Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla has given plaintiff Gary Tedford another 30 days to find an attorney to argue against a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendant in a defamation case.
The Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis LLC filed the motion for summary judgment in April. The matter has been postponed previously due to Tedford's bankruptcy and the withdrawal of his attorney, Robert Perica of Alton.
Hylla set the new motion date for Sept. 25 at 9:30 a.m.
Tedford has sued the Suburban Journals over an article that appeared in the Collinsville Herald Journal, one of the company's weekly papers.
According to his complaint, the paper defamed him and ruined his good name by running his picture and physical description in two articles entitled "Top 5 Most Wanted Criminals" in 2001.
Tedford had been wanted on charges of deceptive practices by the Collinsville Police Department. He was arrested in late March of 2001 a day after the first "Top 5" article appeared.
Tedford contends the charges were false.
The paper ran another "Top 5" article featuring information about Tedford in April 2001.
The suit seeks compensatory damages of $50,000 and punitive damages in the amount of $5 million.
The plaintiff claims shame, humiliation and great emotional distress were caused by the articles.
Tedford is currently representing himself and did so at Friday's hearing.
The Suburban Journals are represented by Mark Lindmark of St. Louis.
The case had originally been assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.
The case is Madison case number 07-L-586.