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.

Jones v. Lewis

Court of Appeals of Texas, Third District, Austin

October 11, 2019

Alex E. Jones; lnfowars, LLC; and Free Speech Systems, LLC, Appellants
v.
Scarlett Lewis, Appellee

          FROM THE 98TH DISTRICT COURT OF TRAVIS COUNTY NO. D-1-GN-18-006623, THE HONORABLE SCOTT H. JENKINS, JUDGE PRESIDING

          Before Chief Justice Rose, Justices Triana and Kelly

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          GISELA D. TRIANA, JUSTICE

         Appellants Alex E. Jones; Infowars, LLC; and Free Speech Systems, LLC, appeal from the district court's order denying their motion to dismiss under section 27.003 of the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA). See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 27.003.[1] We will affirm the district court's denial of Appellants' motion to dismiss.

         BACKGROUND

         Scarlett Lewis's son was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012. Lewis sued Appellants in October 2018 for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) related to Appellants' statements in multiple broadcasts disputing whether the shooting that killed Lewis's son really occurred. Appellants filed a motion to dismiss Lewis's claim under the TCPA. Lewis sought limited discovery relating to the motion to dismiss, and the district court entered orders in January and March directing Appellants to respond to Lewis's discovery requests. Because Appellants did not timely respond, the district court held a hearing on a Motion for Sanctions on April 3. At that hearing, Robert Barnes, one of the attorneys for Appellants, agreed to withdraw most of his TCPA motion to dismiss in lieu of turning over the documents. He agreed that the motion would be reduced to a single legal question: "we'll only dispute whether or not someone can bring an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim when they have never been individually identified by any statement." The hearing continued:

THE COURT: You're going to limit your motion to dismiss to a pure question of law whether such a claim can be brought as an intentional infliction claim under the law.
MR. BARNES: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: And you will concede today, and you are for the record, that for the purpose of deciding the motion to dismiss the Court can assume that the statements made by Alex Jones were done with malice, that is to say, he knew they were false and said them anyway.
MR. BARNES: We're not disputing the intent issue as to this motion, that's correct, Your Honor.
THE COURT: So he intended to make false statements. The question is, can you take that intent to make false statements and can an individual bring a claim for intentional infliction on those facts?
MR. BARNES: Precisely, Your Honor. In other words, if the case is -- when someone has not been personally mentioned -- in the defamation context they call it colloquium, which the word colloquial comes from. And if no statement is ever made about that person, can that person bring a claim for defamation or intentional infliction of emotional distress when they have never been mentioned? That --
THE COURT: Well, what you're saying now means they don't even need to put on any affidavits or anything on the hearing on March -- on May 2nd; they ...

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.