Hester v. Does

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: 

04/20/2010

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

North Carolina

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
In April 2010, Thomas S. Hester, Jr., a former Vance County commissioner running for reelection, sued 20 John Does for defamation in North Carolina Superior Court over comments appearing on the Home in Henderson blog. The comments in question were... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

John Doe 1, aka Beautiful Dreamer; John Doe 2, aka Confused; John Doe 3, aka Fatboy; John Does 4-20

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • North Carolina

Location of Party: 

  • North Carolina
Description

In April 2010, Thomas S. Hester, Jr., a former Vance County commissioner running for reelection, sued 20 John Does for defamation in North Carolina Superior Court over comments appearing on the Home in Henderson blog. The comments in question were attached to a blog post entitled "Arrest Made in Elder Abuse Case," which appeared on Home in Henderson eight months prior. According to Hester's complaint, the commenters used screen names like "Beautiful Dreamer" and "Fatboy" to make false statements suggesting that Hester was a slumlord and should be jailed.

Hester served a subpoena on Jason A. Feingold, editor of the blog, commanding him to appear for a deposition and to turn over identifying information for the commenters. Feingold and Home in Henderson filed a motion to quash the subpoena, arguing that both the North Carolina shield law and the First Amendment protect the commenters' identifies from disclosure.

On June 28, 2010, Judge Howard E. Manning, Jr. found that the statements of six of the twenty commenters were actionable and enforced the subpoena as to these commenters. The court quashed the subpoena with respect to the remaining commenters. Three days later, Robert D. Gupton identified himself on a local radio show as "Point Keeper," one of the six commenters.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • Shield Laws
  • Anonymity
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • North Carolina

Source of Law: 

  • North Carolina

Court Name: 

North Carolina Superior Court, Vance County

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

10-cvs-361

Relevant Documents: 

CMLP Information (Private)

Threat Source: 

Blog Post