Tag Archive for lawsuit

Guest Post: Attorney Tom Roberts “Constitutional Liberties Matter!”

“Constitutional Liberties Matter!

I didn’t think a police officer would silence criticism using a lawsuit – but that didn’t seem to stop one from filing a $1.35 Million lawsuit. If not for a Virginia civil rights law firm standing up and protecting the liberties guaranteed by the 1st Amendment, the suit would have silenced one citizen’s criticism, chilled the speech and rights of others and made all our lives more dangerous.

Nathan Cox, an Army veteran of the Iraq War and law enforcement accountability advocate, attempted to exercise his First Amendment right to video tape a simple traffic-stop. He was pulled over and then charged for not displaying a license plate on the front of his vehicle in addition to another non-moving vehicle violation.

What followed rises to the level of absurd.  The Virginia State Trooper did not want to be in the news or subject to public scrutiny.  After Nathan Cox posted video of the stop on the internet with comments, the trooper filed a lawsuit against him for defamation.  But she didn’t even show up for court, so the case was dismissed.  The harassment from the Trooper didn’t stop there. She appealed the dismissal and then dropped the action— only to file another suit in the Circuit Court, and instead of suing for $5,000 as she did the first time, she sued for $1.35 Million. This was an almost 27,000% increase in alleged damages.

Nathan Cox, without any ability to pay for a defense, asked the Virginia civil rights law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C. to defend him and the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.  This is the same law firm that recently won in the United States 4th Circuit Court of Appeals the case protecting police officers’ rights to criticize policies of police departments on Facebook which they believed endangered officers’ and citizens’ safety–Liverman v. City of Petersburg.  This is the third time that the law firm has successfully defended Nathan Cox’s 1st Amendment rights.

In evidence obtained by Nathan through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Trooper’s own equipment recorded her admitting that she “didn’t want to be on YouTube or whatever.” This belied her claims in her lawsuit that she thought Nathan’s recording cell phone was a gun—it was obvious Nathan Cox was video-recording the interaction with his cell phone.  The law firm defended Nathan on grounds the Trooper’s suit was procedurally deficient and the statements were not defamatory and were protected speech under the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution.

After hours and hours of legal work, multiple motions, discovery and multiple court hearings the court rejected all the Trooper’s claims against Nathan Cox and dismissed the lawsuit.  The case is McKenney v. Cox, in Hanover County Circuit Court, Virginia.

Nathan Cox now lives in Brevard County Florida with his newlywed wife.  He is doing his best to pay for the legal fees from his job providing local pet care services.

Freedom Works Foundation has created this Go Fund Me page to give this newlywed a chance to start his new life with his beautiful wife without the staggering weight of the legal bill over his head and to give you a chance to stand with Nathan to defend liberty.

A simple act can help secure freedom, protect free speech guaranteed under the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution – and would be an amazing gift to these newlyweds.

Any funds received in excess of the legal bill will be used by Freedom Works Foundation, a Virginia non-profit organization, to defend liberties in similar cases, liberties for which our brave men and women have given so much to protect–liberties officers are sworn to protect!  Your gift will be used to fight on the front lines the battle to defend liberty from enemies within who would destroy liberties like Free Speech guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

Thank you for being willing to touch a life, to stand with Nathan Cox and Freedom Works Foundation, to make a difference, to give freedom a chance, to make Freedom Work!

$1.35M Defamation Lawsuit Against VA Cop Block Founder: Final Outcome

For those who’ve been following the Civil Lawsuit Saga that I have been dealing with, in which Virginia State Trooper Melanie McKenney filed a defamation suit against me which all transpired from a traffic stop she initiated back in 2012 – I have your most recent update!

September 8th, of this 2016, my attorney Jonathan Arthur, an associate over at Thomas Roberts & Associates was in court to deal with the one final claim against me. I will take a moment to remind you that the last time we were in court over this ordeal, was on November 6th, 2015. You can find the filed complaint against me, the pleadings my attorney responded with AND the most recent opinion the Judge issued after that November 6th court date, here. I digress.

The results are in from the September 8th 2016 hearing!

Please check out Thomas Roberts‘ excellent write up regarding the outcome of the case here. Mr. Roberts is a founder and the principal member of the firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C. I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Jonathan Arthur or anyone else at the firm for legal matters and most especially civil rights/ Constitutional situations!

I am in great need of donations for my legal defense. Please consider making a donation here. If you prefer your donations to be in the form of Bitcoin, send a message to the VA Cop Block Facebook Page letting us know.

For anyone interested in reading some other articles written about this situation, Check out the Fox News Article, DailyMail Article, Photography is Not a Crime ArticleRichmond’s NBC12 Article.

Civil Lawsuit Update: Cox’s Attorney’s respond to $1.35M lawsuit(Updated 12/11/15)

McKenney ordered him from his car, attempted to pull a cell phone from his hands because Cox was video recording the interaction, obstructed the collection of evidence and violated Cox's First and Fourth Amendment Rights.

“McKenney ordered him from his car, attempted to pull a cell phone from his hands because Cox was video recording the interaction, obstructed the collection of evidence and violated Cox’s First and Fourth Amendment Rights.”

(SEE TWO UPDATES REGARDING CASE AT BOTTOM OF ARTICLE)

On June 20th, Virginia Cop Block published the news about Virginia State Trooper Melanie McKenney filing yet another Civil Lawsuit against Virginia Cop Block Founder Nathan Cox; going from a $5K lawsuit to now a $1.35 Million dollar lawsuit.

Cox’s Attorney’s over at Thomas Robert’s and Associates located in Richmond have come out of the gates swinging filing two pleadings along with their own exhibits in hopes of getting this frivolous lawsuit dismissed, this time for good.

The first pleading covers the Statute of Limitations.
Taken from the introduction:

“(1) This Suit is nothing more than a bad-faith, baseless attempt by State Trooper McKenney to hide behind her private persona and silence Nathan Cox – to retaliate against him for his First Amendment protected political activity – by issuing him a million dollar ticket.”

(2) State Trooper McKenney filed suit in small claims court on March 12, 2014. That suit was dismissed, appealed and then non-suited. By the time State Trooper McKenney filed her March 13, 2014 suit, the statute of limitations for any statement complained of had long since run. Complaint 4-9. The Complaint, State Trooper McKenney expressly claims that ‘[t]his case was previously non-suited and is being refiled within six months of the prior non-suit.’

You can read the rest of those pleadings here: Hanover Circuit Filing -1st Special Plea in Bar – Statute of Limitations

As for the second pleadings which had video exhibits, which were that of Cox’s cell phone video and the DashCam video that he acquired by way of a FOIA Request (which the videos can be found on VA Cop Block’s YouTube channel); this pleading goes after the “Truth of all actionable statements.”

The opening Introduction of that pleading states:

“I asked him to get out of the car and he puts a camera in my face” “I don’t want myself on any type of YouTube or whatever.” (Quotes pulled from Dashboard Camera Audio)

“I asked him to get out of the car and he puts a camera in my face”
“I don’t want myself on any type of YouTube or whatever.”
(Quotes pulled from Dashboard Camera Audio)

“(1) In this case, State Trooper M.H McKenney sues Nathan Cox for defamation after Cox shared accounts of a traffic stop in which McKenney ordered him from his car, attempted to pull a cell phone from his hands because Cox was video recording the interaction, obstructed the collection of evidence and violated Cox’s First and Fourth Amendment Rights.

(2) To Prevail, McKenney must show the statements Cox made are both actionable and false. Many of the alleged defamatory statements are not actionable as a matter of law. As for the rest, the video and other documents related to the incident show that these statements are true or substantially true. While McKenney may be personally offended by some of the statements or the mode of their expression, they are not actionable. Indeed, they constitute protected speech under the First Amendment. Therefore this case should be promptly dismissed. Alternatively, any purported statements the Court determines not to be actionable or which are true should be stricken before the case proceeds further.”

Read the rest of these pleadings here:
Hanover Circuit Filing – 2nd Special Plea in Bar – Truth of All Actionable Statements

Cox’s attorney’s will be releasing a video that will be an exhibit in this case and when that video is released, this article will be updated with the embedded video. 

Continue to follow this case by following Virginia Cop Block on Facebook, Twitter and the website. 

Nathan Cox is seeking donations for his Legal Defense Fund to help pay the cost of his attorneys. Consider making a donation and helping Cox protect hist First Amendment rights and perhaps, although it’s not clear, this case could help set a precedent in protecting YOUR first amendment rights in the process.  Click on the image below to make a donation. Cox has stated he’ll be sending personalized hand-written thank you cards, to everyone who donates.

 

Also, to view the Trooper’s 11 page complaint you can find that here: $1.35M Civil Lawsuit / 11 Page Complaint.

UPDATE: November 7, 2015

Yesterday, November 6, Nathan Cox was back in court dealing with this RIDICULOUS 1.35 Million Dollar lawsuit, brought on by a Virginia State Trooper named Melanie McKenney. If you have had a bad experience with Trooper Melanie McKenney, please private message the  facebook page or submit an entry on the website and let us know! The following is what Nathan published regarding the half day in court:

“Today was a great day in court!
My team of attorneys did an excellent job!
The court will be issuing letter opinions on the pleas filed by my lawyers that should get rid of most if not all of this ridiculous case.

The court denied the motion of the plaintiff attempting to deny access to the files of the state police related to Trooper Melanie McKenney. The documents produced will be subject to a protective order to be used only in the defense of the case.

My attorneys have been working hard on the case and need to get compensated. Please consider supplementing what I’m able to pay them. The work that they are doing is vital to protect free speech and the First Amendment, not just for me but for others who choose to criticize the government. You can help protect our 1st Amendment rights by contributing to the legal defense fund here:
http://www.robertslaw.org/defense-fund/

I appreciate the continued support in this matter–it really means a lot. I’m very grateful to those folks who’ve sent me encouraging messages, who’ve chipped in here and there financially and who appreciate the work I’ve done for the cause of freedom. Thank you!

I’ll write an update on VirginiaCopBlock.org after the judge issues his opinion”

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Update: December 11, 2015

Followers & Supporters !!!! We have FANTASTIC news regarding the $1.35 Million lawsuit against Virginia Cop Block Founder, Nathan Cox that was meant to silence him. The following is a statement from him:

“My attorneys really hit a home run in court at the end of last month! The court has issued its (3 page) order which stemmed from my attorneys making a few arguments why it should all be thrown out.

The court found that the Appeal by Virginia State Trooper McKenney was improper, the non-suit was a nullity, and therefore ALL statements/ claims with the exception of just ONE HAVE BEEN THROWN OUT!!

The last existing claim is something I said back on March 28th, 2015 when I was invited to speak to some University of Richmond Law Students.

This statement is: “she pretty much assaulted me.” Which my attorneys should be able to dispose of this claim at a summary judgment. If not before.

I want to give a HUGE thank you to my attorneys over at Thomas Roberts & Associates whom I HIGHLY recommend for especially Constitutional matters and police matters respectively.

I also want to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who’s supported me in various ways whether through encouragement, prayers, donations to my legal fund, etc. Your support truly means the world to me.

More updates on the way as they come out and finally get this behind me!”

VA State Trooper McKenney Sues VA Cop Block Founder Nathan Cox for $1.35 Million

Nathan Cox & Tom Roberts after the $10,000 VCU Settlement.

Nathan Cox & Tom Roberts after the $10,000 VCU Settlement.

Written by: Nathan Cox

In March of 2014, local Richmond media (along with Virginia Cop Block) reported that I was being sued by Virginia State Trooper Melanie McKenney as a result from a traffic stop that transpired on Memorial Day weekend 2012, nearly two years prior, in which I later wrote an article about. The initial suit was for “defamation” which was filed in small claims court and she was suing me for $5,000.

The initial “warrant in-debt” I received had no attached complaint or allegations and I had no idea what it was about. I later formed the opinion that McKenney was upset about something I perhaps wrote in the article about the stop. The article also included information I acquired by way of a Freedom of Information Act Request.  This information I received included electronic forms of communication, radio transmissions and her dashboard camera.

During this first go around, Read more