After three days of contentious testimony, the pre-trial phase of Richard and Leanne Malouf's lawsuit against real estate reporter Candy Evans has abruptly concluded. On Thursday, Evans agreed to a temporary injunction prohibiting her from entering, touching or going above the natural sight lines of the Malouf's Strait Lane property. The agreement is binding through the course of a trial, which is scheduled to begin September 16, 2013.
In October, the Maloufs filed suit against Evans, Channel 8 WFAA and Laura Wilson, their next-door neighbor. The Maloufs allege all three parties have conspired to trespass on their property; invade their privacy; and defame, libel and slander the couple. Wilson and WFAA's Byron Harris agreed to an injunction identical to Evans' on December 12.
But before everyone made nice on Thursday, there was a little matter of pretrial testimony to be had. Richard Malouf once again took the stand, resuming his testimony from December 14.
"It's hard to tell where Candy Evans stops and WFAA starts," Malouf said. "They are all conspirators in this."
The Maloufs are building a private waterpark in their backyard. Multiple media outlets have covered the progress of the park, as well as its possible connection to pending lawsuits against Richard Malouf's dental practice.
This reportage, Malouf maintains, violated his family's right to privacy and resulted in numerous death threats via blog comments on Candysdirt.com and WFAA.com. None of the comments were referenced specifically during Thursday's hearing.
Malouf testified that he has seen Evans on his property only one time, in April 2011 at his daughter's birthday party. During testimony last week, Evans denied attending the party, which had approximately 300 guests. Malouf said he believes Evans "or one of her affiliates" has entered his property at least five times.
"It's hard to tell where she stops and WFAA starts," Malouf said. "They are all conspirators in this."
The two-and-a-half-hour hearing included numerous backdoor meetings and discussions, the last of which resulted in a signed temporary injunction against Evans. But not before Evans attorney James Bell passionately cross-examined Malouf about the truth of his case.
"Do you understand that you have to come into this courtroom with clean hands?" Bell said, adding, "Do you understand that in order to ask the Honorable Judge Sally Montgomery for any kind of injunctive relief, you couldn't have done anything wrong yourself?"
Malouf said that to the best his information and belief, everything in his petition was accurate.
"Maybe everyone has overstated some things," the judge said before calling the implication "close enough" and a logical conclusion. "Let's move on."
Pointing to a section concerning alleged collusion between Evans and Laura Wilson, Bell said "This is a false petition, your honor."
Malouf testified that he has never seen Evans and Wilson together, nor does he know if they've ever met, but the direction of the photos implied Wilson's involvement.
"Maybe everyone has overstated some things," Judge Montgomery said before calling the implication "close enough" and a logical conclusion. "Let's move on."
Bell switched gears to a camera allegedly found in Leanne Malouf's closet. Richard Malouf said he believes that Evans was involved in its placement.
"She conspired with a former house manager, and magically after he was let go, a plethora of private information came out that couldn't have been obtained any other way," Malouf said.
Bell asked Malouf what evidence he had that Evans was in any way involved with placing a camera in his wife's closet.
"I haven no evidence, but I believe it," Malouf said.
The trial against Evans, Wilson and WFAA for trespassing, invasion of privacy and defamation is slated to begin September 16, 2013.