Kruska v. Perverted Justice Foundation

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: 

01/10/2008

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

Arizona

Disposition: 

Dismissed (partial)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
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... read full description
Parties

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

Location of Party: 

  • Arizona

Location of Party: 

  • California
  • Ohio
  • Arizona
  • Tennessee
  • Oregon

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
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. 

Details

Content Type: 

  • Photo
  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Blog
Email
Social Network
Website
Wiki

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • Third-Party Content
  • Trademark
  • DMCA
  • Section 230
  • Personal Jurisdiction
  • Cyberstalking
  • Prior Restraints
  • Cyberbullying
Court Information & Documents
CMLP Information (Private)

CMLP Notes: 

Updated 2/12/09 - VAF