The ugly dispute between the current and former owners of the Point Reyes Light newspaper in Marin County has hit another low point. The paper’s current owner, Robert Plotkin, has written a commentary that claims the paper’s former owner, Pulitzer Prize winner Dave Mitchell, is mentally ill. The mental illness allegation comes in the 19th paragraph of an article in which Plotkin explains why he obtained a court order to stop Mitchell from writing for a Web site in Sonoma County. Plotkin contends Mitchell’s column on the Web site violates a non-compete contract Mitchell signed when Plotkin bought the 4,000-circulation Point Reyes Light for $500,000 some 10 months ago. Mitchell contends that the court order violates his First Amendment right to free speech and that he isn’t violating the non-compete because he’s working for a Web site based in another county. In the photo, Mitchell (left) stands next to Plotkin (center), who announced the sale of the paper in November 2005. [PPC, March 17: Pulitzer winner hit with restraining order] [PPC, Aug. 26: Court orders ex-publisher to stop writing] [New publisher upsets, fascinates locals]

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