Milo v. Martin

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: 

01/01/2006

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Texas

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Walter Milo and Anthony Shelton sued Guy Martin, Bill Cochran, Melvin Douglas, and Sandy Martin, the editors and coordinator of The Conroe Watchdog (collectively "The Watchdog"), a website that describes itself as providing "[t]he unfiltered truth about Conroe politics and your tax... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Guy Martin, Sandy Martin, Bill Cochran, Jr., Melvin Douglas

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Texas

Location of Party: 

  • Texas

Legal Counsel: 

John Paul Hopkins
Description

Walter Milo and Anthony Shelton sued Guy Martin, Bill Cochran, Melvin Douglas, and Sandy Martin, the editors and coordinator of The Conroe Watchdog (collectively "The Watchdog"), a website that describes itself as providing "[t]he unfiltered truth about Conroe politics and your tax dollars."

According to the court on appeal, Milo and Shelton sued for comments posted in October 2006 by anonymous users on a portion of the website titled "Guest Book." These comments referred to Shelton as a "pulpit pimp" and that he drove a $90,000 Hummer, according to the Houston Community Newspapers (HCN). Also according to HCN, the comments also contained allegations that Milo committed a drug crime in 2005 and "cut a deal" with the district attorney, reducing his sentence to probation.

The trial court granted The Watchdog's no-evidence motion for summary judgment in December 2008. The summary judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeals of Texas on April 29, 2010, which pointed to lack of evidence that the anonymous posts were created by The Watchdog and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. According to HCN, this case was the last of three lawsuits claiming defamation against The Watchdog to be resolved. Dixon v. Martin ended in July 2008 when a jury ruled for The Watchdog (see Legal Threat Entry) and a third lawsuit filed by Rigby Owen, Jr. was withdrawn in October 2009.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Website

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • Section 230
  • User Comments or Submissions
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Texas

Source of Law: 

  • Texas

Court Name: 

284th District Court (Montgomery County) Texas; Court of Appeals of Texas, 9th District (Beaumont) (on appeal)

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

06-10-10390 CV (trial); 09-09-00145-CV (on appeal)
CMLP Information (Private)

Threat Source: 

Blog Post