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Pahrump, Nevada
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October 9, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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October 9, 1997
 

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WORLD FAMOUS BURRO RACES & OCTOBER FEST 1997 Denture Reline And Repair A Question of libel I tern 10- A on the October 7,1997 Nye County Co mmission meeting agenda is a resolution requesting the attorney general of the state of Nevada to decide whether or not a complaint of criminal libel against the Pahrump Valley Gazette (PVG) filed by Nye County Manager, l.es Bradshaw, and his assistant, Rachel Nicholson, has merit and should be pursued. The best guess, as deadline approaches for this column, is that the commission will approve the resolution. The tangled web of Nye County politics would make any other outcome unlikely. However, even in a best case scenario, the charge of criminal libel is an extremely difficult thing to prove and Bradshaw and Nicholson's complaint hardly represents a best case. The issue at hand goes back to October 10, 1996 when the PVG published an article that stated that Bradshaw and Nicholson had been disbarred from practicing before the U.S. District Court for lying under oath in a federal court case during the Brown and Woods lawsuit against Nye County. One of the writers of the article, Robert I.owes, had gotten information from his source cross-threaded and the statement about Bradshaw and Nicholsou's disbarment was in error. The part about their participation in making false statements under oath to a U.S. District Court judge about matters of utmost importance during a pending federal court case is a matter of coua record and indisputably true. 4boa After printing the error and having it brought to its attention by a member of the PVG's own staff, a correction of the errc was published in the PVG's following edition which ran on Octob 17, 1996. Unsatisfied with this action, Nicholson hired orgained the assistance of Las Vegas attorney, Peter Alpert, who had a letter hand delivered to thePVGonJanuary 10,1997 demanding a full and eompletecorrection be published as a lead story on page one of the next edition of the Pahrump Valley Gazette and threatening legal action if the paper failed to do so. On January 9, 1997 the paper received a letter demanding a similar correction relating to I.s Bradshaw. Although a ninety day deadline, as specified in Nevada Revised Statutes 41.336-3, had expired, thus making the matter a moot question the PVG did run an extensive lead front page story in which the matter of the correction was again addressed. Sometime later in 1997, exact date unknown, Bradshaw and Nicholson filed a criminal complaint with the Nye County District Attorney's office alleging lihel due to published reports about this matter in the Pahmmp Valley Gazette. The report was forwarded to the Nye County District Attorney's office. The district attorney's office con- ducted a preliminary screening on the prosecutorial merits of the action and conducted an evaluation as to whether a potential prosecutofial conflict exists for the district attorney's office. ' An informed source has told the PVG that the district attorney staffs initial investigation into Bradshaw and Nicholson's complaint found "no merit" in the charges and that there is "basically nothing to prosecute, they have nothing." However, Ms. Nicholson recently filed a lawsuit against Nye County and the Nye County District Attorney's office alleging, in pro, refusal by the Nye County District Attorney's offi to prosecute this matter. Due to the allegation presented in the Nicholson lawsuit, the Nye County District Attorney's office advises that any further investigation should be conducted by the Nevada State Attorney General's Office in order to provide and maintain an objective analysis on the merits of prosecution. If this is starting to sound like something out of fairyland or a grade "B" movie, there are people around who would not be surprised. One of those people is Evan F. Acker who successfully defended herself, without benefit of an attorney, against ten counterclaims by Nye County, in federal court in an underlying lawsuit of one which she and her husband, Gordon Hyde, have launched against Nye County. The upcoming lawsuit is of major monetary proportion and is underpiuned by a long list of devastating losses by Nye County in federal court on subject rnhtter that are not just pertinent to, or parallel to, but are the exact same issues that will be decided in the Acker and Hyde lawsuit against Nye County. If you are thinking that the county must then be in a defenseless position in this case, you are on the fight track. Because Acker is not an attorney the analogies she used in her successful defense against Nye County's counterclaims include word- ing not often found in a legal brief. Acket's reply to Nye's opposition to counter-defendant Acket's motion for summary judgement and sanc- tions in case no. CV-93-368-  ,,  Indeed, it can safely be said that Nye's entire stratagem for two-and- one-half years has been to paper the courts with spurious motions to harass the counter-defendants and to multiply the cost of this action to the counter-defendants, while wasting the time and resources for two Federal District Courts. For the past two and one half years, Nye has plunged all of the parties and the Federal Courts, into a nethedand of litigation no less curious than the trial attended by Alice during her visit to Wonderland. Nye has emulated the Majesties of Hearts by creating their own versions of Rule 42 and demanding that this case be governed under the Rules of the kingdom of Nye. I I THIS MAN'S OPINION by Brent Mathewson I II Ill Ill Ill Ill on page 3 lines 21-26: As Alice described, things just become "Curiouser andcuriouser" in thislitigation. These District Attorneys have now determined that their success in having the case transferred from California to this Court, also resulted in Nye's divesting this Court of any jurisdiction. From a reading of Wehrmeistet's leaex, it would appear that his message to me is that my proceeding any fut'dler in this Court is a useless waste of my time and money, and that of the other counter-defendants. on page 5 lines 18-25; In reading my letter from the Nye County District Attorney's office, it appears that it has fallen to his counter-defendant to inform the Court that the Nye Count y District Attorneys have decreed that any judgement rendered by this Court would be null and void. I must confess, that to be chosen by such an exalted legal scholar as District Altomey Arthur F. Wehnnostet, is a heady burden for one who is not even an attorney. However, I have been chosen to "/mmed/ate/y" bring Wehrmeister's revelation "to the attention of the Court," and I now do so! It seems almost biblical that one so lowly as I, who am not even a lawyer, could be chosen as the messenger to carry this news to Chief Judge Lloyd D. George and Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leavitt. Being of a suspi- cious mind, before I was so honored, it occurred to me for a momemt that Nye might he setting me up for the fate of the "messenger bearing bad tidings." Fortunatey for me, the local rules of the Court that the District Attorney's assert is without jurisdiction to proceed with this case, has a role that is intended to deal with just such a situation. The exercise of all local rules is left to the discretion for each judge: The Court upon its own motion or the motion of any party may change, dispense with or waive any of these Local Rules if the interest of justice so require. On page 6 lines 10-25; Nye argues that: "Filed currently with, and supplemental to Acker's Motion is a document entitled "Declara- tion of Evan F. Acker in Support of Her Motion for Summary Judgement and Statement of Un- disputed Facts" ("Declaration"). That unnotorized (sic} declara- an affidavit, and it con- sists in large measure of a continu- ation of Ackefs vituperative and ad hominem attack upon Nye County's attorneys," (emphasis supplied) This statement appem,s to have its origin in the Kingdom of Nye Rules of Civil Procedure. Appar- ently 28 USC#1746 has no effi- I LDG(LRL) includes the follow- ing examples: on page 2 lines 7-18: Thecounterclaim filedby Nye against this counter-defendant consists of 10 claims for relief. For two-and.one-half years Nye's District Attorneys have studiously avoided any discovery that would advise me as to the factual or legal basis for a single one of its 10 claims. i00#eaist is aow Available 42o372 q t ff I Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, October 9, 1997 19 cacy in Nye County. Nye has decreed that a declaralton field In the F ederal Court must be "natar/zed '7 This bit of legal legerdemain must have its origin in the same textbook that the District Attorney studiedto develop their slrategy of defeating the jurisdiction of the Court. Perhaps the Nye District Attorney's Office follows the example of the Gryphon, who advised Alice that he only studied the regular course "...the different branches of Arithmetic - Ambition, distraction, Uglifi- cation and Derision." On page 10 lines 4-16; Based on some as yet unexplained theory, Nye blames me for their failure to prevail against Forum. In so doing, they grossly misrepresent the fact. The District Attorneys represent to this Court that: "Following the settlement of the AHS case, one of Nye County's two insurers, Forum Insurance, filed suit against Nye County seeking reimbursement for the costs of defending Nye County in the AHS matter." (emphasis supplied) This is an absolute falsehood! The AHS settlement was  at the end of 1991 and January 1992. The Forum case was brought on July 11, 1988, more than three and one-half years eadier. The obvious purpose of this misrepresentation is to cause this Court to believe that their unsuccessful defense of the Forum case gave them justifwation to not pay Browne & Woods. On page 13 lines 27-28 and page 14 lines 1-9; For two and one-half years, Nye's attorney have abused the pro- cesses of this Court and the tights for the counter -defendants. Under the shield of their perceived prosecutorial immunily they have run amok thumbing their noses at the Courts; refusing discovery and makinKfalse stateme..s to support their frivolous defense to the Browne & Woods action. For two-and-one-hatf years these District attorneys have conducted a pattern ofptmishing the counter -defendants by libel: lander; abuse of discover practice; and every mean and hue scheme ofharassment they can concoct. Nye's objective is to extort the other counter. defendants into cooperating with them in their effort to cause Browne & Woods to withdtw their just claim for the services they have rendered to Nye. Reading over court documents having anything to do with the Acker and Hyde lawsuit against Nye County gives a sense to the reason I frequently feel as ifl have walked into a cartoon when attending a Nye County Commission meeting. This delightful and courageous lady, and her more than intelligent husband have fought the long fight against an opposition with deep pockets indeed. All Nye County taxpayers, whether in ignorance, shame, or other- wise are footing the bill to continue the county's onslaught of this magnificent couple. To be a small pa of a paper being charged with libel for exposing these troths to the public is both an honor and a privilege not taken lightly. 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