One honking case dismissed

HUBBARD – In the wake of an ABC News story on the dispute between Rick Krlich and John Clemente, one of the numerous cases regarding horn honking in Hubbard has been dismissed.

One day before a jury trial was set to commence, Clemente and his attorney, James Wise, notified Trumbull County Common Pleas Court that they were voluntarily dismissing a civil complaint regarding a website created by Krlich.

“We dismissed our action in the hope that we will get a global resolution to everything,” Wise said. “This was set to go to trial, and we decided that, in an attempt to put everything to rest, we’d dismiss and put the ball back into (Krlich’s) court.”

Wise noted that, as part of the dismissal, Clemente has the right to re-file the claim within one year.

Originally filed in 2012, Clemente claimed damages caused by a website Krlich created to document his claims of being the target of a honking harassment campaign.

Krlich, who claims to have spent thousands of dollars to fight the problem in the courts and has filed more than 40 lawsuits against alleged horn honkers, created www.Krlich. com to tell his side of the story. The website outlines the origins of the horn-honking, shows police reports and civil protection orders, and asserts Krlich’s claims that city and county officials have buried any complaint he may file.

Clemente is still listed as a defendant in Krlich’s ongoing legal battle against horn honking harassment past his house.

Clemente’s complaint accused Krlich of use of personal information related to Clemente and his family on the website, including Social Security numbers. The personal information, which was later redacted by Krlich, also included personal information relating to Krlich himself.

It seems that when Krlich was obtaining police reports from Hubbard police for the website, some people’s personal information was not redacted. When Krlich gave the reports to the website designer, they were posted as they were, with all the personal information still visible.

Krlich’s attorney, Robert Henkin said he filed a separate motion to dismiss, which was delivered to Clemente and his legal council on April 30.

“We felt like the plaintiff was not taking a possession of discovery and that the case kept lingering and was not getting resolved,” Henkin said. “So we filed a motion to dismiss the charged, but before the motion could even be processed, the plaintiff had dismissed the case.”

Vic Rubenstein, a representative of Krlich, said that his client was not guilty of any wrongdoing, and was simply posting what had been given to him by Hubbard police.

“It was the department’s responsibility to redact any personal information from the public documents he obtained,” Rubenstein said. “All Rick did was duplicate what the department gave him (for the website).”

In the initial complaint, Clemente asked for $25,000 in compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages, legal fees and “any other relief in which the court deemed equitable and just.”

ABC’s news magazine show “20/20” hosted a Peace and Reconciliation Barbecue on April 26 in Hubbard in hopes of bringing a resolution to the dispute. But even with help from a professional mediator from New York, no reconciliation was reached.