Reputation Repair Service Costs as Measure for Damages in a Libel Case
From Dinkins v. Schinzel, decided Friday by Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey (D. Nev.):
Pro se plaintiff Kenneth Dinkins seeks default judgment against pro se defendant Geraldine Schinzel for libel per se. When Schinzel failed to comply with a court order after the parties’ settlement conference, I ordered default be entered against her and granted Dinkins the opportunity to move for default judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55. Because Dinkins’s claim satisfies the factors outlined in Eitel v. McCool (9th Cir. 1986), I grant his motion, award him $43,000 in general damages, and close this case….
After a real-estate deal between Schinzel and Dinkins went sour, Schinzel published libelous statements about Dinkins and his business on the internet. In January 2019, I resolved the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment, ordered them to attend a settlement conference, and—within ten days of the conference—to file a joint pretrial order. The parties failed to settle their dispute, and Schinzel stopped appearing in this litigation, ignoring Dinkins’s attempts to prepare the joint pretrial order and failing to file her own. Based on Schinzel’s apparent refusal to comply with my order and upon Dinkins’s motion, I entered default against her, dismissing her counterclaims, striking her answer to
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