Political organizer Craig Callaway filed a motion Thursday to move Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr.’s slander lawsuit against him to federal court.
Small sued Callaway, of Atlantic City, in Atlantic County Superior Court last month, accusing him of making untrue statements claiming Small and his wife, La’Quetta, allowed children to be raped in their home by a relative, Kayan Frazier, who pleaded guilty in federal court to exploitation of a child earlier this year.
Callaway wants Small’s lawsuit moved to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
“Mr. Callaway is seeking to defend himself in New Jersey federal court so that he can assert his constitutional rights to free speech under the First Amendment,” said attorney Daniel Weininger, who is representing Callaway.
ATLANTIC CITY — Mayor Marty Small Sr. has filed a legal complaint against Atlantic City poli…
Small referred all questions to his attorney, Ed Jacobs, who declined comment.
Small is running for reelection and has called Callaway’s statements a “political witch hunt.”
Small’s lawsuit accuses Callaway and five unnamed others of slander and civil conspiracy for comments Callaway made about the Smalls and Frazier.
The plaintiffs must prove the statement was uttered with “actual malice,” Weininger said.
In his motion papers, Callaway argues whether he slandered the Smalls is a question under federal law and thus should be decided in a federal court, according to a news release.
The case status is listed as “closed” and disposition as “transferred to another court” on New Jersey Courts’ eCourts Public Access System.
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