ABORTION INDUSTRY IN MELBOURNE, FLORIDA
RANEY V AWARE WOMAN
DOCKET / CHRONOLOGICAL FILE
DEFENDANT'S FIRST AMENDED-COUNTERCLAIM
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
MEREDITH T. RANEY, JR.,
AWARE WOMAN CENTER
FOR CHOICE, INC., a Florida corporation,
EDWARD W. WINDLE, JR., and
PATRICIA B. WINDLE
CASE NO.: 97-1197-CV-ORL-19B
DEFENDANT'S FIRST AMENDED-COUNTERCLAIM
Defendants, AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR CHOICE, INC., a Florida corporation, EDWARD W. WINDLE, JR., and PATRICIA B. WINDLE, counterclaim against Plaintiff, MEREDITH T. RANEY, JR., JOHN and JANE DOES I through X, and DOE CORPORATIONS I through Y, and allege:
1 . This is a counterclaim for declaratory and injunctive relief, actual, statutory, and punitive damages, and specific remedial orders to compensate defendants for damages and prevent recurrence of actions which have led to substantial damages.
2. Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff, AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR CHOICE, INC., is a "facility" as defined in 18 U.S.C. §248(e)(1) which provides "reproductive health services," as defined in 18 U.S.C. §248(e)(5) through its authorized employees, volunteers and agents. Plaintiff, MEREDITH T. RANEY, JR., was never an employee, volunteer, agent, patient, or invitee of Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs, AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR CHOICE, INC., EDWARD W. WINDLE, and PATRICIA B. WINDLE.
3 . Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs, EDWARD W. WINDLE, JR. and PATRICIA B. WINDLE, at all times material to this action were directors/officers of Defendant, AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR CHOICE, INC.
4. Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant, MEREDITH T. RANEY, JR., is an anti-abortion activist, demonstrator, organizer, protester and spokesperson who has carried on his anti-abortion activities frequently at AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR CHOICE, INC.
5. Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant, MEREDITH T. RANEY, JR., on or about October 1, 1997, filed a Complaint in United States District Court for the Mddle District of Florida, Orlando Division, claiming Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs had violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act on three separate occasions by allegedly notifying the Melbourne Police Department of Plaintiffs violation of the Court imposed 36-foot buffer zone protecting the clinic.
6. Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant is not, and never has been, authorized by AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR CHOICE, INC. to provide reproductive health services for the facility.
7. Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant is an anti-abortion extremist who has demonstrated at AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR CHOICE, INC. since 1989, including within the 36-foot buffer zone described in the injunction issued by the trial court in Operation Rescue v. Women's Health Center Inc., in accordance with the United States Supreme Court decision in Madsen v. Women's Health Center, 114 S. Ct. 2516, 129 L. Ed. 2d 593 (1994).
8. Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant's sole objective and intent in instituting the suit is to harass Defendants and deplete its resources by forcing it to expend money in defense of this meritless action. Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant's strategy is toward the ultimate goal of putting Defendants out of the reproductive health service business.
9. Numerous other anti-abortion extremists have been similarly removed or threatened with removal by law enforcement from the 36-foot buffer zone protecting Defendant, AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR CHOICE, INC.
10. Upon information and belief, other anti-abortion extremists acting in active concert or participation with Plaintiff are posed to file similar meritless claims based on law enforcement's independent actions in enforcing the court injunction prohibiting antiabortion demonstration from entering the 36-foot buffer zone.
11. Because of Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant's actions in instituting this meritless claim, Defendants have expended their resources on their legal defense.
12. Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law because even if they prevail and recover attorneys' fees and costs, not all fees to which they are obligated to pay their attorneys' may be recovered, and this shortfall amount multiplied by the multitude of potential similar actions by those acting in concert or participation with Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant could deplete Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs' resources, effectively putting Defendants out of the reproductive health services business; recovery of said fees will only occur after a final determination on the merits; and an onslaught of actions filed by those acting in concert or participation with Plaintiff could deplete Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs' resources prior to a final determination of the merits, effectively putting Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs out of the reproductive health services. Defendants will be irreparably harmed if it is forced out of the reproductive health service business prior or subsequent to a determination on the merits, even considering the claims' potential, attendant award of attorneys' fees and costs.
13. Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs have hired the undersigned attorneys and have agreed and are obligated to pay them a reasonable fee, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 248 (c)(a)(B).
WHEREFORE, Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs request this Honorable Court issue a mandatory injunction prohibiting the institution of court actions against Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs for violations of 18 U.S.C. §248(a)(1) occurring on Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs' property or in connection with Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs and their business, by persons other than those authorized to provide reproductive health services for Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs or those attempting to obtain or obtaining reproductive health services from Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs, along with costs and attorneys' fees.
14. Defendants reallege and incorporate by reference paragraphs 1 through 13 hereinabove.
15. Plaintiff, RANEY, has, since some time in 1989 to date, engaged in a continuous course and pattern of aggressive conduct to damage, threaten, and intimidate these defendants and others involved in providing reproductive health care services.
16. RANEY has, from time to time, participated in this conduct in an actionable matter, and with others presently not fully known, but designated here as JOHN AND JANE DOES I through X and DOE CORPORATIONS I through X.
17. All said DOES are added here as fictitious pseudonymous parties, who will be timely identified and served as discovery progresses.
18. Said conduct of RANEY and others has, in numerous instances, violated the prohibitions of FACE, 18 U. S.C. §248, giving rise to multiple private civil remedies set out in said statute.
19. Said conduct of RANEY and others has, in further numerous instances, violated injunctive prohibitions upheld by the Supreme Court in Madsen v. Women's-Health Center, 512 U.S. 753 (1994), which has been reaffirmed by the Supreme Court and not modified at any authoritative level.
20. Said conduct of RANEY and others has, in addition, violated RICO, 18 U.S.C. § § 1961-1968, in numerous instances as construed in NOW v. Scheidler, 510 U. S. 249 (1994).
21. Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs have hired the undersigned attorneys and have agreed and are obligated to pay them a reasonable fee, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1961-1968.
WHEREFORE, Defendant/Counter-Plaintiffs request this Honorable Court to set these counterclaims for jury trial and to enter judgment for all damages, actual and punitive, as proven, plus all costs, expenses, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.
I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been furnished by U.S. Mail to Christopher F. Sapp, Esq., P.O. Box 1012, Lehigh Acres, FL 33970, this 22nd day of April, 1998.
FRESE, NASH & TORPY, P.A.
BY: LISA L. HOGREVE <signed>
Florida Bar No. 0104840
930 S. Harbor City Blvd., Suite 505
Melbourne, FL 32901
Attorney for Defendants
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