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Supreme Court allows LCG suit against comedian to proceed

Posted at 2:23 PM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 15:23:50-04

The state Supreme Court denied a request from a New York comedian to halt a lawsuit against him.

Back in March, the Third Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a lower court's November 2020 ruling that the lawsuit filed by the Lafayette Consolidated Government against a comedian over satire posts about fake events may proceed. The Supreme Court declined to stop the suit as well, records indicate.

The event, "ANTIFA takes River Ranch," was posted by the Cajuuun Memes page, which was created by comedian John Merrifield in July.

The lawsuit asks the court to find Merrifield liable for any expenses the city incurred, even though the lawsuit admits the post was a hoax. Merrifield's attorney, Andrew D. Bizer, filed a motion in September to strike the lawsuit through Louisiana's anti-SLAPP law. However, a district court judge denied that motion.

The appeals court said in its March 17 ruling that it found no error in the trial court's ruling. The Supreme Court simply denied Merrifield's request for a stay and a review.

Back in March, Bizer said he was disappointed that neither the appeal nor the lower court provided any analysis in their rulings.

The lawsuit against Merrifield claims that the city was required to send officers to the fake event "to ensure no harm befell any citizens or property from people taking the Antifa hoax seriously."

The lawsuit doesn't say how much money the city wants, but it does say the damages are less than $75,000.

Merrifield, who lives in New York, posted the fake event on his satire Facebook page, which said that Antifa was coming to River Ranch. It referenced "membership cards" and "uniforms." It also urged attendees to bring their arms, but added "legs are optional."