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Jonas v. Lake County Leader

United States District Court, D. Montana

June 12, 2013

EDWIN R. JONAS III, Plaintiff,
v.
LAKE COUNTY LEADER, EMILIE RICHARDSON, and BRYCE GRAY, Defendants

Page 1118

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1119

Edwin Ritter Jonas, III, Plaintiff, Pro se, La Quinta, CA.

For Lake County Leader, Emilie Richardson, Defendants: Peter M. Meloy, LEAD ATTORNEY, MELOY LAW FIRM, Helena, MT.

For Bryce Gray, Defendant: Peter M. Meloy, MELOY LAW FIRM, Helena, MT.

OPINION

Dana L. Christensen, Chief United States District Judge.

ORDER

Plaintiff Edwin R. Jonas brings this action against a newspaper, its editor, and one of its reporters for allegedly publishing three defamatory articles about him during his campaign for election as Lake County Justice of the Peace. The newspaper, Defendant Lake County Leader, its editor, Defendant Bryce Gary, and its reporter, Defendant Emilie Richardson (collectively " Defendants" ), moved for dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch issued findings and recommendations

Page 1120

granting Defendants motion in part and denying it in part. Plaintiff and Defendants timely filed objections and are therefore entitled to de novo review of the specified findings and recommendations to which they object. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The portions of the findings and recommendations not specifically objected to will be reviewed for clear error. McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach., Inc., 656 F.2d 1309, 1313 (9th Cir. 1981). For the reasons stated below, this Court adopts Judge Lynch's findings and recommendations in full. The parties are familiar with the factual and procedural background of this case so it will not be repeated here.

I. Plaintiff's Objections to Judge Lynch's Findings and Recommendations

First, Plaintiff objects to Judge Lynch analyzing each of the three articles separately and argues they should be viewed as one, serial pattern of libelous conduct. However, Plaintiff fails to cite any relevant authority to support this objection and, as such, this Court will view these articles as three separate alleged acts of libel.

Next, Plaintiff argues that because Judge Lynch considered the three newspaper articles in ruling on the 12(b)(6) motion, he should have also taken judicial notice of the entire record when making his findings and recommendations. Specifically, Plaintiff argues, the record should have included Plaintiff's prior motions before the Lake County District Court showing the underlying lawsuit between Plaintiff and his ex-wife was disputed. However, this Court does not need to rely on materials outside of the record because all Plaintiff's allegations are taken as true for purposes of ...


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