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US Court of Appeals Upholds Dismissal of Lawsuit in Ames v ARRL Case


A lawsuit filed by former ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager Joseph Ames, W3JY, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, against ARRL and several of its officers and Board members was dismissed with prejudice by the United States District Court in Philadelphia in December 2016.

Ames filed an appeal of that decision, and on November 11, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the lower court’s dismissal of the suit.

In its opinion, the appellate court wrote, “because the record shows that Ames acted contrary to [an] August 2015 directive on at least two occasions, the [ARRL’s] statement that Ames ‘repeatedly acted contrary’ to the directive is true and cannot support a claim for defamation…it is apparent on the face of the complaint and related documents that the statements in the [ARRL website news] article are true, and the District Court therefore correctly held that the defendants established a complete defense to Ames’s defamation claim and appropriately dismissed the complaint.”

In June 2016, the Executive Committee of the ARRL Board of Directors relieved Ames of his appointments in the ARRL Field Organization, including his position as Chairman of the ARRL National Traffic System™ (NTS™) Eastern Area.



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