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LEMMER v. ARKANSAS GAZETTE CO.

October 25, 1985

WILLIAM W. LEMMER, Plaintiff
v.
ARKANSAS GAZETTE COMPANY and NANCY A. MILLER, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: HOWARD

 Currently pending before the Court are motions of defendants, Arkansas Gazette Company and Nancy A. Miller, for summary judgment contending that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact in this proceeding and that defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

 RELEVANT BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 This is a libel case brought by plaintiff, William W. Lemmer, against defendants alleging that he was defamed in an article published by the Arkansas Gazette Company on April 27, 1983. The article, entitled " F.B.I. Can Spy On Us Again ", was authored by Nancy Miller. The article protested alleged spying on dissident organizations by the F.B.I. and stated that Lemmer had played a major role in crushing the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in the early 1970's by the FBI.

 Lemmer alleges in his complaint that the article contained "libelous, false, malicious and defamatory matters concerning the plaintiff . . . [that] the authorship and publication of the article . . . were reckless, willful, malicious and in complete disregard of the rights of plaintiff without any proper and sufficient investigation."

 The relevant portions of the article which are purportedly libelous and false have been identified by Lemmer as:

 
A. Paragraph 2:
 
The FBI is authorized to spy on groups that pose no "immediate threat of harm" and those for which "there is not yet a reasonable indication of criminal activities." In short, the FBI may again spy on any of us.
 
B. Paragraph 3:
 
In the words of a "source" the FBI used here in Fayetteville in the early 1970s, instead of being "investigated" dissidents were being "monitored" and even "influenced".
 
C. Paragraph 5:
 
. . . VVAW was crushed in 1973 by FBI interference and false accusations. Lemmer, a former member of VVAW, played a major role in both.
 
D. Paragraph 6:

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