Woodbridge Structured Funding, LLC v. Pissed Consumer, et al.

Response Opposing Order to Show Cause Seeking the Identity of Anonymous Website Commenters Pursuant to CPRL 3102

Ronald Coleman

The petitioner sought an order forcing PissedConsumer.com, an Internet message board, to provide— on virtually no notice, and without any notice to the third parties involved — information identifying one or more anonymous Internet users who allegedly posted defamatory statements about petitioner.

We argued that no such order should be issued for various reasons.

First, petitioner failed to base its application for emergent, essentially ex parte relief under CPLR 3102 on competent evidence. Secondly, petitioner failed to meet t the legal requirement under New York law that before a court authorizes discovery that would deprive someone of his First Amendment right to speak anonymously, one must do more than baldly allege defamation. Instead, petitioner must make an evidentiary showing in support of their claims, and must do so upon notice to the anonymous speaker that his anonymity is at risk so that he may have an opportunity to protect her rights.

Moreover, the context in which the supposedly defamatory statements were made—an Internet gripe site—likely do not meet New York’s requirement for defamation that actionable comments be published in a context a social and circumstantial context in which they are likely to be deemed reliable or credible.

Petitioner met none of these standards. The court agreed, denying its application and refusing to enter an order providing the identifying information.

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Reference Info: Legal Memoranda: Discovery Motions | State, 2nd Circuit, New York | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ronald Coleman, Dhillon Law Group, Inc | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Ronald Coleman

Dhillon Law Group, Inc on:

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