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Ratner v. Kohler

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

April 5, 2018

BRETT RATNER, Plaintiff,
v.
MELANIE KOHLER; JOHN AND/OR JANE DOES 1-10, Defendant.

          ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR DISCOVERY TO RESPOND TO DEFENDANT MELANIE KOHLER'S SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE THE COMPLAINT FILED NOVEMBER 1, 2017 (ECF No.26)

          Helen Gillmor United States District judge.

         On or about October 20, 2017, Defendant Melanie Kohler posted a statement on her Facebook page. The statement claimed that Hollywood film director and producer Brett Ratner raped her, in either 2004 or 2005, when she was living in California.

         Plaintiff Brett Ratner filed a Complaint against Defendant Kohler, alleging defamation.

         Defendant Kohler filed a Motion to Dismiss and a Special Motion to Strike pursuant to a California statute barring strategic lawsuits against public participation, a law designed to protect speech (“anti-SLAPP statute”).

         On February 26, 2018, the Court issued an Order Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Holding in Abeyance Defendant's Motion Pursuant to the California anti-SLAPP statute.

         The Court ordered the Parties to meet and confer regarding the scope of discovery necessary to allow Plaintiff to respond to Defendant's Motion. The Parties were unable to agree on the scope of discovery.

         The Court FINDS that Plaintiff Ratner is entitled to serve interrogatories and a request for production of documents in order to respond to Defendant's Motion pursuant to California's anti-SLAPP statute.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On November 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint. (ECF No. 1).

         On January 2, 2018, Defendant filed DEFENDANT MELANIE KOHLER'S MOTION TO DISMISS THE COMPLAINT FILED NOVEMBER 1, 2017, AND TO STRIKE THE COMPLAINT FILED NOVEMBER 1, 2017. (ECF No. 26).

         On February 8, 2018, the Court held a hearing on Defendant Kohler's Motion to Dismiss and to Strike (ECF No. 36).

         On February 26, 2018, the Court issued an ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT MELANIE KOHLER'S MOTION TO DISMISS THE COMPLAINT FILED NOVEMBER 1, 2017 AND HOLDING IN ABEYANCE DEFENDANT MELANIE KOHLER'S SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE THE COMPLAINT FILED NOVEMBER 1, 2017. (ECF No. 43).

         On February 28, 2018, Plaintiff filed PLAINTIFF BRETT RATNER'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES RE: SCOPE OF DISCOVERY. (ECF No. 44).

         On March 21, 2018, Defendant filed DEFENDANT MELANIE KOHLER'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES OPPOSING PLAINTIFF'S SCOPE OF DISCOVERY. (ECF No. 45).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges that on or about October 20, 2017, Defendant Melanie Kohler “recklessly and/or intentionally posted a statement on her Facebook page claiming that ‘Brett Ratner raped [her]'.” (Verified Complaint at ¶ 7, ECF No. 38).

         Plaintiff Ratner alleges the statement is “entirely false, fabricated, and fictional.” (Id. at ¶ 8). Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Kohler made the statement “with knowledge of its falsity, maliciously, and with the intent to harm Plaintiff's reputation and standing.” (Id. at ¶ 9).

         Plaintiff believes that the Facebook statement constitutes “libel per se.” (Id. at ¶ 10).

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Special Motion To Strike Pursuant To Cal. Code ...


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