Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Los Angeles California Wildlife Rehabilitation Real Estate

Monday, November 17, 2014

UPDATE: Tawni loses part of suit - Tawni's Ponies sues animal activist for defamation for expressing her opinion of Tawni's Ponies

UPDATE: February 18, 2015: Tawnis Ponies has filthy, old, rusted, dangerous barn and corral. Her animal inventory records are also lacking. Her trailer was on the premises and filthy yet there were no ponies October 2014. Her corral was so covered in feces there was not one clean place for animals to stand. I believe this is animal neglect and abuse.

UPDATE: Judge Lisa Hart-Cole ruled on the anti-SLAPP motion January 22, 2015. I just got a copy. Judge Lisa Hart-Cole of Santa Monica Courthouse Dept WEO granted part and denied part of the motions by two defendants. Judge also ruled that Tawni Angel, her husband Jason Nester, Tawni's Ponies owes the legal fees of both Defendants. Based on the many lengthy filings I see huge legal fees maybe $25-$50K. I don't see any equity in Tawni's house, ranch, business. I doubt they have litigation insurance especially when they were Plaintiffs. They owe money all over the place for cars, credit cards, back taxes.... They may have to soon file for bankruptcy and shut down their business. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot.

One Defendant Marcy won her SLAPP motion on two causes i.e. emotional distress, injunction, lost on two, i.e. defamation, interference with business. Marcy is appealing the two causes in the SLAPP motion to the Second District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles. She will easily win. The City clearly stated repeatedly they weren't terminating Tawni's contract because of what Marcy said. The Plaintiffs never proved that the pony's hooves in the photo were not cracked. They look chipped and cracked to me. Plus that statement and those photos were part of the complaint made to the city. It is therefore privileged. Judge mixes up litigation privilege with fair report privilege. The Judge's order has many mistakes in it, is not in proper format and wanders all over the place. 

The other Defendant won every part of her anti-SLAPP motion. There was no defamation, no emotional distress, no interference with business and no injunction. Tawni owes all of her legal fees because Judge ruled the anti-SLAPP motions were not frivolous evidence by the fact some claims were won. 

Tawni's Ponies and Petting Farm, Santa Monica, Marcy Winograd, defamation, animal abuse, animal cruelty
UPDATE: Here are more Animal Welfare Act violations by Tawnis Ponies and Petting Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu3harm.

USDA, Tawnis Ponies and Petting Farm, violations

USDA violations, Tawni's Ponies and Petting Farm

USDA, Tawni's Ponies and Petting Farm, violations
UPDATE: This is another reason why you would never want to sue someone for expressing their opinion about your animal business. Because people will start investigating you.

Tawni Jeannine Angel born December 1, 1980 has a criminal record. This is just misdemeanors and infractions from Ventura County. She was driving her trailer full of animals and speeding, talking on her cell phone, more speeding tickets with trailer full of animals, more speeding...

2013544773Angel, Tawni JeannineA13012405/08/2013Dismissed$0.00

12500(d) VC, (d) A person may not drive a motor vehicle or combination of
vehicles that is not of a type for which the person is licensed. Perhaps she only has a car license and was driving a motorcycle or trailer truck.

2013510243Angel, Tawni J01294QC12/24/2012Dismissed$0.00

5201(f) VC. License plate was not affixed properly?

2012549395Angel, Tawni Jeannine69324MV04/27/2012Bail Forfeiture$0.00

22349(a) VC Infraction N Bail Forfeited
Exceeding Maximum Speed Limit of 65 MPH

2011621937Angel, Tawni Jeannine63212MV11/27/2011TVS - Conviction$0.00

22406(a) VC Infraction N TVS - Conviction
Maximum Speed for Designated Vehicles - In Excess of Speed Limit by 10 MPH or more. 22406.  No person may drive any of the following vehicles on a
highway at a speed in excess of 55 miles per hour:
   (a) A motortruck or truck tractor having three or more axles or
any motortruck or truck tractor drawing any other vehicle.

2010568922Angel, Tawni Jeannine43610KP06/12/2010Bail Forfeiture$0.00

22406(a) VC Infraction N Bail Forfeited
Maximum Speed for Designated Vehicles - In Excess of Speed Limit by 10 MPH or more

2009557516Angel, Tawni JeannieA1465504/23/2009Bail Forfeiture$0.00

23123(a) VC Infraction N Bail Forfeited
Hand-Held Wireless Telephone: Prohibited use

2001562459Angel, Tawni Jeannine35771PS07/03/2001Bail Forfeiture$0.00

22450(a) VC Infraction N Bail Forfeited
Failure to Stop at Stop Sign

She was sued for collections from Chase Bank. It looks like it was dismissed because she evaded service.

Case Title: Chase Bank USA NA vs. Tawni J Angel
Case Category: Civil - Unlimited Filing Date: 5/3/2010

Jason Nester
Judgment for Capital One Bank USA N.A. against Nester, Jason in the amount of: 21074.47 principal, 0.00 punitive damages, 435.00 costs, 1234.36 pre-judgment interest, and 0.00 attorney fees entered on 05/23/2011.

Guess who also has a criminal record? Jason Frederick Nester born oddly enough December 1, 1980. He has same birthday as his wife.

2013531373Nester, Jason FredrickA13053303/26/2013Bail Forfeiture$0.00

21461(a) VC Infraction N Bail Forfeited
Driver Failure to Obey Signs/Signals
4000(a)(1) VC Infraction N Bail Forfeited
Registration Required or Weight Fees Due.4000.  (a) (1) A person shall not drive, move, or leave standing
upon a highway, or in an offstreet public parking facility, any motor
vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole or pipe dolly, or logging dolly,
unless it is registered and the appropriate fees have been paid
under this code or registered under the permanent trailer
identification program, except that an off-highway motor vehicle
which displays an identification plate or device issued by the
department pursuant to Section 38010 may be driven, moved, or left
standing in an offstreet public parking facility without being
registered or paying registration fees.

2011567110Nester, Jason725157C06/28/2011Bail Forfeiture$0.00

23123.5(a) VC Infraction N Bail Forfeited
Text Communication Prohibited While Driving

2009530609Nester, Jason Frederick43235DC03/05/2009Dismissed$0.00

345063 VC Infraction N Dismissed - Proof of Correction
Inspection of Vehicles, Failure to Comply. No driving log or safety, maintenance. Is he a truck driver?

2008622237Nester, Jason FredrickA4960011/05/2008Bail Forfeiture$0.00

23123(a) VC Infraction N Bail Forfeited
Hand-Held Wireless Telephone: Prohibited use

2008579926Nester, Jason Fredrick39845CT07/14/2008Dismissed$0.00

12500(d) VC Infraction Y Dismissed - Proof of Correction
Licensed Driver Out of Classification. His wife also got one of these. Either no motorcycle or truck license.

2008539972Nester, Jason491569C04/09/2008Bail Forfeiture$0.00

23114(e)(4) VC Infraction N Bail Forfeited
Spilling of Load - Vehicle Transporting Aggregate Material Shall Not Require a Cover, If Load Remains 6 Inches From Upper Edge of Container.

2007574812Nester, Jason F.22829BA06/14/2007Dismissed$0.00

27465(b) VC Infraction Y Dismissed - Proof of Correction
Inadequate Tire Tread - Use on Highway Prohibited
26453 VC Infraction Y Dismissed - Proof of Correction
Condition of Brakes to be Maintained

2007523368Nester, Jason F.59753AW02/14/2007Dismissed$0.00

24002(b) VC Infraction N Dismissed - Proof of Correction
Unlawful to Operate Vehicle Not Equipped as Provided

2006581545Nester, Jason Fredrick41585AW06/15/2006Bail Forfeiture$0.00

27315(d)(1) VC Infraction Y Bail Forfeited
Mandatory Use of Safety Belts Required - Driver

2005609023Nester, Jason Fredrick25509AU10/07/2005Bail Forfeiture$0.00

22450(a) VC Infraction N Bail Forfeited
Failure to Stop at Stop Sign

2001571608Nester, Jason Fredrick64662308/09/2001Bail Forfeiture$0.00

27315(d)(1) VC Infraction Y Bail Forfeited
Mandatory Use of Safety Belts Required - Driver

Based on the above horribly unsafe driving records I don't think they should be driving their kids or animals. I have no tickets on my driving record. The above citations were just the last few years as the database doesn't go back any further. Vehicle not in safe condition, running stop signs, speeding, driving without proper license, no seat belt, using a cell phone, texting on a cell phone, driving a load of aggregate without a cover, driving a large animal trailer and speeding... Maybe someone should call child protective services. Do they drive like this with their kids on board? They are both very bad drivers who don't seem to care about the law.

And now for family law cases only in Ventura. While it says "family law harassment" this is civil harassment. Tawni tried to get a restraining order on Colin Walkden for leafleting but was DENIED. She lied and said there was physical violence. She also filed it in the wrong court. She should have filed in civil, not domestic. Colin was never her boyfriend or husband. Here is copy of printout. She filed the TRO application and was denied instantly. She's not very bright and definitely not ethical.

Tawni Angel, Tawni Angel-Nester, tro, restraining order, denied, tawni's ponies, petting zoo


This pulled up for "Jason Nester" in California but I'm not positive it's his lien.

Debtor: NESTOR,J
Debtor Address: 14955 SATICOY ST APT 115
VAN NUYS  CA  91405-1131
Secured Party: IRS
Filing Date: 09-12-1996
Amount: $10,624.00
Court County: LOS ANGELES
Court State: CA
Case Number: 961504301

They owe back taxes

Debtor Address: 8800 GRIMES CANYON RD
MOORPARK  CA  93021-9768
Filing Date: 02-09-2007
Amount: $1,152.00
Court County: VENTURA
Court State: CA
Case Number: 20070208000274030

Debtor Address: 8800 GRIMES CANYON RD
MOORPARK  CA  93021-9768
Filing Date: 02-08-2007
Amount: $1,152.00
Court County: VENTURA
Court State: CA
Case Number: 2007090500172659

They owe what looks like back taxes, don't pay their credit card bills, had their car loan cancelled.

Tawni's Ponies had USDA violations and lost their USDA permit. They did not have a responsible adult available for the inspection. Did they leave their little kids home alone or maybe with spanish speaking maid? After operating illegally without a permit for almost a year they finally decided to reapply March 2014. I may do an info act request to get the rest of their records.

Tawni's ponies, petting zoo, lawsuit, usda permit cancelled
Here is their animal list. They are not zoned for a domestic pig. I think they have too many farm animals per lot size. Her attorney just said she has 90 animals. That is way too many for that lot. I know alpacas, llamas are legal in LA County because I was the one who spent two years getting the amendment to zoning. I don't know if it's legal in Ventura County. I have the same USDA inspector.

UPDATE: Tawnis Ponies and Petting Farm was operating without the needed USDA exhibit permit from November 19, 2013 to April 22, 2014. They failed their inspection June 5, 2013 before they were cancelled.

Case Number:  SC123378
Filing Date:  11/10/2014
Case Type:  Defamation (Slander/Libel) (General Jurisdiction)
Status:  Pending

Future Hearings

02/23/2015 at 08:30 am in department O at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Conference-Case Management

Documents Filed | Proceeding Information

ANGEL TAWNI J. - Plaintiff
CHOMIAK DONALD E. - Attorney for Plaintiff
NESTER JASON F. - Plaintiff
Case Information | Party Information | Proceeding Information

Documents Filed (Filing dates listed in descending order)
11/10/2014 Complaint Filed
11/10/2014 Summons Filed
Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

Attorney Donald Eugene Chomiak Jr 1/10/65 rents a one bedroom apartment in Santa Monica. He also leases part of an efficiency legal suite in an office in Santa Monica. He seems to be a one lawyer office. His main practice is real estate law. I see no previous defamation cases in New York or California. He's been in practice since 2001 in NY and 2003 here in CA. Divorced, into sports.

The suit is for libel per se, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, intentional infliction of emotional distress and injunctive relief. This means in discovery Plaintiffs will have to turn over all of their medical and psychological records for all time, all of their personal and business bank statements for years, all of their personal and business tax returns, all of their veterinary records for last decade, all of their animal inventory reports (which animals died, which were sold, bred, killed), names of all employees and volunteers. The various websites, facebook, Google, YouTube will also be subpoena'd. We can see who posted the nasty, revolting things against Marcy et al and the threats. I'm now being attacked and I have never even met Marcy.

As far as I've read online Marcy has not defamed anyone. Everyone has said for years that carousel pony rides and petting zoos are in and of themselves "animal abuse," "cause pain, suffering and death," and are "inhumane" "animal cruelty." Marcy never said that Tawni was "charged and convicted of animal abuse by police." She said "I believe this is animal abuse," which it is.

Marcy and others had every right to protest, send emails, go to City Council. Reports to government agencies are fair and privileged. They can never be defamation. Tawni received fair and legal notice of the meeting. As per the Brown Act they only need to give them 72 hours notice. They got five days. Marcy's people stayed to 1:00 a.m. Tawni didn't have anyone willing to stay to 1:00 a.m. These meetings frequently go to 2:00 a.m. I spoke at WeHo against fur at 1:30 am. Tawni's ponies will lose the contract because the city of Santa Monica has been moving away from cruel animal events. They voted to make cat declaw illegal with us. The City even said "it's not because of the reports or anything to do with Marcy, it has to do with the city evolving and changing."

Interesting. Tawni and Jason bought their home in mid 2005 for $1M. At almost the absolute peak they refinanced for $1M. Their monthly mortgage is about $5,300. Your mortgage can't be more than 28% of your net income or 33% of your gross income. That means they told the bank they gross $16K/month. They state they make $75K off pony rides which is 80% of their income. That means they say they make $94K/yr. They told the bank they make $192K/yr in order to get their current mortgage. I don't know their exact interest rate because I don't feel like looking it up. Maybe they got an adjustable. If they did this, it would be mortgage fraud. It appears to me they have been upside down on their house since they refinanced. I think they owe more than what they have. They both didn't pay big credit card bills. Seems they live above their means. If they know the Santa Monica contract will most likely be over with May 2015, they should start looking for other work now.


Their property is zoned A-E as single family residence only with agricultural exclusive use only. They cannot run a business from the lot. Minimum acres is 40. Here is definition of the zone:

Sec. 8104-1.2 - Agricultural Exclusive (AE) Zone
The purpose of this zone is to preserve and protect commercial agricultural lands as
a limited and irreplaceable resource, to preserve and maintain agriculture as a major
industry in Ventura County and to protect these areas from the encroachment of
nonrelated uses which, by their nature, would have detrimental effects upon the
agriculture industry."

Here is definition of "agricultural" zone, "Agriculture - Farming, including animal husbandry and the production and management of crops (including aquatic crops) for food, fiber, fuel and ornament. (AM. ORD. 3730 -5/7/85)"

It does not include filming, animal rental, pony rides, petting zoos.

Here is the zoning for Ventura County.

202 E Guiberson Rd, Fillmore, CA. Husband bought this for about $1M then refinanced it for over $1M. It has an illegal unit on the property. It can ONLY be used as a residence. It's illegal for them to conduct a business on the property which they are doing. I doubt they have a conditional use permit. They will have to move or get a CUP. They will not be able to get a CUP on this property. Just searched and they don't have one. They are in violation of Ventura County Planning and Zoning for use, animals, illegal structure...I also doubt they got film permits for every location shoot. I will call and find out. Tawni's lawyer stated they have 90 animals on the property. They are way over the limit. The lawyer says the animals roam in a five acre pasture. They do not. If they did, coyotes would eat them all. They are locked in stalls in a barn.

I'm curious why they keep breeding their animals. Real farm sanctuaries never allow their animals to breed. They always have tons of babies which are popular with petting zoos. They must be selling the animals. I'd hate to think what else they might be doing with them. They did buy these animals. They are special dwarf goat, cow breeds, llamas, alpacas, a mini-pig, fancy chickens...

PETA, HSUS, ASPCA...all say that pony rides are in and of themselves animal abuse. Below are their actual statements. They have been fighting to shut them down.

PETA states pony rides are animal abuse. "Pony Rides: Tethered tightly to turnstiles and forced to plod in endless circles, ponies can suffer from hoof ailments and are often left sore and chafed from ill-fitting equipment. Equines are specifically excluded from protection under the federal Animal Welfare Act, and if local or state authorities fail to intervene, the outcome can be deadly."

PETA about petting zoos. We already know that they are bad drivers. I'm sure their bad driving endangers their animals. "The animals used in petting zoos are hauled around in tractor-trailers, confined to small pens and cages, and forced to interact with large crowds of people. The animals are rarely allowed to rest when on display, and they often develop health problems from this forced interaction."

PETA states "ride bikes, not animals."

I just saw my first pic of these pony rides in Santa Monica. This is animal abuse. They are tied to a small carousel to go round and round on cement with no shade. Quite a few cities and states have banned carousel pony rides such as Pamploma, Spain, Miami Shores, Florida, Hollywood, Florida... The World Equine Organization has called for a complete ban of carousel pony rides. North Carolina is thinking of outlawing them for health reasons after many were made ill and one person died from e-coli.

Green Mountain Animal Defenders says this "Green Mountain Animal Defenders opposes the use of animals in any form of sport in which animals have no choice but to participate. Ponies used in pony rides are tethered to a carousel or cart and forced to carry passengers for hours. This leads to hoof problems and other ailments. The ponies are generally sent for slaughter or otherwise discarded when no longer profitable."

HSUS says this "The Humane Society considers the sale, the handling of the ponies during the sale, the pony rides and the transport to the sold ponies' new homes stressful and cruel to the animals."

From the ASPCA "The ASPCA is opposed to the cruelty that is inherent in using either wild animals or livestock in unaccredited zoos, roadside menageries, petting zoos, game farms and the like, and in attractions such as elephant rides, camel rides, and llama and pony rides that either stand alone or are attached to such venues."

Guess who is supporting Tawni's Ponies? Organizations that use horses to make money such as carriage horses, horse racing... Carriage horses and horse racing are animal cruelty. The horse isn't doing these things because they want to. They are forced. Imagine if someone grabbed you and forced you to pull people around or carry people. You won't not like it. Horses are supposed to be free in the wild not carrying people. We forced them to do that.

Information from the Center for Disease Control about petting zoos. Hand washing stations are better than sanitizer. You must make sure kids don't kiss the animals or touch the animals and touch their mouth, face, eyes. Pretty tough with the under seven crowd. Here is Tawni doing what you are not supposed to do.

Here is a link to the Santa Monica City Council item where they decided to not renew the pony ride contract. They decided not to renew it because the City does not like animal entertainment. I know because I've worked with them many times. The area is small. They'd like to have children activities and maybe more dining area. What I don't get is how they allowed it in the first place. You can't have food sale, dining right next to animals. I know because animal adoption events generally can't be in Farmer's Markets.

Here are the minutes.

13-I:    Request of Councilmembers Davis and Winterer that, in anticipation of the expiration of the current contract at this site, the City Manager issue an RFP for children's-oriented activities at the ingress/egress of the Main Street Farmers Market that gives preference to partners in our Buy Local initiative and non-animal activities, such as painting, arts and crafts, gardening, cooking, food preparation and decoration. If the bids do not meet with Council's approval, Council may reserve the entrance to the Main Street market for open space or dining, was presented.

Councilmember Davis nominated Councilmember Winterer to serve as Acting Chair in Mayor Pro Tem’s absence. The motion was accepted by acclamation.

Members of the public Ira Gottlieb, Marcy Winograd (donated time by Liz Ford), Nazila Mahgerefteh, Lucy Mueller, Colin Wadkin, Danielle Charney, Janet McKeithen, Nicole Phillis, Mike Salazar, Zoe Muntaner, Robin Doyno, Jackie Hirtz, Lisa Chess, Judith Powell, Ruth Olafsdottir, Robert Goldman, Maria Loya, Catherine Eldridge, and Ed Hunsaker (20 people)
spoke generally in favor of the recommended action.

Members of the public Stacy Dalgleish, Linde Williston, Chuck Nester, James Angel,Tawni Angel (donated time by Jason Nester), Ana Maria Daisy Demars, and a person identifying himself as “People of California” (8 people) spoke generally in opposition to the recommended action.

20 people to 8 people. The people have spoken.

Considerable discussion ensued on topics including health, pony treatment, Request For Proposal, and operational issues.

Motion by Councilmember Davis, seconded by Councilmember Winterer, to approve the requested action with the modification to permit staff to reconsider the placement of activities in the farmer’s market.

Motion to amend by Councilmember Davis to direct staff to either put out a Request For Proposal or create a pilot educational program. The amendment was friendly to the seconder.

Motion to amend by Councilmember Davis to additionally direct staff to look for alternative locations for live animal activities. The amendment was friendly to the seconder.

The motion was approved by the following vote unanimously:

AYES:        Councilmembers McKeown, Winterer, Davis, Vazquez
NOES:        None
ABSENT:   Councilmember Holbrook, Mayor Pro Tem O’Day,
                    Mayor O’Connor

Video of the speakers starting at 5:19. This link will take you to the exact item 13 i. Great speakers opposing the contract. The people for the contract all were for animal exploitation and abuse. They are oblivious that this is abuse. They want to teach people that we should take wool from sheep, eggs from chickens, goats for milk and cheese. I'm amazed she didn't talk about burgers and fried chicken. The kids would have been very upset. I was the first time I found out burgers were cows. Kids are very likely to get sick from petting zoos. Many kids cry on the ponies.

Councilmembers made some great statements especially McKeown. He said we've come to a point that maybe we don't want pony rides any more. He talked about being a vegetarian and how we need to be for the environment. Other councilmember said many people have complained about the pony rides. It's a controversial situation. The city doesn't want controversy. Kevin talked about how Santa Monica is changing. He mentioned the mural titled "Unbridled" where the Santa Monica carousel horses come alive then leave the carousel to go run free on the beach.

Santa Monica horse carousel mural "Unbridled" horses run free on the beach

Note a sign that says no animals allowed right next to the petting zoo.
Tawni's Ponies and Petting Farm, animal abuse, no animals allowed
More information here.

Great article Marcy Winograd wrote about this situation.

Facebook page about this issue

Tawni's Ponies and Petting Farm, crying kids, animal abuse
Entity Number:C2638476
Date Filed:05/04/2004
Entity Address:202 EAST GUIBERSON RD
Entity City, State, Zip:FILLMORE CA 93015
Agent for Service of Process:TAWNI ANGEL
Agent Address:202 EAST GUIBERSON RD
Agent City, State, Zip:FILLMORE CA 93015

Tawni does not always tell the truth. "In 2003, one of her biggest goals was realized when she and her husband purchased a pony ride company and founded “Tawni's Ponies and Petting Farm” By 2008, they were serving all of Southern California, supplying animals to 250 events a year, had purchased another local company, Animal World Petting Zoo, and joyfully celebrated the birth of their first child." The other women also ran a horse carriage business. She says she was a teacher. Then why are there so many spelling, grammatical errors in what she wrote March 2005?

"Hi, my name is Tawni Angel, I am the owner of "Tawni's Ponies & Petting Farm".  I have spent my entire life studying and learning about horses and ponies, I am a Certified American Riding Instructor, Recreational Riding Level 2.  I have competed on the hunter/jumper circuit extensively with my 17 hand Thoroughbred "Rhylee".

Before starting "Tawni's ponies" I taught horseback riding lessons on the weekends and worked full-time as a teacher for a local preschool.  Needless to say my love for children and animals has brought me here.  I truly feel blessed, I have found my calling.

Our ponies and petting farm are here to serve all of your special event needs. We pride ourselves on spending an abundant amount of time working with our animals, teaching them to be kind and gentle with children. Meanwhile we get the chance to teach children about the care and work involved with ponies, goats, sheep,ducks, chickens, rabbits, pigs, mini's,donkey's,horse,cows ............and so on.

Our company has been attending Birthday parties, Farmers markets, and Carnivals for 10 years.  We look forward to serving your family with our wonderful ponies and loveable critters.

We are excited to inform all of you:
Tawni's Ponies& Petting Farm has recently purchased; Animal World Petting Zoo.  We look forward to meeting"

They had a car loan which was terminated.

iling Number: 087165033508
Filing Date: 07-10-2008
Filing Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
Filing History:
TERMINATION 06-06-2011
Secured Party Address: PO BOX 255587
SACRAMENTO  CA   95865- 5587
Debtor Address: 202 E GUIBERSON RD
FILLMORE  CA   93015- 9749
Debtor Address: 202 E GUIBERSON RD
FILLMORE  CA   93015- 9749

The lawyer who took this case for Tawni's Ponies obviously just wants to get a lot of money out of them. He has no case. Thank god in California we have anti-SLAPP legislation. Texas just recently enacted a similar statute. If only they'd enacted it before I was falsely sued for defamation for stating the same thing. In my case USDA agreed with me in writing. At least I'll soon win my appeal.

The activist stated that Tawni's Ponies was committing "animal abuse." The activist feels having pony rides, petting zoos in this matter is tantamount to "animal abuse." That's fine. The activist did not state that Tawni was "charged and convicted of animal abuse by the police." There was no defamation. This will be an easy win for the defendants. They will end up with $50-$75K from the Plaintiffs. The negative press will most likely cause Tawni's ponies to go bankrupt.

Video of a happy pony having fun running around free and jumping. Compare the video of the carousel ponies with this. Look at the body language, expression of the ponies. Night and day. Carousel ponies are shackled to the carousel so they can't raise their head or buck off the rider.

Tawni's Ponies and Petting Zoo have been reported to the City of Santa Monica, Santa Monica City Attorney, and USDA for violations.

I was sued twice for defamation, represented myself and won. The cases are similar though unfortunately I was sued in PA and NY which did not have anti-SLAPP at that time. My first case was 2001. I won in 2002. Every word I said was the truth. They went bankrupt.

Second was in 2003 and I won in 2004. This woman went out of business. She was a company paid stock promoter who lured in gullible elderly investors with her lies who then lost their life savings.

Tawnie's ponies will lose the anti-SLAPP motion to strike complaint. I may go to court to watch the proceedings. The below was forwarded to me from an animal rights group. Marcy forgets that the lawsuit is also retaliation for her shutting down the petting zoo in Santa Monica. Marcy stated in a report to a government agency that they committed animal abuse. Anything in a report to a government agency is privileged and protected. It can never be defamation no matter what. If one repeats what one said in a government report, that is still protected.

Dear Animal Champion:


   The operators of the tethered pony ride and cramped petting zoo at Santa Monica’s Main Street Farmers Market have filed a million-dollar lawsuit against me, another pony friend, and 20 as yet unnamed defendants, in what I believe is a SLAP SUIT (strategic lawsuit against public participation) to bully us and silence our opposition to animals tethered to a metal pole and forced to plod in tiny circles for hours on hard ground, unable to turn around or seek water on their own during a hot summer day. To see photos, videos, petition links and more, click below.

  I intend to fight for our First Amendment rights by filing an ANTI-SLAPP motion to protect my freedom of speech rights – and those of others who might otherwise be deterred by coercive litigation from exercising their rights -- and to defend the rights of suffering animals, sentient beings with emotional lives worthy of dignity and compassion.

  Please support our First Amendment fight by visiting these media sites and posting your comments.
Animal Rights Activist Rebuts Pony Operator Charges
Pony Operator Sues Protestors/SM Daily Press

Tawni’s Ponies Strike Back/SM Mirror
Issues to address:
**If a lawsuit like this is allowed to go forward, it will chill ongoing political debate on a range of subjects, from animal exploitation to overdevelopment to workers rights and union-busting to drone warfare and fracking.
** This lawsuit is a publicity stunt to circumvent the city council's action, which was a legislative decision that cannot be directly challenged because, with few exceptions, the council's decisions are immune from litigation.
**Under defamation law, the pony operator does not have grounds to go forward because she is a public figure, whose animal treatment was the target of a year-long public protest in 2005, Hence this subject -- the tethering and trapping of animals -- is a matter of public interest and debate.

**Ultimately what is at stake here is the right of ordinary citizens to protest and petition their government for redress of grievances, as well as the right of animal lovers everywhere to advocate for humane treatment of non-human companions.
  Thank you for your support.
  To Free Speech,
  Marcy Winograd

"SANTA MONICA, California -- A small business owner who operates pony rides and a petting zoo is fighting back against the animal rights activists who convinced the city council to cancel her annual contract next May.

Tawni Angel, the owner of Tawni's Ponies, and her husband filed a lawsuit Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Marcy Winograd and Danielle Charney, plus twenty other defendants, claiming defamation, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit alleges that Winograd and fellow animal rights' activists claimed falsely that Tawni's Ponies was committing "animal abuse," and that they continued to make that false claim even after being informed that the Santa Monica Police Department’s Animal Control Unit had investigated and found no evidence to support it.

A separate police report from Sgt. Mike Graham, cited by the plaintiffs in their complaint, stated:
I examined the ride set-up. The horses appeared in to be in good condition – their body weight appeared normal, their fur was clean and brushed, their manes and tails were brushed and healthy, the ground around them was clean and evenly flat, they walked on sawdust shavings, and there was no visible urine or feces. The equipment – saddles, bridles, and (thick) pads were in good condition. The horses were “quiet” and well behaved. I saw nothing to make me believe the horses were ill-treated, unhealthy, malnourished, injured, or in discomfort. The horses did not appear hot, were not sweating, and were on a timed (30 minute alarm,) water-break schedule.

I saw that as the horses walked in circles, their speed and disposition was constant and calm. Their path took them in and out of shade from the sun.

"Despite receiving written notice that there was no evidence of animal abuse, Winograd and the other defendants continued to wrongly accuse Angel and Nester of abusing their animals," the plaintiff's complaint states, citing several examples, including accusations repeated on YouTube in August, long after the police investigations:

On occasion, the complaint alleges, the animal rights activists even cited the California Penal Code, accusing Tawni of committing a crime--a claim that, if false, is libelous on its face.
The complaint also alleges that Winograd took personal photographs of Angel and her husband from his Facebook page drinking alcohol on vacation, and sent the photographs to city officials in her effort to convince them to terminate the Tawni's Ponies contract.

Those emails had an apparent effect, according to documents obtained by Angel under California's public records law. City council member Ted Winterer, for example, allegedly responded to Winograd via email and agreed with her about "the character of the owners." In addition, the complaint notes, Facebook posts by Charney called Angel and her husband "“racist – bigoted – anti- women RW [right-wing] alcoholic gun toters.”

As a result, the plaintiffs allege, the Santa Monica City Council decided not to renew its contract with Tawni's Ponies to provide pony rides and a petting zoo to the Sunday farmers' market on Main Street. The contract had been renewed since 2003. The decision was made at 1:30 a.m. in a council meeting in September from which several members were absent or had gone home. Unless the decision is reconsidered, the contract will expire in May 2015.

Angel's attorney, Donald E. Chomiak, told Breitbart News on Tuesday: "I'm very confident in our position in this lawsuit. The record speaks for itself."

He cited the police report from May 2014 that exonerated Angel--and that referred to the animal rights activists as "very rude" and "argumentative" in describing their protest at the market.

Winograd knew Angel had been cleared, Chomiak said, yet "the entire time this woman kept spewing."
Reached by telephone on Tuesday, Winograd struck back.

"I think it's a coercive lawsuit designed to bully and intimidate people who exercise their constitutionally-protected free speech rights. I think it's meant to silence me and the over 1,400 others who signed a petition calling for the closure of the animal exhibits at the Main Street Farmers Market," Winograd told Breitbart News.

Winograd said she will file a motion under California's anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) laws, which protect First Amendment rights against legal intimidation.

Update: Chomiak responded to Breitbart News regarding Winograd's intent to file an anti-SLAPP motion:
Animal abuse is not a matter of opinion.  It is a crime under California's Penal Code and has specific elements that must be met.  The police told Winograd on multiple occasions there was no evidence of animal abuse (i.e., that these elements had not been met). Thus, I think my clients are very likely to defeat an anti-SLAPP motion.

He noted that damages could potentially exceed several hundreds of thousands of dollars, given the annual value of the contract to Tawni's Ponies."

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

Google+ Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary Cummins-Cobb, Mary, Cummins, Cobb, wildlife, wild, animal, rescue, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife rehabilitator, fish, game, los angeles, california, united states, squirrel, raccoon, fox, skunk, opossum, coyote, bobcat, manual, instructor, speaker, humane, nuisance, control, pest, trap, exclude, deter, green, non-profit, nonprofit, non, profit, ill, injured, orphaned, exhibit, exhibitor, usda, united states department of agriculture, hsus, humane society, peta, ndart, humane academy, humane officer, animal legal defense fund, animal cruelty, investigation, peace officer, animal, cruelty, abuse, neglect #marycummins #animaladvocates #losangeles #california #wildlife #wildliferehabilitation #wildliferehabilitator #realestate #realestateappraiser #realestateappraisal #lawsuit


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