November 2005

GGR / Wards vs. Laird, Sayer & Broden
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Last updated:  September 2013

In August 2005, Burt and Tracy Ward and Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions filed suit against Barbara Laird and Marc Sayer 
and 2 other individuals in the Orange County Superior Court, in an attempt to stop them from speaking out to the public about their
rescue operation and about how they have drastically impacted other peoples' lives as a result of adopting Great Danes from their
organization.


The suit alleges 7 separate Causes of Action.
Defamation (Libel) of Burt and Tracy
Defamation (Trade Libel) of Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions Inc.
Intentional Interference With Potential Economic Advantage of Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions Inc.
Negligent Interference With Potential Economic Advantage of Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions Inc.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress of Burt and Tracy
Negligence
Injunctive Relief
Their attempts to intimidate and bully people will not prevent us from continuing to try to keep people informed. That sort of behavior
may have worked for them in the past, but they are dealing with a new mindset now.  We are careful to verify and document what
we publish, or to clearly state when we are voicing an opinion or theorizing, and we believe we are within our rights under the First
Amendment to speak out on these issues. Gentle Giants is a 501c3 public charity, and as such they are subject to public scrutiny.
What happens there is of interest to other adoptors, other rescues, to public shelters and other agencies, and to the public in
general. The public has a right to know how this public charity conducts themselves.

The Wards and Gentle Giants brought suit against their local newspaper, the Press Enterprise two years ago, over a story about
waste runoff. On July 23, 2004, the Riverside Superior Court dismissed the lawsuit as a meritless SLAPP and the Wards were
ordered to pay the defendants $51,000 in attorney fees and court costs.

In our investigations, we heard from many adopters and others that Burt and Tracy Ward often threatens lawsuits, along with threats
to "repossess" dogs adopted from Gentle Giants, as a way to intimidate people and keep them from speaking out or taking action. 
In part, these intimidation efforts have been successful, but only because people were not aware of their rights or were afraid of
being sued. A rescue may be able to sue you for breach of contract if you fail in some way to abide by the legally enforceable
portions of the contract, and thereby get a monetary judgment against you. But not all portions of a contract are necessarily legally
enforceable and failure to abide by an unenforceable clause or section should not be grounds for breach of contract. Laws vary
from state to state. So it is always best to consult a lawyer, and to know exactly what your rights are. It is much harder to bully
someone who knows their rights and responsibilities under the law. Bullies do not want you to know your rights.
What are we doing about it?
October 2005
Our attorneys have filed  "Special Motions to Strike" the lawsuit as a meritless SLAPP.  This is a Meritless Law Suit. !!!

•   Click here to view a copy of the Laird's Special Motion to strick filed on Oct. 21, 2005

•   Click here to view a copy of the Laird's Declaration to the Special Motion to Strick filed on October 21, 2005

•   Click here to view a copy of the Sayer & Broden's Special Motion to strick filed on Oct. 24, 2005

•   Click here to view a copy of the Sayer & Broden's Declaration to the Special Motion to Strick filed on October 24, 2005

•   Click here to view a copy of Judge Moberly's Granting the Special Motion to Strick filed on February 24, 2006




To learn more about California Anti-SLAPP Laws (Stragetic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) visit www.casp.net
(California Anti-Slapp Project)

The State of California has set up laws to protect individuals from being sued as a result of informing the public of safety and public
concerns



Update 10/27/05 - The Wards are back in court today trying to force Sayer to shut down his website. Sayer has a hearing at 1:30
this afternoon on their emergency request for a temporary restraining order pending a ruling on their request for a permanent
injunction.

STRIKE ONE:
Update 10/27/05 1:30 P.M.- The judge tossed out Burt Ward's request for a temporary restraining order, telling them he saw little to
no chance they could prevail in their request for a permanent injunction so he saw no reason to issue a temporary restraining order.
They have requested and been granted a hearing on the permanent injunction on Nov. 18th., but the judge said he was skeptical
that Mr. Ward could convince him to issue such an injunction.

STRIKE TWO:
Update  11/18/05  11:30 A.M. -  Burt Ward appeared in court today to obtain an injunction against Marc Sayer (producer of Rescue
Watchdog website) and was denied AGAIN, after previously being denied on October 27, 2005 of a temporary restraining order
against Mr. Sayer.

STRIKE THREE:
February 21, 2006   1:45 P.M.

Court decision has been made!

The Judge has dismissed ALL actions against ALL of us (Barbara Laird, Marc Sayer & Renee Broden) based on this case being
a Meritless SLAPP Lawsuit because Gentle Giants / Burt Ward was unable to prove to the Judge that they could prevail IF this
case went to trial.


•   OC Register Article - dated October 27, 2005

•   OC Register Article - dated November 21, 2005

•   OC Register Article - dated March 2, 2006
Discovering and Disclosing The Truth About
Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions
(Norco, CA)
April 2008

GGR / Wards  vs. Donna Jenney & John Scott
In April 2008, the Wards yet again filed another lawsuit.  This suit is filed against Donna Jenney and John Scott.  The Wards named
John Scott as one of the adopters and is tagging all the "complaints" against him as well as his mother Donna.  John went to GGR
with his mother to help her with the adoption, but the adoption contract was only between GGR and Donna Jenney.  I have a copy of
the adoption contract on record for validation of this fact.

You can read John's testimony HERE.   As you read through the testimony, there is a statement that "After a few days ... GGR took
their dog back."  The Wards are claiming  (in their law suit complaint) that Donna Jenney (a 60 year old frail woman) picked up the
dog (100+ lbs.)  and threw the dog out the door, on it's head, onto concrete steps, at the volunteer.   Hahahahhaha .... I would liked
to have been there to see that.

Anyway ... John informed me that they had filed a civil suit against GGR and the Wards in order to get a refund of the adoption fees. 
They were met at court by the Wards and Attorney, at which time were served with a lawsuit against them.

The complaints on the suit were for:

1. Breach of Contract
2. Fraud/Deceit
3. Negligence Per Se
4. Negligence
5. Trespass to Chattel
6. Strickt Liability [Conversion]
7. Intentional Inflection of Emotional Street
8. Loss of Companionship

As expected, this case dragged out for more than 3 years.   Donna Jenney is a 60+ year old woman suffering from Cancer, and
John Scott is a Captain in the Marine Corps and is stationed on the East Coast.  Donna had no way of transportation to get back
and forth to the court hearings, and John had to take a lot of time off work to appear.   And gee ... he wasn't even an adopter so he
was not in violation of ANYTHING !

The case was finally dismissed with prejudice in November 2011.
November 2003

GGR / Wards vs. The Press Enterprise Company
The Press Enterprise were being sued about a couple of articles they published on April 2, 2003 & May 3, 2003.  Um ... can we
say "First Amendment Rights"?  Go to our Documents Page to read up on what the law suit is all about.

Click HERE to read the filed complaint.

What do you know ... the case was thrown out as a SLAPP Suit.

Click HERE to read the dismissal.