Oct 022009
 

Jamie Sotonoff reports:

It’s a decision that might make people think twice about what they post in online “reader comments” sections.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Lawrence ruled the Daily Herald and Comcast must reveal the identity of a person who posted a comment on dailyherald.com directed toward the teenage son of Buffalo Grove Village Trustee Lisa Stone.

Comcast is slated to turn the person’s name over to the judge Monday, Oct. 5. Attorneys for everyone involved will then argue whether the information should be turned over to Stone.

Read the full story on Daily Herald. Apparently, when Comcast was ordered to turn over customer information, they did contact their customer:

On Sept. 25, the judge ruled that Comcast must reveal the person’s name to him. Comcast spokesman Rich Ruggiero said the company contacted the customer to notify him of the court order. He retained an attorney and filed a motion to quash Stone’s subpoena. Judge Lawrence denied the motion.

So… is it permissible to tie up the courts simply to obtain the name of an individual if you do not intend to pursue litigation for defamation? In this case, it seems that Stone may be using the legal process solely to identify the individual:

What Stone would do with the information, if she gets it, has not yet been decided, said her attorney, Bill O’Connor. She could do nothing, or she could file a lawsuit.

Image credit: Shadow of a Person by Jeremy Brooks/Flickr, used under Creative Commons License

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