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Impallaria seeks to reopen defamation lawsuit

Bryan P. Sears//August 15, 2019

Impallaria seeks to reopen defamation lawsuit

By Bryan P. Sears

//August 15, 2019

A Republican state delegate who saw a defamation lawsuit against four members of his own party dismissed when he failed to appear in court is now asking a judge to reconsider.

In a filing in Baltimore County Circuit Court, Del. Richard “Rick” Impallaria, R-Baltimore and Harford counties, is asking Judge Jan Alexander to reconsider his decision to dismiss the case with prejudice claiming that he was not properly notified of an Aug. 1 motions hearing.

Del. Richard "Rick" Impallaria, R-Baltimore and Harford counties. (The Daily Record/File Photo)
Del. Richard “Rick” Impallaria, R-Baltimore and Harford counties. (The Daily Record/File Photo)

“I follow it very carefully,” Impallaria told The Daily Record two weeks ago. “I’m watching all the time to see what the statuses are. We were waiting to see a court date on this and we never did.”

“It was never our intention not to go,” said Impallaria, who is not a lawyer but is representing himself in the dismissed case.

The Daily Record learned of the time and location of the hearing through online court records.

Impallaria attached a copy of the same online court records which he said showed that the hearing was not scheduled. That document, however, clearly shows the Aug.1 motions hearing before Alexander.

Impallaria, 56, a four-term delegate representing Baltimore and Harford counties, filed the lawsuit alleging he was defamed when the four members of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee — Al Mendelsohn, Joshua Wolf, Bradley Lang and J. Michael Collins — discussed a possible reprimand based on Impallaria’s past legal problems and his campaign’s connection to an illegal robocall.

The discussion was based on an editorial and news reports previously published in The Baltimore Sun.

Impallaria was never charged in the robocall incident, but his top aide was, and later was given a $1,000 fine, three years unsupervised probation and community service.

Alexander, in dismissing the case, barred Impallaria from refiling against the four defendants.

Additionally, the judge also added a summary judgment against Impallaria. He said the delegate’s court filings were insufficient and that the chief piece of evidence, a video of the Republican Central Committee members’ discussion, likely violated the state’s wiretap laws.

“It’s unlikely it would be admitted as evidence,” Alexander said when issuing his ruling.

The video was shot and posted online by Tyler Walch, an aide to Impallaria. Walch was charged in the robocall incident and sentenced to probation before judgment, fined $1,000 and given three years unsupervised probation.

Alexander Bush, a Rockville attorney who represented the defendants and is also chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee, declined to comment on the new filing because litigation is pending.

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