Category Archives: World Heritage

2010 Sep 01: PIE (France)/ASSE/World Heritage v Beddick/Grijalva: 07 CVD 6565 (Forsyth)

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.

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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 Sep 21: Court issues Temporary Restraining Order 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.

2010 Sep 01: PIE (France)/ASSE/World Heritage v Beddick/Grijalva: 07 CVD 6565 (Forsyth)

Voluntary dismissal without prejudice

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Related Links:

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

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2007 Sep 21: Programmes Internationaux D’Echanges v. Grijalva: Conspiracy; Defamation; Tortious Interference

From DMLP

Location of Filing/Threat: North Carolina
Source of Law: North Carolina

Court Name: North Carolina District Court, Forsyth County
Court Type: State

Case Number: 2007-CVD-656

Threat Type: Lawsuit
Date:  09/21/2007
Status: Pending
Location:  North Carolina
Disposition: Injunction Issued
Verdict/Settlement Amount: n/a
Legal Claims: Conspiracy; Defamation; Tortious Interference

PARTIES

Party Issuing Legal Threat: Programmes Internationaux D’Echanges; ASSE International, Inc.; World Heritage, Inc.

Type of Party: Organization
Location of Party: California; New York; France
Legal Counsel: Robert M. Elliot; Richard D. Menaker (Programmes Internationaux D’Echanges)

Party Receiving Legal Threat: Danielle Joyce Grijalva; Veronica Beddick

Type of Party: Individual
Location of Party: California; North Carolina
Legal Counsel: Jennifer Arno (Grijalva)

DESCRIPTION

Programmes Internationaux D’Echanges (P.I.E.), a French nonprofit that organizes student exchange programs, filed suit against Danielle Grijalva, director of the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students (CSFES), over emails and postings on CSFES’s website that criticized the organization’s handling of students. P.I.E.’s complaint asserted claims of defamation, civil conspiracy, interference with contract, and interference with business relationships. The suit also named as a defendant Veronica Beddick, a former employee of ASSE International, a nonprofit that assisted in student placements, alleging that she provided confidential information to Grijalva and assisted in the disputed acts.

In emails and postings to the CSFES website, Grijalva allegedly accused the plaintiff organizations of numerous wrondoings related to their treatment of foreign exchange students.

According to the complaint and other court filings, the accusations included that the organizations failed to place students in schools, failed to place students in permanent homes, placed students in homes with felons, and otherwise violated laws that regulate foreign exchange programs.

According to press reports, Grijalva has said that she sent an email to the father of a foreign exchange student at the student’s request but that she has not engaged in any “mass effort” to contact students, their families, or host families.

P.I.E.’s complaint included a request for a temporary restraining order against Grijalva and Beddick. On September 21, 2007, the court granted the request, ordering the defendants to cease communicating with P.I.E. students as well as the students’ familes, host familes, and educational institutions. The temporary restraining order, by its terms, expired after 10 days unless the court renewed it.

On Dec. 12, 2007, the court granted a preliminary injunction against Grijalva that reiterated the prohibition on direct communication with students and others involved with the plaintiffs and further ordered her to refrain from disseminating false or misleading information about the plaintiff organizations via email or her website.

On May 30, 2008, the court granted a near-identical preliminary injunction against Grijalva brought by P.I.E. associates (and plaintiff-intervenors) ASSE and World Heritage, Inc.

2008 May 07: Agencies Seek To Silence Child Protection Group

Posted on Wednesday, 7 of May , 2008 at 10:24 am

OCEANSIDE, CA—A child protection organization is being taken to court by student exchange placement agencies due to efforts to protect foreign exchange students.   

Danielle Grijalva of Oceanside, CA, director of the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students (CSFES), will be in court in North Carolina on May 15 facing student placement agencies, which have obtained a restraining order to thwart her efforts. At issue is whether a child protection advocate should be restrained from reporting incidences of abuse of foreign exchange students. 

CSFES is a non-profit advocacy group for the protection of foreign exchange students. A New York teacher allegedly witnessed the physical assault of a French female exchange student by her ASSE International, Inc.  representative and sent a complaint to ASSE. The teacher provided the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students (CSFES) a copy of his complaint, complete with translated letters from four exchange students who witnessed the assault. The teacher’s complaint was forwarded by CSFES to the Buffalo Police Department, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the U.S. Department of State. 

On Sept. 26, 2007, the ASSE partner in France, Programmes Internationaux D’Echanges (PIE France) filed a Complaint and Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary Injunction and Expedited Discovery against the director of CSFES. ASSE and World Heritage, Inc. filed a separate Complaint and Motion for Temporary Restraining Order against the director of CSFES.“Do I believe this is an intimidation tactic?  Absolutely.”  said Danielle Grijalva, director of CSFES.  “Let me emphasize that children’s safety must be first and foremost in foreign exchanges and every other aspect of education.  We want to ensure that visitors to our country enjoy a safe and enriching academic and cultural experience that builds bridges for future collaboration, be it social, educational or economic.”Grijalva remains firm, “Abuse by those in positions of trust will not be tolerated.”  The May 15 hearing will be held at the Forsyth County Hall of Justice, 200 North Main Street, Courtroom 4C, Winston-Salem, North Carolina  

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1999 Jul 27: Exchange student testifies in rape case

1999 Jul 29: Witness: Student, host father had consensual sex

1999 Aug 05: Company blamed in exchange student sex case

1999 Aug 05: Exchange student may get USD 649 000 for assaults

2000 Nov 15: 233 F. 3d 441 – Kristin Beul, et al. v. Asse International, Inc., et al.

2007 Sep 03: Complaint to USSD re. ASSE temporary homes

2007 Sep 21: Programmes Internationaux D’Echanges v. Grijalva

2008 Jun 26: Advocate for exchange students says order defies free speech

2008 Nov 03: Grijalva v. Brandt

2009 Feb 04: Foreign exchange program controversy