United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
MATTER is before the Court on the Defendants'
oral motion for judgment as a matter of law pursuant to Rule
50(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
action, the Plaintiff Shirley Teter asserts a claim for
defamation based on videos published by the Defendants. The
Plaintiff alleges that these videos falsely implicate her
involvement in coordinated disruptions and violence carried
out in conjunction with the 2016 presidential election.
matter proceeded to a jury trial on May 20, 2019. Upon
conclusion of the Plaintiff's evidence, the Defendants
moved for the entry of judgment as a matter of law on the
Plaintiff's defamation claim. The Court orally granted
the Defendants' motion on May 22, 2019, advising that a
written order would follow. [Minute Entry dated May 22,
STANDARD OF REVIEW
50(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in
pertinent part, as follows:
party has been fully heard on an issue during a jury trial
and the court finds that a reasonable jury would not have a
legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the party on
that issue, the court may:
(A) resolve the issue against the party; and
(B) grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law against
the party on a claim or defense that, under the controlling
law, can be maintained or defeated only with a favorable
finding on that issue.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(a)(1). “Rule 50(a) allows a party to
challenge the sufficiency of the evidence before a case is
submitted to the jury[.]” Belk, Inc. v.
Meyer Corp., U.S., 679 F.3d 146, 154 (4th Cir. 2012). A
“tests the legal sufficiency of a claim, that is,
assesses whether the claim should succeed or fail because the
evidence developed at trial was insufficient as a matter of
law to sustain the claim.” Id. at 155. In
reviewing a motion for judgment as a matter of law, the Court
must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Dennis v. Columbia Colleton
Med. Ctr., Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 645 (4th Cir. 2002).
Plaintiff's Defamation Claim Fails as ...