Hudson County Superior Court Judge Patrick Arre dismissed a $2 million defamation lawsuit filed in July 2012 by Lane Bajardi, as well as his wife – Kim Cardinal Bajardi – against Hoboken bloggers Roman Brice and Nancy Pincus: better known as Hoboken Horse and Grafix Avenger, respectively.
The lawsuit claimed that posts on Hoboken Patch and Grafixavenger.blogspot.com – between 2011 and 2012 – defamed, and therefore damaged, the reputations of the Bajardis. Lane Bajardi is a reporter for WINS 1010 radio.
The defense moved for dismissal yesterday and Arre ruled today that both the First Amendment and the defamation laws in New Jersey were very clearly in favor of Roman Brice and Nancy Pincus – as well as 10 unnamed defendants.
Although Lane Bajardi alleged he was called an anti-Semitic political operative of Hoboken Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason – also accused of stealing emails sent to Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s office – by Pincus, the judge said the plaintiffs failed to prove damages, malice or blatant disregard for the truth in any given scenario laid out in the suit.
Brice and Pincus refer to themselves as members of Hoboken’s reform movement and typically support Zimmer.
In a written statement, Brice called the lawsuit a political power play by Mason, since she announced the suit 15 days before it was filed.
“This is their biggest political operation vs. the people of Hoboken to date and utterly failed against the First Amendment and New Jersey State Constitution where political speech holds the highest rung of protection.”
Brice’s attorney, Alex Booth, also essentially called the case a political stunt.
Cohen declined to go on camera, but said the court’s decision today would be appealed and choose not to elaborate beyond that.
Mason did not return a call seeking comment.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said Hobokenhorse.com was named in this lawsuit, when the website in question is actually Hoboken Patch.