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Proviso Probe

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Judge grants temporary restraining order against Proviso Probe

Emanuel "Chris" Welch has sued me for defamation (again). He is represented by Myron Mackoff, of Richardson & Mackoff.

Today Cook County Judge Martin Agran granted a temporary restraining order that required me to remove one paragraph of the original entry. While I'm not happy about this, I don't feel it substantially changes the meaning of what I wrote.

I disagree that Judge Agran's interpretation of the law is a good interpretation of the law, but I'm not sure that it's incorrect.

Under Illinois law, as Judge Agran explained it, accusing someone, including a public figure, of a crime is sufficient to constitute defamation, even if it's couched in what a former boss called "weasel words". For example, "I believe X committed a crime," "I speculate X committed a crime" and "The State's Attorney should prosecute X for a crime" would all be potentially defamatory.

And, according to Judge Agran, it would be proper to issue a temporary restraining order to remove these statements irrespective if they were true.

I was representing myself. I'll post the gist of my arguments later. So, maybe if I quoted some case law and had an attorney I would have prevailed.

Based on Judge Agran's ruling, if a blogger wrote, "Based on the testimony at the Rezko trial Governor Rod Blagojevich should be prosecuted for corruption," Blagojevich could get a temporary restraining order to get the sentence removed.

Of course, the downside for Blagojevich would be that he'd be opening himself to depositions. Welch has the same problem. I don't think he will want to be deposed on the issues in question.

I disagree with the interpretation Judge Agran is using, but I'm not sure he's misinterpreting the case law incorrectly. I think public figures should be open to being accused of criminal activity, especially politicians.

Whether someone gets prosecuted or not is an intrinsically political decision. Prosecutors (the Illinois Attorney General and county state's attorneys) are elected.

This is a system that tilts criminal justice in favor of political bosses. Why would a county state's attorney prosecute people who can cause him/her problems in the next election?

Local officials, like Welch, Eugene Moore, Ron Serpico and Karen Yarbrough, can do stuff that looks like it violates Illinois law. And regular citizens need to be able to afford a lawyer to call-out the public officials who are already getting a massive benefit-of-the-doubt from the state's attorney.

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  • What big crybaby this Welch charcter is! This guy lies,cheats and screws others,then when attacked he crys,pouts and sues!
    How many people in politics has Welch sued since he was elected at 209? Many,many people are my take!

    The funny thing about this is that Carl's attorney's,who represented him last time,are eager to face him again and will now be able to depose all of the 4 culprits from the infamous Proviso Insider.I guess Welch has been played into a corner,he does'nt even know what he got himself into! Great Job Carl,you knew he would sue,now on to plan B,in the taking down of Chris Welch.
    The next couple weeks and months will be agony for Welch!

    By Anonymous welch's being played, at 6:13 AM, July 17, 2008  

  • What has happened with Welch's Development group? I heard his properties have gone belly up with the recent mortage and bank debacles.
    What about his bid with other minorty investors to buy the Chicago Cubs? Has his bid been rejected?

    By Anonymous seeking anwsers, at 6:37 AM, July 17, 2008  

  • Can’t resist commenting on this. It is highly unusual (if not unheard of) for a court to grant injunctive relief (such as a temporary restraining order) in a defamation case – instead, plaintiffs are limited to suing for money damages only. For example, in Venturelli v. Trovero, 346 Ill. App. 429, 432, 105 N.E.2d 306 (1952), the Illinois Appellate Court stated: “The rule of law appears to be well settled in this State that a court of equity will not enjoin the publication of a libel or slander.” Apparently there is an exception where violence may be involved, which seems obviously not the case here. A puzzling ruling indeed, in this writer's opinion.

    By Anonymous Probe Reader, at 4:18 PM, July 17, 2008  

  • Welch is a common name.

    I don't think that development group has anything to do with Emanuel "Chris" Welch.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 4:31 PM, July 17, 2008  

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