BENTON – The defendant in a lawsuit previously filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court has answered the plaintiff's complaint, and the case has been moved to federal court.

Charles H. Stegmeyer filed the original suit Dec. 10 against Frederick Peet, a former client, alleging damage to his professional reputation that resulted in lost income. The answer was filed Jan. 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

The filing states that Stegmeyer was hired by Peet to represent him in legal matters in Franklin County, Missouri from 2006 to 2010.

The defendant denies six of the plaintiff's original allegations, including claims of false and defamatory statements because, the defendant says, those statements are true and can checked in a fax from the plaintiff's office.

The defendant also states he was a resident of the state of Missouri, not Illinois when the plaintiff filed his complaint.

The defendant's affirmative defenses involve the plaintiff's original claim for libel against the defendant. In all four defenses, the defendant says that claim of libel is barred by the applicable statute of limitations, the doctrine of absolute privilege under Missouri law for statements falling under the category of judicial privilege, the doctrine of absolute immunity under Missouri law because the factual statements sued upon are true, and the failure of the claim to state a cause of action.

Having answered the plaintiff's complaint, the defendant seeks a dismissal of the complaint and the awarding of costs to the defendant. He is represented by Larry A. Bagsby of The Bagsby Law Firm of St. Charles, Missouri.

Benton Division of the Southern District of Illinois case number 16-cv-96

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