New York Lawyer Loses Defamation Claim Against Ex-Girlfriends Who Posted Comments On Liarscheatersrus.com

We have previously discussed the problems of lawyers with being attacked by ex-girlfriends for their alleged bad relationships. The latest such story involves attorney Matthew Couloute Jr. who sued a former roller derby queen Stacey Blitsch and another ex for their posts about him at liarscheatersrus.com. The site still has a place for Couloute comments. Now, federal Judge Harold Baer has tossed out the defamation lawsuit as improperly based on protected opinion. In this case, the opinion that Couloute is a collossal loser. [Just for the record, I want to note that I have not dated Couloute and that I am merely repeating the opinion of those who have dated Couloute].

Couloute was called a cheating “scum” who, according to Amanda Ryncarz, dumped her over the phone five days before marrying another woman. Blitsch has a son with Couloute.

Baer ruled that the statements were opinion and “clearly hyperbolic.” Couloutee identified the following statements on the site as defamatory and injurious to his status as an attorney:

Ryncarz statements:

1. “[Mr. Couloute] lied and cheated all through his 40 years of life.”

2. “[Mr. Couloute] [u]ses people/his son/women to get what he wants then dumps you when he’s done with them. Has no long term friends. He rents or finances everything and owns absolutely nothing.”

3. “He is very very manipulating. he’s an attorney so he’s great at lying and covering it up without batting an eye.”1 .

Blitsch statements:

1. “[W]hat these ladies have said about his character is very true. I met him and dated briefly and I was taken in with the charm and instant “connection” he claimed we had . . . [A]s soon as I started asking questions about other aspects of his life and figured out he wasn’t comple[tely] honest he turned cold then disappeared. And of course another male is going to say Matt is a “solid dude” . . . if you agree with lieing [sic] and manipulating any female you come in contact with I guess he could be considered that. . . .”

2. “I came across this site by accident by following a UFL news feed, so your friend Matt has more problems than these posts if in search for the league his name is associated with this site.”

Couloute insisted that these comments included factual misrepresentations. Notably, one of the comment came with the following observation:

“This is the absolute truth about this man!! He will stop communication with you suddenly, then reach out years later as he did with me trying to sweet talk you and make you feel like you’re the most special woman in the world that he’s been looking for. He is very very manipulating. he’s an attorney so he’s great at lying and covering it up without batting an eye. Our relationship didn’t last long as I figured him out pretty quickly but for others, BE FOREWARNED, HE’S SCUM! RUN FAR A WAY!”

Couloute originally alleged only tortious interference with prospective business relations — perhaps in recognition of the opinion defense. However, he later amended to add the defamation claim.

Nevertheless, Baer found that these comments, except one, were clearly opinion found on a site filled with one-sided accounts:

With the possible exception of the statement that Plaintiff “rents or finances everything and owns absolutely nothing”—a statement clearly capable of being proven true or false—the comments, even if viewed in isolation, are opinion. Defendants state that Plaintiff “lied and cheated all through his 40 years of life”, and that, because Plaintiff is an attorney, “he’s great at lying and covering it up without batting an eye.” Comments such as these are clearly hyperbolic. And when viewed within the larger context of the website on which they were posted, there can be no doubt that a reasonable reader would understand the comments to be opinion. As Defendants note, liarscheatersrus.com is “specifically intended to provide a forum for people to air their grievances about dishonest romantic partners.” Id. at 9. The average reader would know that the comments are “emotionally charged rhetoric” and the “opinions of disappointed lovers.” Id. Of course the Internet makes it more likely that a greater number of people will read comments such as these, and thereby amplify the impact they may have on a person, but this does not change the underlying nature of the comments themselves.

Couloutte plans to appeal.

There is a site with Couloutte’s name that contains the following odd statement from “him or her”:

Put Matt Couloute into the Google Search engine and you will not find Matthew Couloute’s background regarding his / her time as a news reporter on Court TV. You won’t learn Matt Couloute once represented a football league. An individual won’t learn this individual ended up being the assistant district attorney throughout Connecticut record.

Not at all, you will end up forwarded to liarscheatersrus.org, a site wherever ladies admit regarding extramarital affairs of the these people out dated or perhaps married.

Well Matt Couloute has decided to deal with the problem. In his or her case he recorded a lawsuit towards Amanda Ryncarz, his former sweetheart, that admits putting up on the spot relating to a few year romantic relationship. . . .
Matt Couloute has additionally within the go well with his / her child’s mom whom furthermore published on the website. She declines it but states the lady nevertheless believes Couloute is often lies. spouse.

It is not clear who has created this site, but it is one of the first sites that comes up when you try to find any site from Couloute. Here is his site. He includes a specialty in dealing with “cyberbullying.”

The case is Couloute v. Ryncarz, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20534.

Source: NY Daily News

22 thoughts on “New York Lawyer Loses Defamation Claim Against Ex-Girlfriends Who Posted Comments On Liarscheatersrus.com”

  1. The two posts preceding this one, I find suspicious. They are completely irrelevant to this thread and indeed make no sense. I would avoid following the embedded links as hey may lead to malicious software distribution sites.

  2. My first question is how was this in federal court? Is there a defamation statute in federal court?

    Second comment is to Duane, I too was married to a lady with BPD, what a roller coaster that was, walking on eggs always and can never meet impossible standards arbirtrarily set . . and reset.

  3. W=^..^

    Interesting trailer. I had no idea Bobcat had something (let alone something like that) in development.

  4. Has anyone ever heard of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)? The briefness, intensity, and control exerted in relationships, and then the lawsuits appears to match the characteristics of one with BPO. I am not a professional therapist, but I was married to a person with BPD and learned a lot the hard way.

  5. “Here is his site. He includes a specialty in dealing with “cyberbullying.”” (from Professor Turley’s article)

    This story (and the reference to cyberbullying) reminds me of a story out of China a few years ago. Within it is the story of a man named Wang Fei. (His wife, Yan, committed suicide after learning of her husband’s extramarital affair.)

    From the article, “China’s Cyberposse”…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/magazine/07Human-t.html?pagewanted=all

    “Yan’s diaries, coupled with her sister’s account of Wang’s behavior, attracted many angry Tianya users and shot to the top of the list of the most popular threads on the board. One early comment by an anonymous user, referring to Wang and his mistress, reads, “We should take revenge on that couple and drown them in our sputa.” Calls for justice, for vengeance and for a human-flesh search began to spread, not only against Wang but also against his girlfriend. “Those in Beijing, please share with others the scandal of these two,” a Netizen wrote. “Make it impossible for them to stay in this city.”

    The search crossed over to other Web sites, then to the mainstream media — so far a crucial multiplier in every major human-flesh search — and Wang Fei became one of China’s most infamous and reviled husbands. Most of Wang’s private information was revealed: cellphone number, student ID, work contacts, even his brother’s license-plate number. One site posted an interactive map charting the locations of everything from Wang’s house to his mistress’s family’s laundry business. “Pay attention when you walk on the street,” wrote Hypocritical Human. “If you ever meet these two, tear their skin off.”

    Wang is still in hiding and was unwilling to meet me, but his lawyer, Zhang Yanfeng, told me not long ago: “The human-flesh search has unimaginable power. First it was a lot of phone calls every day. Then people painted red characters on his parents’ front door, which said things like, ‘You caused your wife’s suicide, so you should pay.’ ”

    ————–

    “China’s Cyberposse”

    Excerpts:

    “Human-flesh search engines — renrou sousuo yinqing — have become a Chinese phenomenon: they are a form of online vigilante justice in which Internet users hunt down and punish people who have attracted their wrath. The goal is to get the targets of a search fired from their jobs, shamed in front of their neighbors, run out of town. It’s crowd-sourced detective work, pursued online — with offline results.

    There is no portal specially designed for human-flesh searching; the practice takes place in Chinese Internet forums like Mop, where the term most likely originated. Searches are powered by users called wang min, Internet citizens, or Netizens. The word “Netizen” exists in English, but you hear its equivalent used much more frequently in China, perhaps because the public space of the Internet is one of the few places where people can in fact act like citizens.

    …..

    Versions of the human-flesh search have taken place in other countries. In the United States in 2006, one online search singled out a woman who found a cellphone in a New York City taxi and started to use it as her own, rebuffing requests from the phone’s rightful owner to return it. In South Korea in 2005, Internet users identified and shamed a young woman who was caught on video refusing to clean up after her dog on a Seoul subway car. But China is the only place in the world with a nearly universal recognition (among Internet users) of the concept. I met a film director in China who was about to release a feature film based on a human-flesh-search story and a mystery writer who had just published a novel titled “Human-Flesh Search.” (end of excerpts)

  6. Reminds me of an episode or was that an episodomy (sp)…. On two and a half Men.

  7. Did they hit him with costs as well….. Opinions based on personal knowledge of a private citizen is protected speech….

  8. Maybe there needs to be a trial. Truth is a defense. We could have Nancy Amazing Grace do the play be play. It would have to be a televised trial. Judge Judy would be ok. Plaintiff would need good counsel. A woman would be better suited for him with the jury. If he could keep his paws off of her it would help his case with the jury.

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