Rick & Barbara Olney

I present a clear presentation of the facts about the legal conflict between Rick Olney and Scott Reed. I have not met either man, and have no direct involvement in their business dealings. Both men have different statements about what transpired, so I cannot personally state for a fact what is the truth. But I can point out that one of the men did go to court and won by default because the other man never showed up to present his side, despite MULTIPLE claims of having a lawyer and clear proof of his innocence. So read on, and decide who do YOU think is more credible based on their actions:

On Dec. 7th, 2006, Rich Johnston reported in his (now-defunct) column, LYING IN THE GUTTERS, this quote from Rick Olney

Of the people you mention, Scott Reed is the only person that worked on the ‘Tales of The Spooky’ #1. And he’s recently been rebuked for fraud regarding his attempts to swindle TightLip Entertainment on a separate matter involving an upgrade to the http://www.mightyminicon.com website.

Full column here

On Feb. 28, 2007. Scott Reed won a default judgment against Rick Olney in Florida Small Claims court. Scott gives his explanation of the case HERE

Just letting everyone know that I have won a lawsuit this morning that was filed against Rick Olney dba Tightlip Entertainment. Olney did not heed the court summons that was delivered to him by the Herkimer Sheriffs dept on January 11, 2007, resulting in a win today by default of his no-show in court.

For those unaware of my case, I sued Rick for 2 unpaid invoices totaling over $2,400.00. Rick acknowledged and then attempted to avoid responsibility to these debts. I made every attempt to settle the matter with him outside of court, to no avail. He paid my efforts with insults, public defamation of character, lies, accusations and threats.

I won’t be publicly responding here about this, beyond this post. The reason for this is that I have already invested quite a few hours over the last several months in dealing with him via email, and monitoring his online activity in this and other forums. The stress this has caused me and my family cannot be understated. I simply want to move forward at this point and pursue collecting the debt now that the trial is over.

Filing a lawsuit in small claims court is easy. For those who are in a similar situation, but hesitate to take action, just call your local county clerks office and ask for the forms needed to file a small claims lawsuit. Some places even have online forms. You won’t need legal representation. The filing fee was $155.00 in my case, but it will likely vary state by state, and according to the amount you are suing for. In the state of Florida, I was able to file the lawsuit here, because this is the state where the services were rendered. I then had the Herkimer County Sheriffs office deliver the summons to Olney, which cost $25.00.

The only challenging aspect of this was in preparing evidence for the judge. I had several months worth of evidence, in the form of emails which had to be organized and printed out, (and the work itself, in the form of original art and digital files) and then quite a lot of work was involved in preparing my case. I also had to print out and organize all of the original art created for Olney, along with printed copies of the site design and associated graphics.

Without Mark Waid’s generosity, it would have likely taken me far longer to actually file the lawsuit. Although I had my paperwork ready, I was still scrambling to make up for the loss of income, and each time I was sure I was ready to file, some bill would take precedence. I am a full-time freelancer, so when a client doesn’t pay for a big project, I’m suddenly in a lot of trouble, because I had to turn down other paying work in order to meet his deadlines.

And here is a scanned copy of the court order:

scott reed judgement

While participating in a thread titled Rick Olney–Fibber or Mega-Giganta-Fibber? on comicbookresouces.com, Rick Olney made several statements in regards to that judgement, and why he did not show up:

On March 4, 2007

Any small claims cases will be challenged and overturned based on the introduction of credible evidence which the court(s) in question will want to be made aware of.

I didn’t show up last Wednesday because I was instructed otherwise. The court that ruled on that matter will be very happy to hear the other side of what was actually alleged to be owed … versus … what was actually factually owed. Small Claims Courts don’t get much of a pat on the back often publicly, but they do have a recourse for misjudged cases. Fraud is fraud. Having a contract versus only saying one has one are two different things. Just ask Mr. Dixon. He understands the ‘game’ of it all.

Also on March 4th 2007

Small Claims actions are simple when only one side of what happened is told. It is reversible. ‘Course, I know that dashes your little heart full of hatred for me, Kevin…

On March 6, 2007:

What I’m saying, is that Scott’s case will be overturned by a higher court and a show cause order supporting fraud to the court will be pressed.

And again:

It is a matter for the Courts to decide. Not sure if “fraud” is the right descriptive. I only talk with lawyers, I’m not actually one.

He made a similar comment on March 5, 2007, in response to a blog posted about the case on Comicsworthreading.com.

Much has been made of stories like Scott Reed. Scott Reed’s ‘win’ will be overturned and Mr. Reed will be explaining in person in a State Civil court how his –unapproved– website design’s (which my 12 year old niece could create with the Word Press program he utilized. It is simple fraud on Scott Reed’s part. Another day in court is coming!

By June 27, 2009, Rick Olney has still not paid any amount towards the judgement, or filed any motions to overturn the judgment, or filed any fraud charges against Scott Reed, as he had continually threatened to do. On that day, Rich Johnston, now running the website Bleeding Cool, posted a new blog titled Happy Birthday Rick Olney, Happy Birthday To You!, in which he said that Rick Olney contacted him about making amends, and Johnston wanted to hear from people whom were owed money by Rick Olney.

Scott Reed replied: $2,712.26 not including the 11% interest beginning 2007 at the time of the court ruling. This was for a website design and several pages of inks and colors.

Rick Olney initially replied: I am not going to discuss the specifics between you and I, Scott. You are welcome to put into print here or at CBR whatever makes you feel that what you pulled was legal. It wasn’t. That is all I have to say to you here on the subject matter of this thread. Hopefully you’ll understand. I mean, you’ve made that same statement before here. Saying it 100 times won’t change anything.

It goes back and forth like that for several pages, with Rick Olney repeating that Scott lied in court, and making various claims about future legal action, until Scott Reed contacted a collection agency to handle the case.

On August 7, 2009, Rick Olney wrote:

Now about Mr. Reed:

I have never appreciated the name calling towards me. I am working to clear each and every single matter (complaints wise) that have been lodged against me. This is the contents of a recent email that I got from “Mr. Bob Winters” acting on behalf of Scott Reed.

From: Bob Winters
Date: Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 4:53 PM
Subject: scott reed dba web’s best design vs olney, rick dba tightlip ent.
To: tightlip.entertainment@gmail.com

file# 2XXXX balance due $2,712.26

Pursuant to our conversation, the pdf attachment contains copy of the judgment you requested. We are willing to accept payment arragment as follows: $212.26 due on or before 8/15/09 and 25 subsequent payments of $100.00 each dated 1 month apart on a series of dated checks via check by phone. Prior to your payments maturing for deposit our office would notify you 7-10days in advance in writing. Said checks could be secured in incriments 3 sets(90 days) or 6 sets (180 days). Upon receipt and clearance of said payments above mentioned, this matter would be considered settled in full and satisfied.

Bob Winters
8XX-8XX-9XXX ext 7XXX

I realize that only Scott Reed can confirm the above. Again, I have negotiated and intend to settle this matter involving Scott Reed in good faith. Legal threats aside, that is.

Rick Olney missed the August 15, 2009 deadline for the first payment of $212.26, as did not make a follow-up payment of $100 a month later in Sept. 2009.

He didn’t make any payments until Oct. 2, 2009, in which case he paid $100. This was detailed by Rich Johston on Oct. 6, 2009 in a new blog: EXCLUSIVE: Rick Olney Pays Back $100, $35,502.76 To Go…

Rick Olney initially replied:

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that things are starting to move in a positive direction. They should continue in that direction.

I will also provide proof of nearly ALL PAYMENTS made to Rich Johnston. Some people prfer not to made public fodder, as much as I’m sure some of you can’t accept reading such a thing.

By Jan. 1st 2010 Rick Olney had not many any further payments to Scott Reed, and this was again covered by Rich Johnston
The Tenth Annual Rumour Awards – BEST LACK OF PAYMENT

So the Not Paying Award goes to the one, the only, Rick Olney who, despite owing at least $35,000 to comic creators has so far, as much as we can tell, only paid back $100. And despite much sound and fury about paying so much, it came, as was probably expected, to nothing.

In the following months, Rick Olney made a few more remarks regarding Scott Reed on his blog. All the posts have since been deleted, but they are documented here:

March 7,2010:
There’s guy that took me to small claims court in Florida thinking that his 15 minute creations of examples of his work qualified him legally to be paid for his examples. Well… no contract was ever issued. Any contracts with this individual were violated by his disregard of his confidentiality agreement signed which was connected to his violated work-for-hire contract. Take that Scott Reed. You’re a crook and I can prove it. The credit collection agency that you have attempted to harass me is toothless. Your friends at Unscrewed.com are like wise useless. Had an actual contract existed between us you would’ve been paid before now. So go piss up a rope, you crook! You’ll never get as much of the monies illustrated in that image above. Never.

March 8 2010 Unfortunately, your attempts to collect a single dime beyond the $100 dollar pity payment shall go unanswered. I am just as entitled to my online blustering as you are to your dreams of being paid for something you never had any authorization,legally, with a contract as was my habit back then. You can chase and chase. Have your collection agency contact me by mail. I have had NO contact from them since late last summer. I don’t fear or evade them. I have nothing and that means you have less than that. Go luck at trying to ‘crook’ the next easy mark you identify.

June 2, 2010:
How’s that hope and change working out for you anyway, Scott? Sorry to chide you, but you might’ve had more luck pursuing your homeboy and former landlord for easy money. Heh, heh…

I can substantiate all that I share here, by the way. And yes, Scott Reed shall never see another dollar or penny from me. I still retain all my personal correspondence with the person(s)/parties involved. This was the same guy that brought the deluded Scott Reed to my doorstep. The word ‘mooch’ is trying get printed here, but I can’t figure out the proper context. But I digress…

July 7th 2010: My paying that scumbag CHEAT Scott Reed an initial $100.00 dollars on the damages he ‘claimed’ was a legal maneuver. Scott Reed is not as talented as he’d like everyone to believe. Frankly, he’s more talented as a conniving cheat.

And don’t forget — I said Scott Reed would never get a dime thereafter, and he will not.

And, as of Dec. 2011, Rick Olney has still not paid his legally obligated debt to Scott Reed from Feb. 2007.


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