The tormented former Newmarket councillor, Maddie Di Muccio, has dropped her libel action against Regional Councillor John Taylor.
But her husband, John Blommesteyn, on her behalf, served a new amended claim on Taylor on 21 October. In it she mysteriously cites new “SLAPP” legislation which she believes is relevant. It is yet another lunacy. (SLAPP stands for Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation.)
Di Muccio’s amended claim will be considered in the Newmarket Small Claims Court in Eagle Street at 9.30am on Wednesday 26 October 2016. It is likely that the matter will be heard by Judge Vincent Stabile or Judge Alessandro Di Cecco. She must seek the Court’s permission to amend her claim and, this time, I promise to eat my hat if she succeeds.
If she appears before the ill-tempered Judge, Vincent “Growly Bear” Stabile, she has no chance whatsoever. She is toast. I suspect he will tell her she is wasting Court time with her endless, pointless vendettas.
Di Muccio has known for months that her libel action was likely to be “out of time”. Indeed I blogged about this over a year ago. This is manifestly an abuse of process in that she decided to abandon her libel action a mere eight days before it was due to be heard in Court. (The original trial date was Friday 28 October 2016.)
Instead of a libel action, we are now getting a new phoney, manufactured, unspecified and very opaque charge against Taylor where Di Muccio cites the Protection of Public Participation Act (2015)
“which prohibits an elected official from using litigation to discourage public participation.”
Excuse me, M’Lud
At no point did Taylor threaten Di Muccio with litigation.
It was Di Muccio who brought a libel action against Taylor, not the other way around.
And what precisely is she now alleging?
I am not a fancy-dancing Ontario lawyer but it seems like commonsense to me that if the libel claim is withdrawn then everything else attached to it also falls away.
Anyway… It is still not clear to me what relevance the Protection of Public Participation Act has to the matter in hand.
But we shall all find out on Wednesday.
In her amended claim, Di Muccio writes:
“At (the) settlement conference, Plaintiff (Di Muccio) was advised that (a) Judge must approve any request to amend her complaint. Plaintiff wishes to amend plaintiff’s complaint by removing reference to libel. Plaintiff wishes to reference Protection of Public Participation Act (2015) and Morris v Johnson et al 10-CV-412021.”
In her affidavit which is attached to the amended claim, Di Muccio amplifies her reasons:
“1. Since filing the original plaintiff’s complaint, the Legislature of the Province of Ontario has passed the Protection of Public Participation Act (2015) which prohibits an elected official from using litigation to discourage public participation.”
“2. I also wish to amend the plaintiff’s complaint to remove references to libel. Even though I assert that the Defendant’s comments published in the Newmarket Era were libelous, I do not believe my complaint would be successful due to the Limitations Act.”
“3. I believe that the Master Thomas Hawkins decision in Morris v Johnston et al is relevant to the Plaintiff’s complaint as it provides definition of what is considered SLAPP litigation.”
You can read extracts from the Court paperwork here. Go to bottom of page and open Extracts from Di Muccio's Amended Claim.