Currently viewing the tag: "Estranged"

(Eugene Volokh)

The case is In re Marriage of Mendlowitz. The alleged slanders were an e-mail and a letter to the estranged wife’s business associates that seemed likely to interfere with her business relationships. They might indeed have led to a successful defamation lawsuit, and a lawsuit for interference with business relations. But a trial court judge went so far as to issue a domestic restraining order against such comments:

[Y]ou are disturbing the peace of the petitioner…. You have, by your own testimony, admitted to the defaming comments that you have made in these emails. And so therefore, the court is going to grant a restraining order for the next five years. You are not to contact [the wife], [her] employers, [her] potential employers in regard to [her] … You are not to contact any third parties in regard to [the wife], her reputation, her past acts.

This meant that any prohibited speech about his wife would be a crime. And because the order included boilerplate language ordering the estranged husband not to “harass, attack, strike, threaten, assault (sexually or otherwise), hit, follow, stalk, molest, destroy personal property, disturb the peace, keep under surveillance, or block movements,” the federal ban on gun possession by people who are the targets of restraining orders kicked in. (See PDF pp. 61–65 of my Implementing the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Self-Defense article.)

Fortunately, the California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s decision, concluding that this sort of alleged defamation isn’t sufficient to justify issuing such an order. Unfortunately, for the nearly two years between the trial court decision and the appellate decision, defendant had been entirely deprived of his Second Amendment rights, and been subjected to a prior restraint in violation of his First Amendment rights.

The Volokh Conspiracy

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File this one under, who could blame her … or Hell have no fury …

Elizabeth Edwards, who died of breast cancer last month, according to her will left her entire estate valued at  $ 1,496,000, to her children and made no mention of her estranged husband, former Democrat North Carolina US Senator and VP candidate John Edwards. Can anyone blame her? Why would she leave anything to the lying, cheating, baby daddy pond scum known as John Edwards. Our apologies to pond scum. Elizabeth Edwards passed away on December 7, 2010.

Elizabeth thinks to herself: “this clown actually thinks I am going to leave him anything in my will.”

See Elizabeth Edward’s will HERE (pdf)

Filed just days before her death, Edwards’ will names daughter Cate Edwards, 28, as executor and leaves the estate to her and the couple’s other two children, Emma Claire and Jack.

“All of my furniture, furnishings, household goods, jewelry, china, silverware and personal effects and any automobiles owned by me at the time of my death I give and bequeath to my children,” said the will, signed on December 1, 2010.

There is no mention of her husband in Edwards’ will, seen by some media and published online by The Huffington Post, ABC News and other sites.

Why should Elizabeth Edwards have left anything to her cheating estranged husband when his personal fortune is estimated at $ 29.5 million to $ 62 million?

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Scared Monkeys

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In the divorce case of former Minuteman leader Chris Simcox, the plot has gotten molasses-thick.

Simcox, who helped found the anti-immigration Minuteman group and incurred a $ 200,000 debt in a failed bid for John McCain’s Arizona Senate seat, has requested that his estranged wife, who has previously alleged that Simcox threatened her and their children at gunpoint, pay him spousal support and take on half of his campaign debt.

Alena Simcox was granted a restraining order from her husband in June, after she alleged Simcox had drunkenly threatened her, her children, and police officers on multiple occasions while wielding a gun.

In this latest filing, Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New-Times reports that Simcox claims:

he’s eking by on $ 1,000 a month, and he wants his estranged wife Alena Simcox to pay him “spousal maintenance” in the amount of $ 1,500 for a full 24 months, a nice $ 36K.

Simcox complains that the $ 1,075 per month in child support asked of him is too much, and he thinks Alena should shoulder 50 percent of all he owes, including a $ 200,000 debt from his failed Senate bid.

In February 2010, he dropped out of the Republican primary for McCain’s seat, and endorsed and went to work as a consultant for Tea Party favorite J.D. Hayworth (who eventually got thrashed by McCain in the August primary). Simcox writes in the filing that since Alena Simcox “supported Husband’s decision to run for the Senate and Husband’s victory would have greatly benefited the community financially and in other meaningful ways,” she should be responsible for half of the debt.

Simcox only worked for Hayworth from March 1 to April 16 of this year, because, the filing claims, Alena Simcox’s allegations “have resulted in extremely negative press for [Chris Simcox] and caused [him] to lose his job with the J.D. Hayworth Senatorial Campaign.”

But there’s more: At the time of the restraining order, the court also ordered Simcox to surrender his weapons, but he was reportedly not immediately served with the order. So Alena Simcox hired bounty hunter Stacey O’Connell to find him.

It so happens that O’Connell was previously kicked out of the Minuteman group for fighting with Chris Simcox, so there was already some bad blood between the two before Simcox claimed that Alena Simcox and O’Connell were having an affair. The two, he said, were “engaged in a pattern of devious and malicious conduct including statements of iniquity, to torment me emotionally in an apparent attempt to drive me out of my marriage.”

In this filing, the New Times reports, Simcox also claims his ouster from the Hayworth campaign was partially their doing: “Wife and boyfriend got me fired.”

The hearing on this case is scheduled for February 28, 2011.


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