+ Submit News Link

Lawsuit Aims To Silence Voice of Critic in UFO Debate

Written By: C. O’Shaughnessy

Posted: 2/24/2003 12:00:00 AM   Reads: 300   Submitted By:jeff   Category: UFOs
 
Supposed Psychic and Self Proclaimed UFO Authority Alleges Libel  
In Unfounded Lawsuit 
 
21-February-2003 
 
Sean David Morton, who has promoted himself as "one of America’s  
greatest psychics" and as the "world’s foremost UFO researcher",  
has filed a one-million dollar defamation lawsuit against  
ufowatchdog.com. 
 
Morton was the subject of a series of ufowatchdog.com articles,  
most notably ’The Shameless Psychic and His Prophecy of Lies’ in  
which many of Morton’s claims were called into serious question.  
Morton was invited to directly comment on the story, which was  
later published in February 2001. Morton failed to respond to  
several invitations for comment, including a posted open  
invitation on the ufowatchdog.com website. 
 
In his lawsuit, Morton alleges all information pertaining to him  
published by ufowatchdog.com is "false", including an  
autobiography and a list of production/writing credits both  
authored by Morton himself. This leaves the question of why  
Morton would actually claim something written by him is false. 
 
ufowatchdog.com editor Royce J. Myers III calls the lawsuit  
"completely meritless and an absolute abuse of the judicial  
system." Myers further added, "Mr.Morton is simply trying to use  
the courts by trampling on the First Amendment in an attempt to  
silence one of his numerous critics." 
 
When asked about Morton’s claim of being libeled, Myers said,  
"Mr. Morton’s allegations are pure fantasy, as are the vast  
majority of his UFO and psychic claims. Mr.Morton was invited to  
comment and has, by choice, continually failed to respond or  
comment. Mr.Morton has been aware of ufowatchdog.com since it  
debuted in February 2001. You can’t hold someone else  
accountable for your own failure to speak up." 
 
"Mr. Morton apparently will go to any length in trying to silence  
someone with something to say about him, as he has named  
ufowatchdog.com’s webhost as a defendant, which is ludicrous.  
Thanks to Mr.Morton’s baseless lawsuit, the webhost has shut  
down the Ufowatchdog.Com website. The webhost has nothing to do  
with the content of the website. The lawsuit is clearly  
retaliatory and intended to stifle any debate about Mr. Morton’s  
public claims about UFOs, the paranormal, and his alleged  
credentials. Essentially, he’s trying to scare anyone from  
engaging him in the eye of the public and apparently is under  
the assumption that issues pertaining to UFOs and the paranormal  
are one-sided debates solely for him to participate in." Myers  
stated. 
 
Prominent Los Angeles civil rights attorney Carol A. Sobel,  
representing UFOWATCHDOG.COM, responded to the complaint. On  
February 20, 2003, Sobel filed a motion to have the lawsuit  
dismissed on the grounds that Morton is "...prevent[ing]  
Defendants from engaging in protected expressive activities -- namely calling into question [Morton’s] self-proclaimed  
national expertise on extraterrestrial life, UFOs, and the  
paranormal." 
 
Filed under a special California state law enacted in 1992 to  
combat what the California Legislature called "...a disturbing  
increase in lawsuits brought primarily to chill the valid  
exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech", the  
state law protects people from defamation and other SLAPP  
(Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) lawsuits. The  
motion allows for the lawsuit to be quickly dismissed when such  
complaint arises from the exercise of First Amendment petition  
and free speech rights on an issue of public interest. 
 
Sobel noted in the motion to dismiss the lawsuit, "The existence  
of extraterrestrial life is unquestionably a matter of great  
public interest. People all over the world are engaged in  
research to answer the question of whether such life exists.  
Needless to say, this matter is quite controversial, bringing  
with it vehemently contrasting positions based on scientific and  
religious grounds." 
 
A hearing on the motion is scheduled for March 14, 2003 at  
8:30AM in L.A. Superior Court in department E at 825 Maple Ave.,  
Torrance, California. 
 
Since early 2001, ufowatchdog.com has been a news source for  
both UFOs and the paranormal. Most notably, ufowatchdog.com has  
challenged a number of the claims made by well known UFO  
personalities, has provided commentary on the UFO and paranormal  
fields, as well as having exposed UFO hoaxes all in an effort to  
further more rational and scientific debate regarding issues  
such as UFOs and the paranormal. 
 
Contact: ufowatchdog@earthlink.net 
 
Release compiled by C. O’Shaughnessy


Share |


COMMENTS

Please login or become a member to post a comment.