2016.015: A Prosecutor is Falsely Accused

I’m not buying it.

I don’t believe that Harris County ADA Justin Keiter “used his DEA thugs to write a JUDGELESS WARRANT to attempt to terrorize Dr. Blanchette by Trashing Her Office, in an attempt to get even for Dr. Blanchette helping put Justin’s father away for another 20 years.”

The sins of the father are not the sins of the son. Unless I am very much mistaken (and I seldom find myself so mistaken about people’s motivation) Keiter is motivated to zealotry by the desire to distance himself from his father’s crimes. The allegation that he “has been Covering up Crimes of his Father for Years” strikes me as unlikely in the extreme. Blanchette’s erratic capitalization — one hallmark of a nutjob — does nothing to make her accusations more credible.

So: False? Probably.

Defamatory? Possibly. Keiter, being a public figure, ((The accusations relate to his conduct as a public official.)) must show that Blanchette wrote with actual malice — not that she wanted to hurt him, but that she knew that her accusations were false or acted in reckless disregard of their falsity. This may be untrue — Blanchette may well believe that Keiter did the things she has accused him of.

Damages? The accusations are incredible enough that I doubt that Keiter can prove much in the way of actual damages. He still has his job, and I doubt that anyone in the DA’s Office believes the accusations any more than I do. Actual damages? Nominal.

Exemplary damages? I happened upon this petition because I read every defamation petition filed with the Harris County District Clerk, and have done so for over a year. Keiter’s lawyers have done something that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen done in a lawsuit in this county: they pled in the petition that they sent a cease-and-desist letter as required by Section 73.055 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code before a plaintiff can maintain a defamation suit. (They pled that it was under “§73.005,” but that typo is probably harmless.) Most lawyers suing people for defamation don’t make the required request for retraction, which is fatal to a request for exemplary damages and may be fatal to the suit itself. By jumping through the procedural hoops Keiter’s lawyers have at least maintained the possibility of exemplary damages.

The next step for Blanchette, once she gets served with the petition and hires a lawyer, will be to file an answer, and then an anti-SLAPP motion under Chapter 27 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code. She will have to show that her statements were “made in connection with a matter of public concern” — easy enough — and Keiter will then have to “establish[] by clear and specific evidence a prima facie case for each essential element of the claim in question” — including actual malice. If he doesn’t, his case gets dismissed and he gets to pay Blanchette’s legal fees. If he does, the case goes forward.

That Blanchette knew her allegations to be false (or was reckless about whether they were) is a tough make-or-break proposition, but fortunately for Keiter the court can allow “specified and limited discovery relevant to the motion,” including Blanchette’s deposition.

Won’t that be fun!

Keiter v Blanchette Petition

9 responses to “2016.015: A Prosecutor is Falsely Accused”

  1. You don’t buy it? Oh well, then. It must not be true! I mean, after all, Mark Bennett’s judgement is the true measure of veracity!

    Well done “DEFENDING THE PEOPLE” against totalitarianism Mark. Immediately dismissing the idea that an ADA could be guilty of these crimes because he “still has his job” is the true mark of someone who is a PART of the corrupt system, not a fighter against it. I hope my “erratic capitalization” in my previous sentence was not too “nutjobby” for you.

    All the worst,
    Your Biggest Admirer

    • Oh, I see, you dipshit clownshoe. I didn’t publish your comment fast enough for you.
      Self-entitled loser.
      How fucking stupid do you have to be to think I’m saying he didn’t get a “judgeless warrant” because he still has his job? Next time you get someone to read this post to you, ask them to slow down on that part: he has no compensatory damages because he still has his job.
      No, I’m saying he didn’t get a “judgeless warrant” because there’s no such thing as a judgeless warrant.

    • “super lawyer” Mark Bennett (LOL)

      [Ed. note: I’ve changed the handle to reflect that this is the same commenter as the comment to which he’s responding. If you’re going to use a pseudonym here, please stick with just one.]

  2. Don’t allow criticism of your stupid posts? Not only are you scum, but you are weak and spineless. Only the sissiest people delete unwanted comments. Pathetic. Hope you enjoyed reading this before you delete it.

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