Draker v. Schreiber

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

09/01/2006

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Texas

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)
Material Removed

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Benjamin Schreiber and Ryan Todd, two 16-year old Clark High School students, posted a false MySpace page about their assistant principal Anna Draker in March 2006. The page was online for approximately one month before Draker learned of it. She contacted MySpace,... read full description
Parties

Party Issuing Legal Threat: 

Anna Draker

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Benjamin Schreiber; Lisa Schreiber; Ryan Todd; Lisa Todd; Steve Todd

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Texas

Location of Party: 

  • Texas

Legal Counsel: 

Regina Bacon Criswell - Law Office of Regina Bacon Criswell; Ron A. Sprague - Gendry & Sprague, P.C.
Description

Benjamin Schreiber and Ryan Todd, two 16-year old Clark High School students, posted a false MySpace page about their assistant principal Anna Draker in March 2006. The page was online for approximately one month before Draker learned of it. She contacted MySpace, and the social networking site took the page down at her request.

Draker sued the students and their parents in Texas state court, alleging that the page contained defamatory text and pictures and falsely depicted Draker as a lesbian, which she is not. Draker alleged that the students' parents negligently failed to supervise their children's use of the internet.  Later, she amended her complaint to include a claim for intentional infliction of emotion distress.

The students moved for summary judgment, asserting that because the "exaggerated and derogatory statements" included on the MySpace website were not assertions of fact that could be objectively verified, they were not defamatory as a matter of law.  The court agreed and dismissed the defamation claim against the students.  The students and parents then filed a motion for summary judgment on the negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims. The court also granted this motion and dismissed the remainder of Draker's claims. 

Draker appealed the dismissal of her intentional infliction of emotional distress claim.  The Texas appeals court affirmed the lower court's ruling on August 13, 2008, holding that Draker's intentional infliction of emotional distress claim failed because it was duplicative of her defamation claim.

One of the students was also charged criminally, as a juvenile, with retaliation and fraudulent use of identifying information. (For more information, please see the CMLP's database entry on the related Texas v. Schreiber criminal matter).

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Social Network

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • Student Speech
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Texas

Source of Law: 

  • Texas

Court Name: 

38th Judicial District Court, Medina County, Texas; Court of Appeals of Texas, San Antonio

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

06-08-17998-CV (trial); No. 04-07-00692-CV (appeal)

Relevant Documents: 

CMLP Information (Private)

Threat Source: 

MLRC

CMLP Notes: 

to-do: get other filings if possible