McMann v. Doe 2

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: 

11/20/2006

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Arizona

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)
Subpoena Quashed

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Paul McMann, a Massachusetts real estate developer, sued the anonymous operator of an Internet "gripe site" about him. The website contained a photograph of Mr. McMann, the statement that he “turned lives upside down,” and a suggestion to "be afraid, be very... read full description
Parties

Party Issuing Legal Threat: 

Paul McMann

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

John Doe

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Massachusetts

Legal Counsel: 

Louis Hoffman, Gregory Beck - Public Citizen Litigation Group
Description

Paul McMann, a Massachusetts real estate developer, sued the anonymous operator of an Internet "gripe site" about him. The website contained a photograph of Mr. McMann, the statement that he “turned lives upside down,” and a suggestion to "be afraid, be very afraid." The website also announced that it would soon be updated with specific evidence of McMann's alleged misdealings.

After a nearly identical action was dismissed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, McMann sued the anonymous operator of the site in Arizona state court, claiming defamation (the publicity and privacy claims in his previous complaint were apparently abandoned). McMann sought to subpoena ISPs to discover the website operator's identity. In January 2007, the court quashed the subpoena and dismissed the case without prejudice. The court relied on Doe v. Cahill, 884 A.2d 451 (Del. 2005), an important case from the Delaware Supreme Court holding that the First Amendment's protection for anonymous speech requires plaintiffs in defamation actions to make a heightened factual showing (meeting a summary judgment standard) before issuance of a subpoena to discover the identity of an anonymous defendant.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Photo
  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Website

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • Anonymity
  • Gripe Sites
  • Real Estate
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Arizona

Source of Law: 

  • United States
  • Arizona

Court Name: 

Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

CV 2006-092226

Relevant Documents: