Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cox v. Benbella Books Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

April 10, 2019

FRANCIS SCHAEFER COX, Plaintiff,
v.
BENBELLA BOOKS INC. and WILLIAM FULTON, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JANE J. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court are a litany of dispositive and nondispositive motions:

(1) Defendant BenBella's Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Doc. 10);
(2) Plaintiff's Motion for Voluntary Dismissal without prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2) (Doc. 19);
(3) Defendant BenBella's Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code § 27.001, et seq. (Doc. 20);
(4) Defendant BenBella's Motion for Hearing (Doc. 21);
(5) Plaintiff's Motion to Strike (Doc. 27) Defendant BenBella's Answer to the Complaint (Doc. 16), Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code § 27.001 (Doc. 21), and Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Voluntary Dismissal (Doc. 23); and
(6) Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions (Doc. 29).

         For the reasons stated below, the Court converts in part Plaintiff's Motion for Voluntary Dismissal without prejudice to a dismissal with prejudice and GRANTS the Motion (Doc. 19). Specifically, the Court DISMISSES with prejudice Plaintiff's claims for defamation, defamation per se, defamation by implication, and intentional infliction of emotional distress based on Defendants' allegedly defamatory conduct; however, Plaintiff's claims for misappropriation of name or likeness and for intentional infliction of emotional distress to the extent that they are not based on defamatory conduct are DISMISSED without prejudice.

         I.

         BACKGROUND

         This dispute involves the publication of an allegedly defamatory and misleading book by Defendants[1] titled “The Blood of Patriots: How I Took Down An Anti-Government Militia with Beer, Bounty Hunting, and Badassery.” Plaintiff, Schaeffer Cox-who is a character in this book that chronicles his arrest, trial, and conviction-brought suit on December 20, 2018, against Defendants based on the publication of this book for defamation, defamation per se, defamation by implication, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and misappropriation of name or likeness. Doc. 1, Compl., 1-2. On February 1, 2019, Defendant BenBella filed a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss arguing that Plaintiff's defamation-based claims fail because they are barred by the applicable one-year statute of limitations in Texas and that the remaining claims fail to state a claim. See generally Doc. 10, Def.'s Rule 12(b)(6) Mot. to Dismiss.

         Instead of filing a response in opposition to Defendant BenBella's Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff-conceding that if the book was indeed published on September 19, 2017, Texas's one-year statute of limitations would effectively bar his defamation-based claims-filed a Motion for Voluntary Dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2) on March 11, 2019, seeking a dismissal from this Court of the entire case without prejudice. Doc. 19, Pl.'s Mot. to Dismiss, 1. That very same day Defendant BenBella filed another Motion to Dismiss under the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code § 27.001, et seq.-also known as Texas's anti-SLAPP statute-arguing that Plaintiff's lawsuit was aimed at chilling Defendants' speech and thus implicates their First Amendment rights and is subject to dismissal on this ground as well. See generally Doc. 20, Def's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.