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Thu Mar 19 2009 Curtis Reliford and his Follow Your Heart Action Network Sue Starbucks
Curtis Reliford vs. Starbucks Curtis Reliford and his Follow Your Heart Action Network sued Starbucks for slander after a Starbucks manager tried to have Curtis arrested for panhandling. Curtis, and about 20 supporters, attended a court hearing on March 17th in front of Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Jeff Almquist. The case was dismissed on the premise that calling a charitable organization a "panhandler" was not going to hurt its reputation or influence how it conducts its business.

It stemmed from an occurrence back in 2007 where Curtis, founder of the Follow Your Heart Action Network, parked his truck and trailer in front of Starbucks on Pacific Avenue in order to get a cup of coffee. The manager claims Curtis went table-to-table asking for donations, though the witnesses all claimed he had just arrived and had not asked anyone for money, he just wanted coffee.

Curtis Reliford started the Follow Your Heart Action Network to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. He has received the 2006 KSBW Jefferson Award, the American Red Cross' Good Samaritan Award, and the NAACP's Community Service Award. Further action against Starbucks is being planned. Read more

Previous coverage: Santa Cruz Sends Relief to Louisiana || "Thank You Santa Cruz!" from Shreveport, Bogalousa and New Orleans, Louisiana || Gulf Coast Communities Still Need Help from Santa Cruz || Follow Your Heart: Refusing to Abandon Katrina’s Victims

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