In the case of PIE (France)/ASSE/World Heritage v Veronika Beddick and Danielle Grijalva it turns out that the plaintiffs did not have much of a case and had chosen to wait it out rather than take Ms. Grijalva to court. Ms. Grijalva’s and Ms. Beddick’s attorney sent this Letter of Voluntary Dismissal Without Prejudice to the plaintiffs in order to close the case properly.
2007 Sep 09: Affadavit of Bachelot
P.I.E. claims ASSE fired Beddick with just cause. Supposedly filled with a need for revenge, Beddick contacted CSFES. Together, Beddick and CSFES supposedly disseminated falsehoods to French students, their natural parents and French diplomacy. P.I.E. call the Defendants’ actions a campaign of falsehood and disparagement.
2007 Sep 21: Programmes Internationaux D’Echanges v Grijalva
- Defamation, civil conspiracy, interference with business relations and interference with contract. (Appellants’ Appendix (“AA”) 38-49.)
- PIE’s complaint alleged that Grijalva and CSFES made false or misleading statements about PIE, its students and affiliates in the U.S., including ASSE and World Heritage. (AA 40-49.)
- The complaint specifically alleged that Grijalva contacted the parents of a PIE student by email and falsely claimed that “all too often students are placed [by PIE and its affiliates] in the homes of convicted felons and registered sex offenders.” (AA 41.)
- The complaint further alleged that Grijalva contacted the French Consulate regarding the enrollment of a French PIE student into a North Carolina high school, and that
- Grijalva contacted a French PIE student in Missouri by email and said “PIE France is not interested in the safety and welfare of its students.'”(AA 42.)
2007 Sep 21: P.I.E. files Complaint and Motions for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction against Grijalva and Beddick
2007 Dec 20: Preliminary injunction barring Grijalva from contacting PIE’S students, their natural families and host families. (AA 51-54.)
2008 Feb 8: ASSE and World Heritage v Grijalva
- Alleged that Grijalva defamed ASSE, interfered with ASSE’s business relationships and contracts, and disseminated knowingly false, malicious and misleading information to students in the ASSE program. (AA 56-59.)
2008 Mar 11: Notice of Related Case Filed By Danielle Grijalva; CSFES
2008 Mar 11: Grijalva v Brandt (this case)
A complaint filed with a retaliatory motive was not barred by the anti-SLAPP statute, so long as the claims in the complaint arose from statements or conduct independent of ASSE’s participation in the North Carolina litigation.
2008 Mar 24: First Amended Complaint Filed By Danielle Grijalva; CSFES.
2008 Apr 24: Demurrer Filed By ASSE International, Inc.; Helga Brandt.
2008 Apr 24: Motion To Strike Filed By ASSE International, Inc.; Helga Brandt.
2008 May 30: Preliminary Injunction Against Grijalva
2008 Jul 16: Notice of Non-Receipt of Opposition
2008 Jul 21: Ex Parte Application for Late Opposition filed by Danielle Grijalva
2008 Jul 21: Opposition to Motion to Strike filed by Danielle Grijalva
2008 Jul 21: Declaration of Danielle Grijalva
2008 Jul 21: Second Amended Complaint by Danielle Grijalva; CSFES
2008 Jul 22: Declaration of David Allen
2008 Jul 22: Opposition to Ex Parte Filed By ASSE International, Inc.
2008 Jul 24: Ex Parte Denied.
2008 Jul 25: Motion to Strike Granted. Attorney fees denied.
2008 Jul 25: Demurrer off calendar as Moot
2008 Aug 04: Motion for Attorney Fees by Defendants
2008 Oct 17: Opposition by Plaintiff
2008 Oct 31: Attorneys Fees Granted
2009 Mar 08: Appeal Brief
2009 May 01: Reply Brief
Electing to work on one client’s matters at the expense of another client does not constitute excusable neglect …. The trial court properly exercised its discretion to deny consideration of Appellants’ late-filed opposition.
2009 Jul 20: Grijalva-Appeal Decision
ASSE and Brandt did not demonstrate that the defamatory statements alleged in plaintiffs’ amended complaint were made in a judicial proceeding or in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a judicial body.
Accordingly, the trial court erred in concluding that ASSE and Brandt carried their burden of demonstrating that plaintiffs’ action arose from petitioning activity that is protected by the anti-SLAPP statute.
Voluntary dismissal without prejudice
2008 Jun 26: The Oklahoman: Advocate for City Exchange Students Says Order Defies Free Speech
North Country Gazette: Agencies Seek to Silence Student Protection Group