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Rob Riley Sues Blogger Over Posts About Extramarital Affair And Then Tries to Keep The Case Sealed From Public View

Posted on the 03 October 2013 by Rogershuler @RogerShuler

Rob Riley Sues Blogger Over Posts About Extramarital Affair And Then Tries to Keep The Case Sealed From Public View

Rob Riley

Prominent Alabama Republican Rob Riley has filed a lawsuit against my wife and me over reports here at Legal Schnauzer about Riley's extramarital affair with lobbyist Liberty Duke. Riley claims our reports are false and defamatory, but he has taken a number of steps to shield the case from public view.

The Riley lawsuit explains the swarm of Shelby County sheriff deputies that repeatedly trampled our property and pounded on our door throughout last week. It also explains the fraudulent traffic stop that Lt. Mike DeHart conducted on Sunday afternoon in order to "serve" me with court papers.

How did we learn about the Riley lawsuit, given we threw court papers out the window in anger after DeHart had unlawfully stopped us on a trumped-up claim of rolling through a stop sign? Well, about a dozen papers remained in our car, and I retrieved them from a trash can at our home on Tuesday evening.

Most of those papers were copies of posts I've written about the Riley/Duke affair. But two of them included a header that identified a lawsuit styled Robert R. Riley Jr. v. Roger Shuler and Carol T. Shuler, civil action number CV-13-236. It apparently was filed in Shelby County Circuit Court on July 23, 2013.

I do not have a copy of the complaint itself, but the two-page document we do have is styled "Motion to File All Pleadings and Exhibits Thereto Under Seal." (See video at the end of this post for a discussion of this motion and other issues surrounding the Riley lawsuit).

The motion in question states in pertinent part:

Comes now Robert R. Riley Jr., Petitioner, and requests that this court order all pleadings filed in this case, and all exhibits thereto, filed under seal. In support of this Motion, Petitioner states as follows:
Alabama Rule of Civil Procedure 5.1(c) allows courts of this State to order that case filings be made under seal to protect the privacy of parties.
This case involves a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary and Permanent Injunctions based on highly defamatory false information about Petitioner being disseminated by Respondents into the public sphere. Said information subjects Petitioner to immediate and irreparable harm in the form of contempt and ridicule in the city, county, and state in which he lives. Filing court records that can be obtained by reporters or the general public will perpetuate the very harm this action seeks to avoid.
Based on the foregoing, Petitioner respectfully requests that this Court order that all pleadings, responses, replies, and exhibits thereto be filed under seal.

What are we to take from this? Here are a few things that come to my mind:

(1) Riley claims he has been defamed, but he has so little confidence in his case that he doesn't want anyone to know about it.

(2) Riley specifically wants to make sure that the press, mainstream and otherwise, never knows about anything involved in the case.

(3) Riley seeks to make an end run around the American notion of a free press. He seeks an injunction against reporting on a lawsuit he filed in a public forum, but he wants it all conducted in a private manner.

(4) Riley claims that he is subjected to "immediate and irreparable harm." But I first wrote about his affair with Liberty Duke on January 24, 2013. If the alleged harm is so immediate, why did he wait until now to seek legal redress?

(5) If the lawsuit was filed on July 23, 2013, why was Riley just getting around to serving it last week? Was Riley allowed to file the case under seal, and if so, why? If that's the case, why was it unsealed briefly now, with an immediate attempt to seal it again? Is the stamped date accurate, or did someone in the Shelby County Courthouse stamp a phony date on it to obscure the real motives behind the lawsuit?

Rob Riley Sues Blogger Over Posts About Extramarital Affair And Then Tries to Keep The Case Sealed From Public View

Liberty Duke

What ulterior motives might Rob Riley have? Well, he and his family are extremely close to U.S. Judge Bill Pryor, who has been the subject of recent reports here about photos of him that appeared at the gay porn Web site in 1997. Pryor, as attorney general of Alabama, played a pivotal role in ensuring that Bob Riley was elected governor in 2002, when votes for Democratic incumbent Don Siegelman mysteriously disappeared overnight. Pryor ordered the questionable ballots sealed and threatened arrest for anyone who attempted to count them. (Seems like the Rileys and Pryor have an affinity for sealing records and keeping the public in the dark.)

Pryor also launched a state investigation of Siegelman, which morphed into a federal probe under the George W. Bush Justice Department. The 2002 election probably would not have been close enough to be stolen without the Pryor-initiated investigation. When Siegelman tried to run against Bob Riley in 2006, he and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy wound up indicted and convicted on corruption charges, even though the main bribery charge was filed almost one year after the statute of limitations had run.

The bottom line? Our series of reports on Bill Pryor's ties to 1990s gay porn started on September 17--and since have been picked up by an array of national Web sites.

Is it a coincidence that Rob Riley's lawsuit against me surfaces now, while his ally Bill Pryor faces national embarrassment, courtesy of this blog?

I think not.

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