Mich. poll challengers sue Dominion, say cease and desist letters left them ‘in fear’ for lives

By: - October 4, 2021 12:46 pm

Pro-Trump protesters at Detroit’s TCF Center | Ken Coleman photo

With the help of a pro-Trump attorney, a group of disgruntled former 2020 Michigan poll challengers has launched a lawsuit against voting machine company Dominion for allegedly harming them with cease and desist letters.

Kurt Olsen, a Maryland lawyer who aided attempts to illegally overturn the 2020 election for former President Donald Trump, is leading the effort. Olsen was allegedly dumped by his former law firm this summer.

Dominion, a voting hardware and software manufacturer that provides vote tabulator machines to most counties in Michigan, has been the target of attacks and conspiracy theories from Trump supporters since the ex-GOP president lost to President Joe Biden in November. The company has since sued figures and networks that have propped up those conspiracies, including Fox News and former Trump attorney Sidney Powell.

Dominion vote tabulator machine used in Ingham County, MI | Barb Byrum

The company has not, however, sued any of the eight plaintiffs involved in the new case. The former Michigan election challengers instead argue that Dominion sent them harmful cease and desist letters warning them against “defaming Dominion” after the plaintiffs voiced their concerns about the voting process in affidavits, but allegedly did not mention Dominion.

The notices they received from Dominion left them “consumed with a sense of fear,” the lawsuit reads, and “clearly damaged.”

Litigant Kathleen Daavettila writes in the complaint that she was “in fear of her life and that of her unborn child” upon receiving a letter.

Dominion also sent a notice to former state Sen. Pat Colbeck (R-Canton) at the time — a primary figure in the right-wing effort to sow doubt in Michigan’s 2020 election process — warning Colbeck to retract his remarks in lawsuits that falsely blamed Dominion for stealing the election from Trump.

The new lawsuit against Dominion alleges that the company violated the civil provision of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, engaged in a civil conspiracy and deprived the litigants of numerous constitutional rights.

Celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz is also reportedly an advisor and consultant on the case. Dershowitz served on Trump’s legal defense team during the former president’s 2020 impeachment trial.

Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO who continues to push 2020 election conspiracies, is named on the affidavit as an alleged victim of Dominion’s cease and desist action, though he is not formally listed as a party on the case.

Olsen, the lead attorney for the lawsuit, had unsuccessfully attempted to convince former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to help overturn the 2020 election for Trump at the U.S. Supreme Court.

A spokesperson for Dominion did not immediately return a request for comment.


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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).