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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ind. Courts - "Court of Appeals weighs First Amendment claims for online newspaper comments: Case raises novel issues for Indiana courts involving nonparty discovery"

The Court of Appeals has issued a news release about the oral argument scheduled for Monday, Dec. 12 at 1:00 pm in the case of Indiana Newspaper, Inc., D/B/A/ The Indianapolis Star, a case that asks whether an Indiana newspaper must reveal the identity of an anonymous online commenter. From the release:

The Star appeals a Marion Superior Court order to reveal an anonymous commenter’s identity. The newspaper argues that the identity of a commenter known as “DownWithTheColts” is protected by the Indiana Shield Law, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and Article 1, Section 9 of the Indiana Constitution.

“DownWithTheColts” had commented on a 2010 Star story about an audit at Junior Achievement of Central Indiana. The comment on indystar.com said the newspaper should look to the former Junior Achievement president for the missing money. Jeffrey Miller, a former president and CEO of Junior Achievement, filed a complaint against Junior Achievement and other parties alleging defamation and other torts. He also sought nonparty discovery of “DownWithTheColts’” identity, which The Star now appeals.

No Indiana court has ever decided a case with these circumstances.

See also this ILB entry from November 29th.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 10, 2011 08:13 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions