|Maggy Hurchalla and her Sister Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno|
A slapp suit is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. It is done against citizens, not to win but to harass them. Most developers have deep pockets, apparently Lake Point Phase I and II, LLC does.
Former Martin County Commissioner (sister of Janet Reno) and long time environmentalist Maggy Hurchalla has been slapped with a slapp suit in Martin County. According to the Palm Beach Post:
The SLAPP suit claims Ms. Hurchalla “is singling out Lake Point” and trying to put it out of business and that the project has followed the rules, hasn’t destroyed wetlands and has met public notice requirements.
Criticizing government is, of course, a constitutional right. A SLAPP is not filed with the intent to go trial but to intimidate people, to scare them and to shut them up. The idea is that when the defendants have to spend money on lawyers and endure the stress of a lawsuit, protests will end.
...Residents, Ms. Sherlock (Hurchalla's attorney) said, 'have the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Comments and communications with elected officials are very highly protected. The idea you should get sued for speaking out is mind-boggling.'
The deal Maggy Hurchalla was criticizing: "The 2009 deal gives Lake Point the right to mine its 2,200 acre property for 20 years."
Maggy Hurchalla was the 2002 recipient of the Barley award. Since 1996, the Everglades Coalition has conferred the George M. Barley Conservationist of the Year Award to a person who has made a great contribution to Everglades restoration and protection. "Suing a Martin icon may prove problematic for Lake Point. Even those who disagree with her respect Ms. Hurchalla’s efforts to preserve the county’s quality of life" Said the Post.
There is a MIAMI connection. One of the Managers listed on Lake Point corporate papers is BC Property Investments, L.C. and the Managers of BC are: George Lindermann Family, Francis Judson Laird and Eran Schreiber.