legal assistance for things like a man suing the President for violating his right to free speech. Yes, this is a real case and it does have ties to Utah. 

Nick Jack Pappas, a writer, comedian, activist, former University of Utah grad, and Salt Lake Tribune writer was blocked by President Trump on Twitter. After replying to the President’s comment about protecting the citizens of this country when the courts overturned his travel ban on Muslims, Pappas’ responded with his own tweet: “Trump is right. The government should protect the people. That’s why the courts are protecting us from him.”

Within two hours, Pappas’ Twitter account was no longer able to make comments on any of the President’s tweets. It was not Pappas original intent to persecute the President, rather, the Knight First Amendment Institute contacted him (and six other plaintiffs) to stand for his first amendment rights by taking action against the President. The claim was that the President’s Twitter account is a public forum and denying others’ abilities to express their opinions is a violation of the first amendment.

At the end of the lawsuit, Pappas’ side came out on top in this first round. The judge suggested that the President could ‘mute’ the account so he would not have to see Pappas’ tweets, but not block his account entirely. Pappas stated, “Personally, I don’t mind being muted, as long as I can write under the account and other people can see what dissenting voices have to say, that’s what matters to me.”

While the first round of the case is closed, Pappas is still blocked by the President.

Parking Enforcement Company Sues a College Student for $500,000

One of the more surprising Utah lawsuits that ended last year involves a parking enforcement company that fines, boots and tows vehicles that violate parking regulations set up by apartment complexes and other dwellings. This company sought $500,000 from a BYU student for defamation and intentional interference with economic relations.  

Towards the end of 2017, Carl Prince, a recent college graduate, then attending Brigham Young University, took UPE, University Parking Enforcement, to a small claims court for not providing evidence for why they towed his vehicle after it was already booted. In the end, Prince won the case and earned himself enough to reimburse himself the cost of being booted and towed.

Move forward to this last year and the UPE felt as if they were wronged by Prince. They claimed that by setting up a GoFundMe account for his appeal and stating that “hundreds” of people have left negative comments on BBB and Yelp, Prince was guilty of defamation and illegal conduct. With both of those claims being valued at $250,000 each, UPE was looking to press charges for $500,000 against Prince.

In June of 2018, the lawsuit was dismissed WITHOUT prejudices by the UPE, which means that the case has been dropped but not permanently. If they dismissed the case WITH prejudice then it would have meant that any related case could never be brought up again. Usually, when a lawsuit is dismissed without prejudice, it is so that more information can be gathered before the plaintiff goes forward with their case. For now, the case is closed.

Here at Robert J. DeBry, we may get a unique case here and there, but with teams of car accidents lawyers, personal injury attorneys, and wrongful death attorneys, we usually cover cases that are more common for people looking for help after an accident. However, if you feel as if you have been dealt with any injustice and would like to take legal action, we have the expertise to assist individuals in all kinds of unique situations. For any help, call us today!

Citations:

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/05/23/former-utah-writer-blocked-by-trump-on-twitter-wins-round-1-in-court/

https://www.ksl.com/article/46343544/provo-parking-enforcement-company-sues-student-for-500k

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=46356262&nid=148


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