Prior Restraints

Polich v. Nahmod

Date: 

07/11/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

David Nahmod

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

North Valley Justice Court, Maricopa County, Arizona

Case Number: 

CC2008-149566

Legal Counsel: 

Pro se

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Status: 

Concluded

Disposition: 

Injunction Issued

Description: 

In July 2008, freelance writer and gay rights blogger David Nahmod, who blogs on David's Open Forum and on the gay news website www.lavenderliberal.com, was enjoined by an Arizona judge from posting online the names or hometown of a couple in Arizona that Nahmod claims interfered with his relationship with an ex-boyfriend.  

According to the SFWeekly.com, Nahmod was served with a restraining order effective for a year and enforceable in all states. Not only may Nahmod not approach the couple in Arizona, he also cannot do "anything that encourages others to harass" them, including posting identifying information online.

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Threat Source: 

MLRC

Subject Area: 

Welch v. Nyberg II

Date: 

07/14/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Carl Nyberg

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois

Legal Counsel: 

Carl Nyberg (Pro Se)

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Injunction Issued
Material Removed

Description: 

School board president Chris Welch filed a defamation suit against blogger Carl Nyberg over posts accusing Welch of participating in an illegal kickback scheme. Nyberg, who runs the Proviso Probe blog, has long been an outspoken critic of Welch.  This is the second time Welch has sued Nyberg for defamation (Welch dismissed his previous suit without prejudice).

Welch requested a temporary restraining when filing the complaint. On July 16, the court granted the restraining order, and Nyberg took down a portion of a disputed blog post pursuant to the order.

Jurisdiction: 

Priority: 

1-High

Content Type: 

Threat Source: 

Google News

Subject Area: 

Deep Blue Marine v. Krajewski

Date: 

05/20/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Edward Krajewski; John Does 1 - 10

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the District of Utah

Case Number: 

2:08-cv-00405-TC

Legal Counsel: 

Pro se

Publication Medium: 

Forum

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Concluded

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)
Injunction Issued

Description: 

Deep Blue Marine, its CEO Wilf Blum, and Alexander Lindale LLC sued former Deep Blue operations manager Edward Krajewski after Krajewski criticized the plaintiffs and allegedly disclosed Deep Blue proprietary information on several online investor forums. The plaintiffs sought an injunction in Utah federal court against Krajewski to prevent him from posting any further criticism or materials. They also brought claims for defamation, false light, intentional interference with economic advantage, breach of contract (including publication of trade secrets), and breach of convenant of good faith.

In May 2008, Deep Blue moved for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Krajewski. The court decided the motion ex parte after satisfying itself that Krajewski had received notice of the hearing. It granted the motion, issuing an order prohibiting Krajewski from

  1. publishing statements concerning trade secrets, confidential, and/or proprietary information of Deep Blue . . . , including but not limited to methods, processes, discussions, plans, techniques, equipment, locations, discoveries, recovered materials, research projects, sources of supplies, financial data and marketing, contract amounts and/or salaries, corporate income, disbursements, expenditures, and/or merchandising systems or plans of Deep Blue; and

  2. publishing false and/or defamatory statements regarding Deep Blue Marine, Wilf Blum, and/or Alexander Lindale, and/or their agents, employees or affiliates.

In July 2008, Krajewski, acting pro se, filed a motion for an extension of time to file a brief. He also submitted an affidavit explaining that he lacked sufficient financial resources to litigate the case in Utah and requesting that the court transfer the case to Pennsylvania, his home state. On July 22, the court denied the motion for an extension of time to file a brief, noting that Krajewski did not identify what motion he would be addressing and that no motions were currently pending. The court added that Krajewski could inititiate a motion and file a brief in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the local rules.

Update:

1/15/2009 - Action dismissed without prejudice subject to parties' settlement agreement  

Jurisdiction: 

Priority: 

1-High

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Programmes Internationaux D'Echanges v. Grijalva

Date: 

09/21/2007

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Danielle Joyce Grijalva; Veronica Beddick

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

North Carolina District Court, Forsyth County

Case Number: 

2007-CVD-656

Legal Counsel: 

Jennifer Arno (Grijalva)

Publication Medium: 

Email
Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Injunction Issued

Description: 

Programmes Internationaux D'Echanges (P.I.E.), a French nonprofit that organizes student exchange programs, filed suit against Danielle Grijalva, director of the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students (CSFES), over emails and postings on CSFES's website that criticized the organization's handling of students. P.I.E.'s complaint asserted claims of defamation, civil conspiracy, interference with contract, and interference with business relationships. The suit also named as a defendant Veronica Beddick, a former employee of ASSE International, a nonprofit that assisted in student placements, alleging that she provided confidential information to Grijalva and assisted in the disputed acts.

In emails and postings to the CSFES website, Grijalva allegedly accused the plaintiff organizations of numerous wrondoings related to their treatment of foreign exchange students. According to the complaint and other court filings, the accusations included that the organizations failed to place students in schools, failed to place students in permanent homes, placed students in homes with felons, and otherwise violated laws that regulate foreign exchange programs.

According to press reports, Grijalva has said that she sent an email to the father of a foreign exchange student at the student's request but that she has not engaged in any "mass effort" to contact students, their families, or host families.

P.I.E.'s complaint included a request for a temporary restraining order against Grijalva and Beddick. On September 21, 2007, the court granted the request, ordering the defendants to cease communicating with P.I.E. students as well as the students' familes, host familes, and educational institutions. The temporary restraining order, by its terms, expired after 10 days unless the court renewed it.

On Dec. 12, 2007, the court granted a preliminary injunction against Grijalva that reiterated the prohibition on direct communication with students and others involved with the plaintiffs and further ordered her to refrain from disseminating false or misleading information about the plaintiff organizations via email or her website.

On May 30, 2008, the court granted a near-identical preliminary injunction against Grijalva brought by P.I.E. associates (and plaintiff-intervenors) ASSE and World Heritage, Inc.

Jurisdiction: 

Priority: 

2-Normal

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Kruska v. Perverted Justice Foundation

Date: 

01/10/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Perverted Justice Foundation, Inc.; Xavier Von Erck; Christopher Brocious; Barabara Ochoa; Filmax Inc.; April Butler; David Butler; GoDaddy.com; Bob Parsons; MySpace.com; John Does 1-60

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization
Large Organization
Intermediary

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the District of Arizona

Case Number: 

2:08-cv-00054

Legal Counsel: 

Aileen Delcarmen Ocon, Marcus R Mumford, Peter B Morrison (Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom) (for PJFI, Von Erck); Steven Gerald Ford (Alvarez & Gilbert ) (for Brocious, Ochoa); Robert Christian Billar (Leyh Billar & Associates) (for Filmax.com, Bul

Publication Medium: 

Blog
Email
Social Network
Website
Wiki

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Dismissed (partial)

Description: 

Jan Kruska sued several anti-pedophile organizations, including Perverted Justice Foundation, Inc. ("PJFI"), and individuals affliliated with those organizations, as well as domain registrar GoDaddy.com and social networking site MySpace.com, after the organizations accused Kruska of being a predator, a pedophile, and pro-pedophile on various websites, including JanKruska.com and JanKruska.net. Kruska sued for defamation, copyright infringement, cyberstalking and harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") in Arizona federal court.

In August 2007, self-described journalist Kruska began to receive what she described as "venomous" emails after she criticized the overbreadth of anti-pedophile laws. Soon after, the Absolute Zero United blog and PJFI's Wikisposure and Corporate Sex Offender websites posted accusations that Kruska was a convicted child molester and a pedophile, according to the complaint. The defendants allegedly posted similar accusations on MySpace.com, as well as on websitesJanKruska.com and JanKruska.net, both of which were registered byFilmax.com through GoDaddy.com. Some of the websites also allegedly posted personal information about Kruska, including her address, and photographs of Kruska that she says are copyrighted. In addition, Barbara Ochoa, aka Petra Luna, allegedly organized a protest targeting publishers of Kruska's writing, which Kruska said resulted in her articles being taken down. Further, Ochoa allegedly emailed Kruska, demanding Kruska remove her "entire web presence" or else face a "full scale activist attack" against her.

Kruska filed her complaint in January 2008. It sought damages and a preliminary injunction, barring thedefendants from "disseminating claims that [Kruska] is a 'Predator', 'Child Molester', 'Child Abuser', 'Pedophile', and 'Pro-Pedophile' bypostings on the internet, mass mailings, e-mails to friends, relatives,employers, business associates, among others; or otherwise by any othermeans making such suggestions."

In response, GoDaddy.com, Ochoa, and PJFI all moved to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds. In April 2008, Kruska voluntarily dropped her claims against MySpace.com. In June 2008, the court granted Ochoa's motion to dismiss, but gave leave to Kruska to amend her complaint against Ochoa, which she did. In July 2008, the court granted GoDaddy.com's motion to dismiss on the ground that CDA 230 precluded liability. The court also seems to have dismissed trademark claims against GoDaddy on CDA 230 grounds, which Eric Goldman notes is unusual.

Update

6/12/2009 - The court denied  Butler's new motion for summary judgment pending discovery.

8/7/2009 - Kruska moved for summary judgment on her copyright infringement claims against Von Erck and PJF.  She claimed any arguments for fair use failed as a matter of law.

8/28/2009 - Von Erck and PJF answered Kruska's complaint with affirmative defenses including a First Amendment defense, fair use, lack of damages, and a lack of personal jurisdiction.

9/22/2009 - The court denied Brocious' motion to dismiss Kruska's amended complaint.  

10/13/2009 - The court denied Kruska's motion for summary judgment on her copyright claims pending discovery.

11/18/2010 - Court issued order granting in part and denying in part Christopher Brocious' Motion to Dismiss and denying Brocious' Motion for Summary Judgment. 

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

Updated 2/12/09 - VAF

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Fremgen v. FullofBologna.com

Date: 

03/30/2006

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

FullofBologna.com; Dennis Payne; John Doe, aka Mr. Imperfect; Studio 28

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

Winnebago County Circuit Court

Case Number: 

2006CV000372

Legal Counsel: 

Pro se

Publication Medium: 

Forum

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Concluded

Disposition: 

Injunction Issued
Material Removed
Settled (partial)

Description: 

Diane Fremgen, the clerk of courts for Winnebago County, Wisconsin, sued online forum FullofBologna.com; its operator, Dennis Payne; Studio 28, Payne's web design company; and a John Doe known as Mr. Imperfect for defamation after Mr. Imperfect posted two lewd criticisms of Fremgen on FullofBologna.com.  Fremgen, suing in Wisconsin state court, also sought a temporary injunction to force Payne to take down the website and remove the offending comments.

The court immediately granted Fremgen's ex parte request for a temporary injunction, and ordered the forum shut down on March 30, 2006.  As a result, Payne settled and agreed to reveal Mr. Imperfect's IP address and to remove all posts that referenced Fremgen by name.

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

Source: First Amendment Center

Priority: 

1-High

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Evans v. Evans

Date: 

03/02/2007

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Linda A. Evans; Shirley Preddy

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

California Superior Court, San Diego County; Court of Appeals, Fourth District, California

Case Number: 

GIC881162 (trial level); No. D051144 (appellate level)

Legal Counsel: 

Linda A. Evans (Pro Se)

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Injunction Denied
Injunction Issued

Description: 

In March 2007, Thomas Evans, a deputy sheriff in the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, sued his former wife, Linda Evans, and her mother, Shirley Preddy, for defamation, harassment, invasion of privacy, and other claims. After Thomas and Linda Evans divorced in 2002, they engaged in a bitter dispute in family court over custody of their child, child support, and other issues. Thomas filed a separate lawsuit in California court after Linda and her mother allegedly posted false statements about him on various Internet websites and filed two written complaints with his employer. Thomas also alleged that Linda and Preddy published information from his medical and financial records on the Internet.

The trial court granted Thomas a preliminary injunction that prohibited Linda and Preddy from: (1) publishing "false and defamatory statements" about Thomas on the Internet; (2) publishing "confidential personal information" about Thomas on the Internet; and (3) contacting Thomas's employer regarding Thomas except to call 911 to report criminal conduct. Linda appealed, and the appellate court reversed the ruling of the district court. It held that the preliminary injunction was an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech, and that it was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. The court remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings. On the issue of Linda's alleged publication of Thomas's private information, the appellate court instructed the lower court to identify precisely what information Thomas seeks to protect and to balance his privacy rights (and the safety issues involved in disclosing personal information about a police officer) against the free-speech interests in publication.

Sometime before the appellate court ruled on the appeal, Thomas dismissed Preddy from the case, leaving Linda as the only defendant.

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

AVM 6/12/09 - I checked the court docket, it does not indicate the resolution of the remaining counts against Ms. Evans. Can be found here court docket in case the documents are ever microfilmed. Checked Westlaw, no update to the docket

Appellate briefs are on WL and I uploaded them as well

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Evans v. Evans: Appellate Court Throws Out Prior Restraint

Yesterday, a California appellate court struck down a brazenly unconstitutional preliminary injunction prohibiting two defendants from making "false and defamatory statements" about, or publishing the "confidential personal information" of, Thomas Evans, a deputy sheriff in San Diego. The case, Evans v. Evans, 2008 WL 2009669 (Cal. Ct. App.

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Garrido v. Krasnansky

Date: 

12/07/2007

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

William Krasnansky

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

Washington County Family Court

Case Number: 

No. F 466-12-06 WnDmd

Legal Counsel: 

Debra Schoenberg

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Injunction Denied
Injunction Issued

Description: 

Maria Garrido and William Krasnansky are spouses involved in divorce proceedings before a Vermont family court. Mr. Krasnansky wrote a "thinly-disguised, fictionalized account" of the end of their marriage on his blog, LookAtMyPugs's Jurnull. On the blog, Krasnansky also published excerpts from Garrido's diary that he had found after she moved out of their home. On December 7, 2007, Garrido filed a motion for immediate relief before the family court judge, and the court ordered Krasnansky to take down "any and all Internet postings" about his wife and their marriage pending a hearing scheduled for the following month.

Krasnansky then filed a motion to "dismiss" Garrido's motion for relief and to vacate the December 7 order, primarily on grounds that it was an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech. On January 14, 2008, the court vacated its previous order, holding that Krasnansky's blog did not constitute harassment and that the previous order had violated his First Amendment rights. The court also held that it did not have jurisdiction to decide whether any statements on the blog were defamatory. The court indicated, however, that it could bar Krasnansky's unauthorized use of Garrido's diary because it was property (intellectual and tangible) under the jurisdiction of the court, although it acknowledged that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to hear a federal copyright claim.

In a related incident, Garrido's lawyer sent a C&D to Derek Bambauer, a legal blogger who had written about the case. (See the CMLP database entry, Garrido v. Bambauer, for details.)

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

Status checked on 6/4/2008, no new information.  There is a hearing scheduled for 6/17/2008 though, according to the court calendar. (AAB)

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Banks in Wikileaks Case Back Down, Seek to Dismiss Case After Losing Fight Over Injunctions

As if the order by Judge White vacating the injunctions in the Wikileaks case weren't enough, the Banks that brought the case have now filed a notice of dismissal seeking to voluntarily dismiss

Jurisdiction: 

Subject Area: 

Lochrie v. No Phat Pink Chicks

Date: 

12/01/2007

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Beth Norby

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

California Superior Court, Shasta County

Case Number: 

SCRDCVPT-07-0161960

Legal Counsel: 

Gregory Winters

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Injunction Denied

Description: 

Christy Lochrie is a local journalist and blogger for The Record Searchlight in Redding, California. She authors a blog for the newspaper called "Phat & Pink." Lochrie's former friend Beth Norby created a "local media watch-dog blog" entitled "No Phat Pink Chicks" that criticizes and mocks Lochrie.

Lochrie filed a lawsuit in California state court and sought a restraining order against Norby and requested that Norby be forced to shut down her blog and cease blogging about her. The court denied Lochrie's requests on First Amendment grounds. Gibson acknowledged that Norby's blog was "rude and boorish" but said that it did not constitute harrassment and was protected as free speech under the First Amendment. Norby requested an award of attorney's fees following the decision, which the court denied on grounds that Norby's comments "brought this on."

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

MCS reviewed.

find out if still pending

Status checked on 6/5/2008, no new information.  (AAB) 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Judge in Wikileaks Case Reverses Course, Wikileaks.org is Back Online

We've just received word that the judge in the Wikileaks case, Jeffrey White, has vacated the Permanent Injunction that ordered Wikileaks' domain name registrar, Dynadot, to disable the entire Wikileaks.org domain name and remove all DNS hosting records.

Jurisdiction: 

Subject Area: 

Coalition of Media Organizations Challenges Prior Restraints in Wikileaks Case

Yesterday, a coalition of organizations dedicated to preserving free speech rights on the Internet, including the Citizen Media Law Project, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Los Angeles Times, Gannett, Associated Press, and Society of Professional Journalists, filed a "friend of the court" brief in the Wikileaks case.

Subject Area: 

Rhode Island Family Court v. Grant

Date: 

08/17/2007

Threat Type: 

Other

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Anne Grant

Type of Party: 

Government

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

Rhode Island Family Court; Supreme Court of Rhode Island

Case Number: 

07-334-MP

Legal Counsel: 

Thomas R. Bender (for Grant)

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Concluded

Description: 

Anne Grant maintains a blog, The Custody Scam, where she "writes about official actions that endanger children and parents trying to protect them." Grant used the blog to write about a child custody case involving minors "Sara Doe" and "Mary Doe" (pseudonyms). The blog criticized the manner in which the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) handled the Doe case. In particular, Grant objected to the DCYF hearing officer's reliance on a theory known as "parental alienation syndrome" to remove the two children from their mother's custody and to place one of them with the father, who had previously been accused of sexually abusing them -- charges that the DCYF held to be unfounded. While the blog entries did not reveal the minors' identities, they did include personal information and photographs of the children.

The family court judge handling the Doe case ordered DCYF to "advise" Grant to remove "any and all written and pictoral information" relating to the children involved, and to "cease publication of the blog as it pertains to these children."

Grant objected to the order and sought to have the Rhode Island Supreme Court vacate it. In her petition, Grant argued that the family court's order violated her due process rights and was an overbroad restraint on her speech. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case without providing an explanation for its refusal, but some speculate that the court refused to review the order because it was directed at DCYF, not Grant.

 

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Making Sense of the Wikileaks Fiasco: Prior Restraints in the Internet Age

Yesterday, I reported that a federal judge in San Francisco had issued a stunningly broad injunction that brought down Wikileaks.org, a site that is developing what it describes as an "uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis." (I'll let the prescience o

Subject Area: 

Court Orders Wikileaks.org Shutdown, Then Grants Limited Reprieve?

Last Friday, a federal district court judge in San Francisco issued a stunningly broad injunction that brought down Wikileaks, a site that is developing what it describes as an "uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis."

Jurisdiction: 

Subject Area: 

Julius Baer Bank and Trust v. Wikileaks

Date: 

02/06/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Wikileaks; Dynadot LLC, Does 1-10

Type of Party: 

Large Organization

Type of Party: 

Organization

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

Case Number: 

3:08-cv-00824-JSW

Legal Counsel: 

Garret D. Murai (for Dynadot); Thomas R. Burke, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP (for media amici); Karl Olson, Levy, Ram & Olson LLP (for intervenor Public Citizen and California First Amendment Coalition); Ann Brick, American Civil Liberties Union (for i

Publication Medium: 

Wiki

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Concluded

Disposition: 

Injunction Denied
Injunction Issued
Withdrawn

Description: 

On February 6, 2008, Julius Baer Bank and Trust Company, a Cayman Islands banking entity, filed suit in federal court in California against Wikileaks, which is developing an "uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis." Two days later, the bank and its Swiss parent company filed an ex parte application for a temporary restraining order seeking to enjoin Wikileaks from publishing or distributing copies of documents the plaintiffs claim contain "stolen or otherwise wrongfully obtained confidential and protected bank files and records."

On February 15, 2008, the court issued what it captioned as an "Order Granting Permanent Injunction." This order, which appears to be the result of a stipulation between the plaintiffs and Dynadot, Wikileaks' domain name registrar and web host, required that Dynadot immediately disable the entire wikileaks.org domain name and account and remove all DNS hosting records.

Later that same day, the court issued an Amended Temporary Restraining Order that enjoins Wikileaks and and "all others who receive notice of this order" from "displaying, posting, publishing, distributing, or linking to . . . all documents and information originating from [the plaintiffs' banks] which are internal non-public company documents and/or which contains private client or customer bank records."

As of February 28, 2008, the Wikileaks.org domain is still down, but the organization issued a press release through one of its mirror sites:

Transparency group Wikileaks forcibly censored at ex-parte Californian hearing -- ordered to print blank pages -- 'wikileaks.org' name forcibly deleted from Californian domain registrar -- the best justice Cayman Islands money launderers can buy?

When the transparency group Wikileaks was censored in China last year, no-one was too surprised. After all, the Chinese government also censors the Paris based Reporters Sans Frontiers and New York Based Human Rights Watch. And when Wikileaks published the secret censorship lists of Thailand's military Junta, no-one was too surprised when people in that country had to go to extra lengths to read the site. But on Friday the 15th, February 2008, in the home of the free and the land of the brave, and a constitution which states "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press", the Wikileaks.org press was shutdown.

On February 28, Julius Baer issued a press release stating:

It is not and has never been Julius Baer's intention to stifle anyone's right to free speech. Indeed, Julius Baer has specifically made no attempt to remove material on the website which refers to the organization but which does not include information personal to its customers. However, Julius Baer denies the authenticity of this material and wholly rejects the serious and defamatory allegations which it contains.

Updates:

The court has scheduled a hearing on the injunction for February 29, 2008 at 9:00AM.

2/26/08 - Coalition of media companies filed an Amici Curiae brief primarily addressing the issue of prior restraints

2/26/08 - ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a motion to intervene

2/26/08 - Public Citizen and the California First Amendment Coalition filed a motion to intervene that argues that the court did not have jurisdiction in the case, and therefore had no power to issue the injunctions

2/28/08 - Plaintiffs filed opposition to the motions by Amici and potential intervenors

2/28/08 - John Shipton, the owner of the wikileaks.org domain, filed a Notice of Intent to Appear and Joinder in Motions & Oppositions of Amici/Intervenors

2/28/08 - Daniel Mathews, a user of the site who was served with the TRO by the plaintiffs, filed a Memorandum in Opposition to TRO, Preliminary Injunction, and Permanent Injunction

2/29/08 - Court held hearing on the TRO; judge vacated the Permanent Injunction against Dynadot and tentatively denied the motion for a preliminary injunction.

2/29/08 - Court issued Order Denying Motion For Preliminary Injunction; Dissolving Permanent Injunction; and Setting Briefing and Hearing Schedule

3/5/08 - Plaintiff banks filed a notice of dismissal, without prejudice, as to all parties

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Freecycle Network v. Oey

Date: 

04/04/2006

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Tim Oey; Jane Doe Oey

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

US District Court, District of Arizona

Case Number: 

4:06cv00173

Legal Counsel: 

Ashley Lynn Kirk - Hayes Soloway PC; Ian N. Fienberg, Donald M. Falk, Dennis S. Corgill, Eugene Volokh

Publication Medium: 

Forum

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Dismissed (partial)
Injunction Issued

Description: 

The Freecycle Network (TFN) is a nonprofit corporation that acts as a central administrative point for local recycling communities around the United States and operates a website at www.freecycle.org. It had been operating under this name since 2003, and in 2004 submitted a trademark application for the "The Freecycle Network" and "Freecycle" marks.

Tim Oey, a former volunteer at TFN became a vocal critic of TFN's attempt to trademark its name, expressing his view that "freecycle" had become a generic term and thus not an appropriate word to be protected by trademark .

On April 4, 2006, TFN filed a lawsuit against Oey, alleging trademark infringement. TFN argued that Oey's claims in various Yahoo! Groups that TFN did not own the "freecycle" trademark constituted trademark disparagement, and his encouraging others to freely use the term "freecycle" constituted contributory trademark infringement. TFN also sought relief under the Arizona common law actions of injurious falsehood, defamation, and intentional interference with business relationships.

The action caught the attention of academics, which came out to support Oey. Two amici curiae submissions were filed in the U.S. District Court of Arizona arguing in Oey's favor, and academic Eugene Volokh assisted Oey's lawyers as an adviser.

On April 24, 2006, the court granted TFN's request for a preliminary injunction, restraining Oey from communicating about the merits of TFNs claim of trademark ownership of the disputed terms.

Oey appealled to the Ninth Circuit, arguing that the injunction was an "unjustified prior restraint on Oey's constitutional right to speak about TFN's efforts to trademark the word 'freecycle'." Oey's appellate brief also attacked the validity of TFN's trademark claims and common law claims.

On September 26, 2007, the Ninth Circuit overturned the injunction and remanded the case to the district court, holding that TFN's trademark infringement arguments failed on a number of bases, including that Oey's use of the marks was unlikely to constitute "use in commerce." The court also held that Oey was expressing an opinion about a putative trademark, and the Lanham Act does not restrain such behavior. It held further that trademark disparagement was not a valid action under the Lanham Act.

There has been no significant activity in the district court after remand.

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

1/5/08: Check district court docket for action after remand.

nothing since 1/9/08 when one attorney withdrew

AVM 6/17/09 UPDATE check - nothing new, last action was 1/9/2008 withdrawl of Attorney Lynn Kirk - but case isnt marked as closed

also, fixed attorney firms etc

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Manhattan 10021 LLC v. Maloney

Date: 

09/28/2007

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Evan Maloney

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County; New York Supreme Court, New York County

Case Number: 

041625 CVN 2007 (Civil Court); 113074/2007 (New York Supreme)

Legal Counsel: 

Pro se

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Dismissed (partial)
Injunction Denied

Description: 

Todd Layne Cleaners of Manhattan sued Evan Maloney after he posted flyers near the store and created a gripe site at toddlaynecleanerssucks.com. On the flyers and website, Maloney allegedly stated that the dry cleaner "sucks" and "is overpriced." The complaint, filed in Civil Court of the City of New York, contained defamation and tortious interference claims.  

Maloney moved to dismiss the complaint, and, on October 12, 2007, the trial court dismissed the defamation claim because the alleged statements were "pure opinion." The court did not dismiss the tortious interference claim, however, because of allegations that Maloney had menaced customers near the store. 

Plaintiffs then moved by order to sshow cause for an order (1) transferringf the case to New York Supreme Court, New York County; (2) granting leave to amend the complaint; and (3) for a preliminary injunction prohibiting Maloney from posting or distributing flyers, maintaining or developing a website "making reference to or mentioning plaintiff," and entering or preventing persons from entering the dry cleaner's place of business.

In an order on November 7, 2008, Judge Gische of New York Supreme Court transferred the case to her court.  She rejected the dry cleaner's request for a preliminary injunction with regard to Maloney's distributing flyers and maintaining the website.  Judge Gische held that such an injunction would be an impermissible prior restraint on speech and noted that the Civil Court  had already dismissed the plaintiff's defamation claim.  However, the court granted the dry cleaner's request for a preliminary injunction barring Maloney from entering its place of business or peventing others from doing so.  

In April 2008, the court granted Todd Layne Cleaners request to amend the caption to reflect its true and complete legal name -- Manhattan 10021 LLC.

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

Priority: 

1-High

Content Type: 

Threat Source: 

MLRC

Subject Area: 

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