Apr 092010
 
 April 9, 2010  Court, Online

As a follow-up to a case in Florida that was mentioned on this site last year, there’s a decision in the case of Tom Rich and his wife, who had sued the Jacksonville Police Department for “outing” Rich to his church as the author of a blog critical of the church. Rich had been blogging anonymously (and critically) about the church until the church asked one of its members, a police officer, to find out who was behind the blog. The officer went to a state attorney who issued the subpoena.

In their attempt to get charges dismissed based on qualified immunity, the defendants won some and lost some. Most notably, the court held that if state attorney issued a subpoena without any criminal investigation, it would be a violation of Rich’s First Amendment rights. Now they progress to the next round where Rich will need to prove that claim.

Hat-tip, Eugene Volokh.

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