BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
UPDATE: November 17, 2020 at 12:28 p.m: Due to an initial incomplete entry on the federal docket, some of the information in our original article on Monday was incomplete or unclear. While we originally reported that Rachel Tannenholz was temporarily permitted to avoid a deposition, the federal judge — once the complete text was finally published — actually ruled that that Ms. Tannenholz’s legal team could push a disclosure deadline. The judge has DEFERRED ruling on whether the Tannenholz deposition will take place.
Here is the updated complete text from the United States District Court:
PAPERLESS ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DEFERRING RULING IN PART on DE 41 Motion of Defendant Tannenholz for Protective Order Staying Depositions and her Discovery Deadlines Pending Decision on Dispositive Motion. Defendant Tannenholz requests that the Court enter a protective order staying the depositions and other discovery deadlines as to her pending a ruling on her Motion to Dismiss (DE 22). Defendant Tannenholz contends that her Motion to Dismiss the single state law claim brought against her for intentional infliction of emotional distress is dispositive with respect to its jurisdictional and merits-based arguments and that she would be prejudiced if she had to expend resources participating in discovery on a claim that is not properly before this Court. (See DE 41 at 2). Pursuant to the Pretrial Scheduling Order (DE 20), Defendants’ expert disclosure deadline in this case is November 16, 2020. Defendant Tannenholz represents that, if discovery continues without a stay as to her, she will have to pay a several-thousand-dollar retainer to her selected expert, which would be wasteful if the Court ultimately dismissed the claim against her. At this time, I will take the motion under advisement, but I am prepared to grant Defendant Tannenholz a stay of the November 16, 2020 expert disclosure deadline. Although Defendant Tannenholz also seeks a stay of the depositions that Plaintiffs and Co-Defendant have requested of her, I will defer ruling on that issue, as the motion does not indicate that those events are imminent, and the court is currently considering the merits of all pending motions to dismiss in this matter. Signed by Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks on 11/13/2020.
BocaNewsNow.com appreciates Attorney Debra Klingsberg for bringing the discrepancy to our attention.
Here’s what’s happened so far in the case:
Tannenholz is accused of harassing homeowner Deborah LaGrasso online and in person, allegedly telling her that she shouldn’t live in Seven Bridges because she’s not Jewish.
Tannenholz claims that LaGrasso was also mean, calling her a stripper.
The Seven Bridges HOA allegedly did nothing to calm the conflict, leading to a federal lawsuit. LaGrasso seeks in excess of $7M — possibly $1M for each bridge.
It all started with a dispute on the tennis courts. From an earlier report which includes a bit of snark at no additional charge:
Seven Bridges is a gated community in West Delray Beach. It’s not a country club but sometimes thinks that it is. Many of its residents are seen driving golf carts, although there are no golf cart paths, let a lone an actual golf course. It’s unclear to where these homeowners are driving their golf carts, or why.
Seven Bridges does have a high profile tennis program. Homeowner Deborah LaGrasso claims that her kids were told they couldn’t use the tennis courts by the grownup version of “mean girls.” When LaGrasso went to investigate, she allegedly engaged in a physical altercation with one or some of the “mean girls.” She was later fined by the HOA and banned from using HOA amenities for a year. Angry, she allegedly posted mean things on Facebook which upset not just the “mean girls” but others who don’t believe the first amendment covers an HOA member posting bad things about an HOA. One of those people is Rachel Tannenholz, another homeowner, who allegedly told LaGrasso that she should move out because she’s not Jewish. LaGrasso claims — and has submitted to the court — documentation suggesting that harassment continued for quite some time. When LaGrasso complained to the HOA, LaGrasso claims that the HOA did nothing. That’s the federal part of the suit. LaGrasso claims Tannenholz harassed her and, knowing about it, the Seven Bridges HOA took no action, violating federal housing laws.
LaGrasso claims Tannenholz wrote: “You moved in somewhere which is 80 percent Jewish and you do not belong here… If I was hated as much as you I would move out… Move the f—k out, it’s over for you.”
Tannenholz claims LaGrasso wrote: “Seven Bridges community stripper wants us to move out according to her last post. OH MY those platform shoes are horrendous…must be so hard to type and dance on the pole at the same time.”
Tannenholz’s attorney, Debra Klingsberg, filed the document below which Judge Middlebrooks partially agreed with. Middlebrooks, however, wrote that he could change his mind and compel Tannenholz to appear once he decides whether or not she should be removed from the suit. If Judge Middlebrooks removes Tannenholz from the suit, the Seven Bridges HOA would potentially be responsible for any judgment or settlement resulting from Tannenholz’s alleged actions.
Not keeping a low profile, Tannenholz herself has now taken to social media to criticize the restaurant at Seven Bridges as well as other homeowners. BocaNewsNow.com has reviewed the posts and messages but will not publish them due to their tone and content.
Meantime, Tannenholz filed her own libel/slander suit against Deborah LaGrasso. The suit was filed in July but was just served on November 2nd.
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