ABORTION INDUSTRY IN MELBOURNE, FLORIDA
RANEY V AWARE WOMAN
DOCKET / CHRONOLOGICAL FILE
DEFENDANTS' ANSWER AND 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
DEFENDANTS' ANSWER AND COUNTERCLAIM
Defendant AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR CHOICE, INC., a
Florida corporation, EDWARD W. WINDLE, JR., and PATRICIA B.
WINDLE, by and through their undersigned attorneys, hereby answer
Plaintiff's Complaint as follows:
1. Defendants admit the allegations contained in paragraph 1 of the Complaint for jurisdiction purposes only.
2. Defendants admit the allegations contained in paragraph 2 of the Complaint for venue purposes only.
3. Defendants admit the allegations contained in paragraph 3 for venue purposes only.
4. Defendants admit the allegations contained in paragraph 4 for venue purposes only.
5. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 5 for venue purposes only.
6. Defendants admit AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR CHOICE, INC. is a corporation for profit chartered by the State of Florida, the corporation is controlled by PATRICIA B. WINDLE, and it maintains its corporate office in Brevard County, Florida. Defendants deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 6 of the Complaint.
7. Defendants admit the allegations contained in paragraph 7 for reference purposes only.
8. Denied, as statements contained in paragraph 8 of Plaintiff's Complaint are based on generalities and Plaintiffs perceptions and are not allegations directed to Defendants.
9. Denied, as statements contained in paragraph 9 of Plaintiff's Complaint are based on generalities and Plaintiff's perceptions and are not allegations directed to Defendants.
10. Defendants admit that the anti-abortion demonstrations have occurred on a regular basis at Aware Woman but deny Plaintiff's characterization of the activities, the conduct of the participants, and their ultimate objective, which is always to prohibit patients from entering the clinic and obtaining reproductive health services. Plaintiff denies the allegations that allegedly describe the reproductive health services activities which is protected under FACE, as that description does not conform to the definition of reproductive health services contained within the statute.
11. Defendants re-answer all previous allegations.
12. Defendants admit that AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR CHOICE, INC. was located at 1564 Dixie Way, Melbourne, at all times specified in Counts I through III, and is a "facility" as defined by 18 U.S.C. §248 performing "reproductive health services" as defined by 18 U.S.C. §248 but deny the remaining allegations.
14. Defendants admit Plaintiff was demonstrating within the 36-foot buffer zone but deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 14.
17. Defendants re-answer all previous allegations.
19. Defendants re-answer all previous allegations.
21. Defendants re-answer all previous allegations.
23. As Defendants' first, separate and distinct
affirmative defense, Defendants assert that the Melbourne Police
Department acted independently in upholding the court injunction
and 36-foot Buffer Zone and were not the agents of Defendants.
24. As Defendants' second, separate and distinct affirmative defense, Defendants assert that they did not notify, instruct or direct law enforcement regarding Plaintiff, but if they had, they were privileged and within their rights in alerting law enforcement of violations of said injunction.
25. As Defendants' third, separate and distinct affirmative defense, Plaintiff fails to state a cause of action because he is not within the class of protected persons under §248(a)(1) of FACE. Plaintiff is not a provider or seeker of reproductive health services as defined under the Statute and as such, is prohibited pursuant to §248(c)(1)(A)(B) of FACE from bringing this action.
26. Defendants have hired the undersigned attorneys and have agreed to pay them a reasonable fee for their services.
WHEREORE, Defendants request this Court decline to grant Plaintiff the requested relief and enter judgment for Defendants, along with costs and attorneys' fees to which they are entitled pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §248(c)(l)(B).
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.,
27. This is an action for a mandatory injunction.
28. 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.
29. Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant, MEREDITH T,
RANEY, JR,, on or about October 1, 1997, filed a Complaint in
United States District Court for the Middle 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 Plaintiff's violation of the Court-imposed 36-foot
buffer zone protecting the clinic.
30. 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.
31. 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).
32. 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. Plaontiff/Counter-Defendant's strategy is toward the ultimate goal of putting Defendants out of the reproductive health service business.
33. 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.
34. 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 anti-abortion demonstration from entering the 36-foot butter zone.
35. Because of Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant's actions in instituting this meritless claim Defendants have expended their resources on their legal defense.
36. 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.
37. Defendants/Counter-Plaintiffs have hired the undersigned attorneys and have agreed to pay them a reasonable fee.
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 to which they are entitled pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §248(c)(1)(B).
I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been furnished by US Mail to Christopher F. Sapp, Esq., P.O. Box 1012, Lehigh Acres, FL 33970, this 22nd day of December, 1997.
FRESE, NASH, & TORPY, P.A.
VINCENT G. TORPY, JR.
Florida Bar No. 394882
930 S. Harbor City Blvd., Suite 505
Melbourne, FL 32901
Attorney for Defendants
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