ANDREA C. BECK, Plaintiff,
JOHN GREIM, JEFFREY HORVAT, : AMY RETZLAFF, PETER RETZLAFF, and ANNA MARIE HANNA, Defendants.
Submitted: September 27, 2019
Defendants' Rule 50(a) Motion for Directed Verdict
C. Beck, Plaintiff, pro se
T. McNelis, Esquire of Young & McNelis, Dover, Delaware;
attorney for Defendants.
WILLIAM L. WITHAM, JR., RESIDENT JUDGE
bench trial resulted from an ongoing dispute between the
Plaintiff, Andrea C. Beck ("Ms. Beck"), and
Defendants John Greim, Jeffrey Horvat, Amy Retzlaff, Peter
Retzlaff and Anna Marie Hanna ("the Defendants"),
directors and officers of the homeowners association of
Bombay Woods Maintenance Corporation.
conclusion of Ms. Beck's case, the Defendants renewed
their motion, pursuant to Superior Court Rule 50, for a
directed verdict on three grounds. First, Ms. Beck failed to
proffer any evidence that any statements or actions by the
Defendants took place after the Court's determination of
a statute of limitations deadline of November 30, 2014.
Second, that Ms. Beck has not proffered any evidence that any
documents in question were published to a third party. Third,
that no evidence has been presented as to actual damages.
Beck generally argues that evidence has been presented by way
of documents of the Bombay Woods Maintenance Corporation
designed for the corporation website before November 30, 2014
and thereafter by way of republication. She argues that the
slanderous activities of the Defendants began before November
of 2014 and that she was not aware of some of the actions of
the Defendants prior to discovery in this case. No evidence
has been presented that any of the activities of the
Defendants were libel or slander per se.
50(a) Judgment as a Matter of Law provides:
(1) If during a trial by jury a party has been fully heard on
an issue and there is no legally sufficient evidentiary
basis for a reasonable jury to find for that party on that
issue, the Court may determine the issue against the
party and may grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law
against that party with respect to a claim or defense that
cannot under the controlling law be maintained or defeated
without a favorable finding on that issue.
(2) Motions for judgment as a matter of law may be made at
any time before submission of the case to the jury. Such a
motion shall specify the judgment sought and the law and the
facts on which the moving party is entitled to the
the Court determines that, under the facts presented, no
reasonable juror could find in favor of the plaintiff, the
Court should grant the motion.
defamation claim consists of two possible torts - libel
(written) and slander (spoken). ...