LAFAYETTE, La. (Daily Advertiser) — The comedian whose satirical “antifa” Facebook events last year prompted a lawsuit from Lafayette Consolidated Government over security costs will appeal his efforts to dismiss the suit to Louisiana’s Supreme Court.
Attorney Andrew Bizer, who is representing comedian John Merrifield in the suit launched by LCG last September, announced plans to take the case to the state’s Supreme Court this week after Louisiana’s Third Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a Lafayette court decision greenlighting the city’s suit to recoup the cost of increased security prompted by the fake events from Merrifield.
“It is disappointing that the 3rd Circuit denied the writ with absolutely no analysis whatsoever,” Bizer wrote in a statement. “We are confident that the Louisiana Supreme Court will reverse the trial court’s ruling and this frivolous and vindictive lawsuit will be ultimately dismissed for what it is.”
City-parish attorneys are seeking to recoup funds spent on the police response to the satirical events, though they’ve limited the damages they’re seeking to less than $75,000. That limit keeps the case out of federal court.
Bizer initially filed to have the suit immediately dismissed under the state’s anti-SLAPP law, which relies on First Amendment protections to dismiss unjustified, punitive lawsuits. But 15th Judicial District Court Judge Ed Broussard ruled last fall that Merrifield’s satirical ‘antifa’ events weren’t protected by the law.
Broussard said then that Merrifield’s “First Amendment right was not applicable” to the satirical events because they “imply illegal activity or violence.”
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