Hunt v. Patten

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

03/29/2006

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

Florida

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Former city manager of Venice, Florida, George Hunt, sued VeniceFlorida.com writer John Patten and local resident Sylvia Parrish for defamation. Hunt had left his post in January 2004 after environmental violations by the city utilities department surfaced. Hunt claims in his lawsuit... read full description
Parties

Party Issuing Legal Threat: 

George Hunt

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

John Patten; Sylvia Parrish

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Florida

Location of Party: 

  • Florida

Legal Counsel: 

Peter Baranowicz (for Patten, Withdrawn); Stanley E. Marable (for Patten); Joseph Colombo (for Parrish)
Description

Former city manager of Venice, Florida, George Hunt, sued VeniceFlorida.com writer John Patten and local resident Sylvia Parrish for defamation.

Hunt had left his post in January 2004 after environmental violations by the city utilities department surfaced. Hunt claims in his lawsuit that Patten and Parrish conspired to spread lies about him to get him fired and keep him from finding another job. Specifically, Hunt claims that Patten and Parish contacted his current and potential employers and told them that he was about to be arrested for violating federal environmental laws while working as Venice city manager. He maintains that Patten and Parrish made these statements in emails and phone calls. Patten had been a longtime critic of Hunt in his writing for veniceflorida.com.

Hunt sued Patten and Parrish in Florida state court in March 2006. In March 2007, the court ordered Patten to pay approximately $2500 in attorney's fees for failing to provide documents to Hunt's attorney in a timely fashion. Patten subsequently replaced his lawyer. In July 2007, the court dismissed Patten's motion for a more definite statement, and Patten and Parrish filed their answers.

As of April 18, 2008 the case remains pending. 

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Email
Verbal

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Florida

Source of Law: 

  • Florida

Court Name: 

Florida Circuit Court, Sarasota County

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

2006 CA 002857 SC
CMLP Information (Private)

CMLP Notes: 

Secondary case number: 582006CA0028570000SC; SB Reviewed; to-do: get case documents, but this may be hard because the Florida Circuit Court website says that court documents are only available in person