Are disputes between dry cleaners and their customers a new source of income for lawyers? The owner of an Upper East Side drycleaning business is suing a man for papering the neighborhood around his store with fliers that impeach the quality of his service. Todd Ofsink owns Todd Layne Cleaners on East 77th St. and is suing Evan Maloney for $100,000 for defamation. Maloney had some negative customer experiences at the store, so he set up a site called ToddLayneCleanersSucks.com and began posting fliers.
A judge recently ruled that Maloney was barred from entering the store, but the court ha thus far yet to rule on whether he was free to continue with his site and the fliers. Some of Maloney's problems with the cleaners include closing early before he could pick up his clothes, detergent that gave his fiancée hives, washing his cellphone when he left them in his pants pocket, and returning clothes without drying them. Ofsink claims that Maloney is a kook who was demanding unreasonable levels of service and wants him to stop badmouthing the business to neighbors.
Maloney is a software engineer, but also a documentary filmmaker who considers himself a 1st Amendment advocate. The New York Sun wrote about him last week after he challenged claims that Columbia University was a bastion of free speech for inviting Iran's president to campus. Maloney says that the school censored him while he was filming a documentary about political indoctrination at American universities. He was also mentioned in a New York Times profile of his movie's producer back in August.
And as insane as this all may be, it has nothing on the DC judge vs. dry cleaner saga.