Netflix, filmmakers ask court to dismiss Making A Murderer lawsuit

Published: May. 10, 2019 at 12:09 PM CDT
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Netflix and filmmakers behind the Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey docu-series Making A Murderer have asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a retired detective featured in the series.

A motion to dismiss was filed May 10 by Netflix, Chrome Media, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos.

The lawsuit was filed by Andrew L. Colborn in Manitowoc County Circuit Court last December. It was moved to Green Bay federal court in April.

Making A Murderer 1 and 2 follow the arrest, trials and appeals of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. In 2007, both men were convicted of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide for the murder of Teresa Halbach, a freelance photographer who is said to have traveled to the Avery Salvage Yard to photograph a vehicle for a magazine. Investigators maintain that Halbach was killed on Oct. 31, 2005 and her remains were later found in a burn pit on the Avery property. Avery's attorney is appealing his conviction based on new evidence regarding bones found in a nearby gravel pit.

Colborn's testimony is featured heavily in the series. He takes issue with editing of the series. "Pertinent and significant aspects of MAM are not true as represented and are, instead, false and defamatory toward Plaintiff and others. Material and significant facts known to the Defendants were omitted and distorted," reads Colborn's lawsuit.

Colborn is seeking “general damages; compensatory damages;

special damages, including but not limited to, lost wages; and punitive damages." He's asking for $75,000.

The defendants responded May 10 by saying that Making A Murderer contains no false statements about Colborn and that he cannot prove malice.

"The First Amendment requires Colborn, a sworn law enforcement officer, to plead and prove that Netflix distributed Making a Murderer with actual malice. His Amended Complaint comes nowhere close to satisfying federal pleading standards—indeed, it does not even plausibly plead negligence," reads the motion to dismiss. "Because amendment would be futile and because Colborn’s intentional infliction of emotional distress claim is based entirely on the premise that Netflix defamed him, his lawsuit against Netflix should be dismissed with prejudice."

to read the Motion to Dismiss


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