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NOLA.COM and Times-Picayune sued by imprisoned man over article

By Louisiana Record reports | Feb 13, 2014

GRETNA – A man who was sentenced to 20 years after allegedly illegally having his longtime girlfriend kicked out of his home through a court order so he could sell her possessions, has filed a hand written suit against his former girlfriend as well as a New Orleans area newspaper reporter who covered the story.

Vincent Mark Castillo filed suit against Times Picayune, NOLA.COM, Paul Purpura, Louisiana Secretary of State, State of Louisiana, Department of Public Safety and Corrections, James M. LeBlanc, Robert C. Tanner, Lea Fink, Newell Normand and Paul D. Connick Jr. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Jan. 23.

Castillo claims that that a Jan. 25, 2013 article by Paul Purpura, of the Times-Picayune and NOLA.COM, made use of the phrase “bogus court order” in the title of a story concerning his recent conviction to 20 years in jail for simple burglary. In the story Purpura related that Castillo had kicked his girlfriend, and mother of his child, Lea Fink, out of his home by lying to a district judge when obtaining a court order barring her from his home. The story stated that the plaintiff got the court order so he could sell thousands of dollars worth of his girlfriend’s belongings in garage sales held at the home. Castillo asserts that Pupura committed libel or slander by calling the court order “bogus.”

The plaintiff claims that Fink is also guilty of libel or slander for providing statements to Pupura and perjury for a victim impact statement she made concerning the incident. Castillo also makes the claim that the Department of Public Safety and Corrections is hindering his investigation into the matter by not allowing him to have carbon paper so as to make copies of his legal paperwork and limiting the amount of time inmates can spend in the legal library. In addition, the plaintiff asserts the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has failed to pursue charges of perjury and filing police reports against Fink.

The defendants are accused of slander or libel.

An unspecified amount is sought for compensatory, punitive and nominal damages as well as mental anguish.

Castillo is representing himself in the case pro se.

The case has been assigned to Division O Judge Ross P. LaDart.

Case no. 734-944.

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