Truck Beach attorney files $25 million defamation lawsuit against former judge
A Southampton attorney plans to sue a former Suffolk County judge in the Truck Beach case who allegedly violated the law when the former judge issued a public order referring the attorney to a grievance panel.
Dan Rodgers, a former prosecutor who represents commercial fishermen fighting homeowners in oceanfront Amagansett to regain the right to drive along Napea Beach, filed a notice of claim on November 11 against the previous judge, Paul Beasley, who issued the referral on the day he retired on August 31. .
Court papers show Rodgers is seeking $25 million in damages for defamation and libel that harmed his law practice.
“The allegations made by Judge Beasley were false and therefore actionable” and the judge “…acted with reckless disregard for the truth because he had no personal knowledge of the truth or accuracy of these false allegations,” the notice of claim states.
The prosecution specifically cites local newspapers – incl Dan leaves – Reporting Beasley’s order stated that “Rodgers has demonstrated a continuing brazen pattern of misleading and misleading his clients regarding the status of this matter.”
A Notice of Claim is a legal precursor to filing a lawsuit against a government agency. Besides Beasley personally and in his professional capacity, Rodgers has also indicated his intention to sue New York State, the state’s unified court system, and the electronic court system on which Beasley posted his order.
Rodgers claimed in court papers that Beasley acted with “actual malice” when the then-judge posted his decision in a publicly available court database instead of confidentially sending it to a local grievance committee that investigates allegations of attorney misconduct.
In doing so, Rodgers alleged that Beasley violated a state law mandating the confidentiality of such referrals. The attorney added in court papers that Beasley “may not benefit from the judicial immunity normally afforded to serving judges because the specific conduct complained of was not performed as part of any judicial function.”
Rodgers said the grievances committee informed him that there was no pending investigation against him. He added that he is unable to file a case against Bessie to the Judicial Conduct Committee because the judge is now retired.
Neither the state attorney general’s office, which defends state agencies in court, nor a spokesperson for the court system responded to requests for comment.
Paisley could not be reached.