Following a Protection From Abuse and Restraining order filed against Cullman Attorney Kimberly Drake by Jefferson County Attorney Stewart Springer, Attorney Thomas Drake, Kimberly’s husband, filed a lawsuit Thursday afternoon against Springer in the amount of $50,000,000 for her damages and injuries; plus punitive damages. Drake filed the complaint in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama. Case number 01-CV-2022-902445.00.

Jefferson County Attorney and the brother-in-law of Kimberly Drake filed an Answer late Thursday evening to Attorney Thomas Drake’s Complaint.

The Facts listed in the complaint state:

-Plaintiff, Kimberly H. Drake, is a bona fide citizen of Cullman County, Alabama, and over the age of nineteen (19) years.
-Defendant Stewart Springer, is a resident citizen of Jefferson County, Alabama, and over the age of nineteen (19) years.
-Defendant, Stewart Springer, was admitted to practice law in the State of Alabama on September 28, 1990.
-Defendant Springer has been previously reprimanded by the Alabama State Bar Association for engaging in unethical misconduct.
-On or about August 16, 2022; Springer obtained a Petition for Protection From Abuse (“Petition” or “Petition from Abuse”) form from the Clerk of the Court, Jefferson County, Alabama.
-In his Petition, the Defendant claims that the Plaintiff had sent him a threatening text message and feared that the Plaintiff would try to kill him.
-While the Defendant is a practicing attorney with complete access to the State’s electronic filing system; Springer claimed in his petition he does not know whether or not the Plaintiff is currently under a restraining or protection order.
-In his Petition, the Defendant requests that the Plaintiff be ordered to pay his attorney’s fees and all court costs.
-In addition, the Defendant requested that the Plaintiff surrender all of her firearms.
-That the Petition filed by the Defendant was sworn to and duly notarized.
-That the Defendant’s Petition was executed while the Defendant was under oath.
-That the Defendant’s Petition was filed at 9:12 a.m. on August 16, 2022.
-That at 9:47 a.m.; or thirty-five (35) minutes from the filing of his Petition, the Defendant filed a pre-prepared, type-written Notice of Dismissal.
-In his Notice of Dismissal, Springer argues that he may dismiss his Petition without any order of the Court prior to having served the adverse party; namely, your Plaintiff, Kimberly H. Drake.
-In his Notice of Dismissal, the Defendant quotes and/or refers to several previously researched cases in support of his request.
-On August 17, 2022; Circuit Court Judge Donald E. Blankenship ordered that all claims against the Plaintiff be dismissed.

MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

-Plaintiff re-alleges The Facts herein, word for word.
-Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant initiated a judicial proceeding against her without probable cause and with actual malice.
-That the Defendant had practiced law for over thirty (30) years in the State of Alabama and knew that Jefferson County, Alabama was not the proper place and venue to file his claim, and yet, did so.
-That the Defendant knew when he filed his Petition that he had no legal right to do so, as a matter of law.
-Defendant intentionally, willfully, and with malice filed a pleading into Court knowing that it was illegal to do so.
-That the Defendant knew, at the time of filing his lawsuit, that the Circuit Court of Jefferson County could never obtain jurisdiction over his case.
-Defendant knew, at the time of the filing of his lawsuit, that the proper venue for preferring suit was in Cullman County, Alabama.
-That the Defendant knew as a matter of law; well-established principals of law, and pursuant to statutes and codified law; that he could not file a protection from abuse petition against the Plaintiff in any county in the State of Alabama.
-That the illegal and unlawful lawsuit filed by the Defendant against the Plaintiff was dismissed and terminated fully favorable to the Plaintiff.
-That as a direct and proximate cause of the Defendant’s actions and filing of an illegal suit at law, the Plaintiff was caused to suffer extreme emotional distress, mental anguish, worry, and extreme embarrassment.
-That the Defendant knew or had reason to know that the Plaintiff would be injured and damaged as a result of his illegal, malicious, and unlawful lawsuit.
-That the Defendant knew because of the Plaintiff’s profession, his false claims would be published in the media.
-That as a direct and proximate cause of the Defendant’s illegal and unlawful lawsuit, the Plaintiff was caused to suffer damage and injury to her reputation and subject to public ridicule.
-That the Defendant intentionally, willfully, and/or maliciously published his lawsuit to injure and damage the Plaintiff.
-That after the Defendant filed his unlawful and illegal lawsuit; and thereafter dismissed it; he entered the public arena via the world-wide web on chats and comment sections to continue to defame, embarrass, and prosecute the Plaintiff.
-That the Defendant intentionally, willfully, and maliciously sought to deceive the public and justify his illegal and unlawful actions even after having dismissed his case.
-That as a direct and proximate cause of the foregoing, Plaintiff suffered damages and injuries; and, will continue to suffer permanent injuries and damages to her reputation, private and professional, and mental well-being as a result of the fraud perpetrated upon the Court, the Plaintiff’s clients, and the citizens of the State of Alabama.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendant in an amount which will fully compensate her for her damages and injuries; and twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000.00) in punitive damages; plus all interest, court costs and attorneys fees.

ABUSE OF PROCESS:

-Plaintiff re-alleges Count I in its entirety, word for word herein.
-That the Defendant had an ulterior motive in suing the Plaintiff; then, dismissing his case.
-That the Defendant willfully, intentionally, and maliciously caused the Plaintiff mental anguish, fear, worry, damage to her reputation and public ridicule and embarrassment.
-That the Defendant knew, or had reason to know, that he could not legally prefer a lawsuit against the Plaintiff for protection from abuse.
-That the Defendant illegally, wrongfully, and unlawfully filed and issued process; specifically, a petition for protection from abuse knowing that he had no lawful right to do so.
-That the Defendant filed his illegal suit at law maliciously, with ill-will and aforethought.
-That what the Defendant did was wrong; and he knew it was wrong.
-That as a direct and proximate cause of the Defendant’s unlawful malicious abuse of process, Plaintiff was caused to suffer damages and injuries; including, but not limited to: worry, embarrassment, public humiliation, public ridicule, professional defamation, and fear.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendant for an amount which will fully compensate her for her damages and injuries; punitive damages in the fifty million dollars ($50,000,000.00); plus all court costs, interest, and attorney fees.

WANTONNESS AND GROSS NEGLIGENCE:

-Plaintiff re-alleges all previous Count herein, word for word.
-That the Defendant knew, or had reason to know, that he could not file a protection from abuse action against the Plaintiff.
-Defendant wantonly and recklessly filed an illegal and unlawful action in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County against the Plaintiff.
-That with extreme callousness and conscious indifference, the Defendant filed an illegal and unlawful lawsuit against the Plaintiff.
-That what the Defendant did to the Plaintiff was wrong; and, he knew it was wrong and unlawful.
-That as a direct and proximate cause of the foregoing, Plaintiff suffered extreme mental anguish, public embarrassment and ridicule, professional defamation, worry, fear, and permanent injury.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendant in an amount which will fully compensate her for her damages and injuries; plus punitive damages in the amount of fifty million dollars ($50,000,000.00)

Stewart Springer then entered an Answer late Thursday evening explaining/disputing Attorney Drake’s Complaint.

Answer:

COMES NOW, the Defendant, Stewart Springer, and for Answer to the
Complaint filed in this action as follows:

  1. Defendant ADMITS that “1. Plaintiff, Kimberly H. Drake, is a bona fide citizen of Cullman County, Alabama and over the age of nineteen (19) years.”
  2. Defendant ADMITS that “2. Defendant, Stewart Springer is a resident of Jefferson County, Alabama and over the age of (19) years.”
  3. Defendant ADMITS that “3. Defendant Stewart Springer was admitted to practice law in the State of Alabama on September 28, 1990.”
  4. Defendant DENIES paragraph 4 of the Plaintiff’s Complaint. In response to Paragraph 4 of Plaintiff’s Complaint Defendant states that approximately sixteen years ago in 2006, Springer was on a radio talk show and that he made disparaging comments about a sitting Judge that was running for reelection. The Alabama State Bar published the following in the Alabama Lawyer magazine about Springer:

“On October 30, 2009, Birmingham attorney Stewart Springer received a public reprimand without general publication for violations of Rules 8.4(d) and 8.4(g), Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct. In or about July and August 2006, during an incumbent judge’s reelection campaign, Springer was a guest on a radio talk show. Springer used the talk show as a forum in which he made disparaging comments about the incumbent judicial candidate. Springer also distributed flyers at the courthouse which were highly critical of the judicial candidate. Springer’s comments attacked the judicial candidate’s qualifications and integrity. These statements undermined the public perception of the court and, therefore, were prejudicial to the administration of justice. Springer’s actions also adversely reflected on his fitness to practice law.”

  1. Plaintiff ADMITS that “5. On or about August 16, 2022; Springer obtained a Petition for Protection From Abuse (“Petition” or “Petition from Abuse”) form from the Clerk of the Court, Jefferson County, Alabama.”
  2. Plaintiff DENIES that “6. In his Petition, the Defendant claims that the Plaintiff had sent him a threatening text message and fears that the Plaintiff would try to kill him.”

On August 13, 2022, Springer and his wife Allison Springer traveled to Cullman County, Alabama for Allison’s Cullman High School class reunion. Springer and his wife decided to eat at the AllSteak restaurant in Cullman, Alabama. The Springers had not had any communication with Kimberly Drake in approximately a year or more prior to August 13, 2022. On Saturday August 13, 2022, without having had any communication and without any provocation the Plaintiff Kimberly Drake sent the following text to Allison Springer:

“Do not come back to Cullman anymore. It is not safe. We are watching yall. Yall have stirred up enough trouble. Do not come on our turf. We will escort yall out of here. It is like going to New Orleans for yall. Not safe. Look at statistics. We will show up at the next restaurant. Yall are not very smart.”

Defendant has never stated that Kimberly Drake sent a text to the telephone of the Defendant.

  1. Defendant DENIES in part and ADMITS in part Paragraph 7. Defendant admits that he is a practicing attorney. Defendant denies that all restraining orders and all Petitions for Protection From Abuse appear in the Alacourt system. Defendant denies that he has access through Alacourt to ALL restraining orders and ALL Petitions for Protection From Abuse. Defendant admits “Springer claimed in his petition he does not know whether or not the Plaintiff is currently under a restraining order or protection order.”
  2. Defendant ADMITS that “8. In his Petition, the Defendant requests that the Plaintiff be ordered to pay his attorney fees and all court costs.”
  3. Defendant ADMITS that “9. In addition, the Defendant requested that the Plaintiff surrender all her firearms.”
  4. Defendant ADMITS that “10. That the Petition filed by the Defendant was sworn to and duly notarized.”
  5. Defendant ADMITS that “11. That the Defendant’s Petition was executed while the Defendant was under oath.”
  6. Defendant ADMITS that “12. That the Defendant’s Petition was filed at 9:12 a.m.”
  7. Defendant filed the Petition For Protection From Abuse at 9:12 a.m. and while filing the Petition the Defendant clicked the drop down box on the electronic filing system for the case to be filed in Jefferson County, Alabama rather than Cullman County. Both Jefferson County and Cullman County courts have and had state wide general jurisdiction to handle all claims filed. Defendant immediately filed a Notice of Dismissal with the Jefferson County Court and refiled the action in Cullman County. Defendant ADMITS Paragraph 13 in part and DENIES Paragraph 13 in part. Defendant admits that “13. That at 9:47 a.m.; or thirty-five (35) minutes from the filing of his Petition, the Defendant filed a type-written Notice of Dismissal.” Defendant DENIES that the Notice of Dismissal was pre-prepared for the action involving the Petition. The Notice of Dismissal was drafted immediately after the filing in Jefferson County.

Alabama law more specifically Alabama Rule of Civil Procedure allows a party to dismiss a claim by simply filing a notice with the Court as follows:

“Alabama Rule of Civil Procedure, Rule 41, Dismissal of actions:


(1)Voluntary dismissal: Effect thereof. BY PLAINTIFF; …an action may be dismissed by the plaintiff without order of court (i) by filing a notice of dismissal at any time before service by the adverse party of an answer or of a motion for summary judgment, whichever first occurs…”

  1. Defendant ADMITS that “14. In his Notice of Dismissal, Springer argues that he may dismiss his Petition without any Order of the Court prior to having served the adverse party.” This is a correct statement of the law. This rule is important as it allows parties to dismiss filings when the wrong drop down box for the wrong county is selected.
  2. Defendant ADMITS that “15. In his Notice of Dismissal, the Defendant quotes and or refers to several previous researched cases in support of his request.”
  3. Defendant filed a Notice of Dismissal of all claims against Kimberly Drake in Jefferson County, Alabama and the trial court entered an Order granting Springer’s request and thereafter Springer filed his Petition in Cullman County, Alabama.

MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

  1. Paragraph 17 does not require an admission or denial.
  2. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 18 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  3. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 19 of Plaintiff’s Complaint. Filing a Complaint or Petition in Jefferson County verses filing it in Cullman County is not malicious prosecution. Plaintiff’s Counsel confuses venue and jurisdiction. Alabama Circuit Courts are courts of general jurisdiction. Alabama Circuit Courts can entertain any cause of action over which the courts have personal jurisdiction over parties. Jefferson County had jurisdiction to entertain the Petition the Defendant filed.
  4. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 20 of Plaintiff’s Complaint. Defendant had the legal right to file the Petition in Jefferson County.
  5. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 21 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  6. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 22 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  7. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 23 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  8. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 24 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  9. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 25 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  10. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 26 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  11. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 27 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  12. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 28 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  13. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 29 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  14. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 30 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  15. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 31 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  16. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 32 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  17. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 33 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.

ABUSE OF PROCESS

  1. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 34 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  2. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 35 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  3. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 36 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  4. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 37 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  5. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 38 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  6. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 39 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  7. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 40 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  8. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 41 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.

WANTONNESS AND GROSS NEGLIGENCE

  1. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 42 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  2. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 43 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  3. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 44 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  4. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 45 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  5. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 46 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  6. Defendant DENIES Paragraph 47 of Plaintiff’s Complaint.
  7. The Defendant reserves the right to Amend his Answer as discovery
    proceeds.

Follow Cullman Daily as the saga continues.