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On March 27, 2012, Mary and Phil Brown filed suit in Nevada state court against an annonymous online commenter. According to news reports, a commenter on the Las Vegas Review-Journal's website posted allegedly defamatory statements about the plaintiffs' romantic history. The Browns instituted the defamation action and subpoenaed the Review-Journal for the commenter's identity.
On April 6, Doe, through an attorney, filed a motion to quash the subpoena. Doe argues that the court should apply the Dendrite test to determine whether Doe's identity should be revealed. According to the motion to quash, the Browns failed to meet the first three prongs of the Dendrite test by failing: (1) to make reasonable attempts to contact Doe; (2) to allege the specific defamatory statements at issue; and (3) to allege a prima facie case that could withstand summary judgment by failing to demonstrate that the comments were made negligently. In arguing that Doe's contested post was not written negligently, Doe alleges that the post was written based on information from individuals with knowledge of the Browns' relationship history. Finally, under the fourth Dendrite prong—a balancing test between the parties' rights—Doe argued that the Browns had suffered little if any harm from the comment, and that the Review-Journal's comment sections were so filled with "nonsensical comments" that no reader would take them seriously.