November 4, 2012
I wanted to quickly put up a post thanking everyone for their overwhelming response and support. It means a lot.
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Prinnie is not only a very well written blogger she really is in this because she cares. Her heart shows through in every blog, and because she was trying to help a rape victim, and which also meant putting a, some would say, corrupt little town in her cross arrows she is being sued??? By someone who BASED ON SCREEN SHOTS ALONE, in my opinion, is far from a victim. His internet posts alone are criminal. He tagged the victim for goodness sake. Who in their right mind thinks that is in any way okay? I do not understand why he would do something like that and have not gotten to read all the blogs with the comments mentioned in the suit, because it seems all posts sited in the lawsuit r now gone, but nothing excuses that kind of behavior, and this law suit is just drawing more attention to his behavior in the hours after the rape. Also I want to say…the fact that Alex’s stalker (as some have called him, I do not know if this is true. BUT his web page definitely, in my opinion shows signs of obsession since she and her friends and associates are all he can talk about …seriously, does Florida have no crime for him to blog about) has a copy of the case file and actually REPOSTED it in its entirety on the internet with all sited posts, is he not guilty of defamation too since he is republishing the very information the plaintiff wants removed, and has been removed from the prinniefied website????? I surely hope whoever sent him this, or even the plaintiff’s lawyer can see this man is going to do or say anything to see her “shut up”. Even that counties public online record does not have the details he has republished. I don’t know. This whole thing is upsetting. So much attention taken away from the victim for what? To have comments on a blog removed…..well they are gone……so how about we go back to focusing on the victim.
Thank you Astrid. I will not be available but I admire Joey Ortega and his advocacy as with Prinnie. I have been able to review this lawsuit on line in its entirety and without going “blow by blow” I will say to keep TWO things in mind in regard to this thing: Any statement that was made with a “good faith belief” as to its truthfulness by the person making the comment is very difficult to prove defamatory. Secondly opinions are just that, opinions. In other words Plaintiff in any Defamation case needs to prove that not only was each particular statement not “true” but also that the person making the on line comment did not have a “good faith belief” that the statement was thought to be true by the alleged “Defamer”. My feeling is that some of the comments referenced in the lawsuit are more “perilous” for Defandants than others, in fact some of the folks named as John Does in my opinion should never have even been named. But in fairness to Plaintiffs counsel it is not unusual to file a “quantitative” lawsuit and move toward more “qualitative” after filing. It is not unusual to “throw the kitchen sink” into any legal filing initially. My own personal opinion is that I would have leaned toward less John Does as some of the comments are stronger than others but again not unusual for Plaintiffs counsel to file this way. A sad situation for the young alleged rape victim in the criminal case and sad to see this issue as well. Very difficult to prevail “across the board” with all the John Does but that is always the case in any broad legal filing.
Thank you, Prinnie. I just want to repost something that was brought to my attention for the first time on your blog. Everyone should read the comments as well as the article in this link.
It highlights a member of “Steubenville’s Finest”. Once you read it, please ask yourself if it is really that difficult to believe that the legal system in Steubenville would support the “home team” regardless of behavior.
Thank you Prinnie, for speaking out about this horrible crime and showing the screen shots and tweets that these bastards posted. Also, thank you for giving us a place to vent our frustration over this case.
Go “one by one” to each and every one of the alleged defamatory remarks and ask for each one the following two questions: Was the statement the alleged defamer making “factual” or did the alleged defamer have a “good faith belief” that it was factual? Secondly was the statement by the alleged defamer an “opinion”? There are frankly very few if any of the alleged defamatory comments that meet that test since the burden of proving otherwise is on the plaintiffs. The majority of this lawsuit is “all dressed up with no place to go”. Remember anyone can pay the $125 to file a lawsuit. Sustaining it and prevailing is another issue and if you go “one by one” down the line and ask the aforementioned questions “any reasonable person” can see that certainly some if not the majority of this suit has problems getting past the first hurdle.
Thanks, Edward for your legal insight not only here but on the Hello Cleveland blog. I noticed in the filing that one of the ‘comments’ ended with a question mark. Clarification was being asked by the poster. When you mentioned that everything was being thrown at the wall to see what stuck, that one poster came to mind.
I hope all of the posters who are afraid of this lawsuit read your comments and ease their worries. You have always had such great posts and I look forward to future conversations, Ed. Thanks!
EBW, when you posted your first comment on Hello Cleveland I was intrigued by your name, so I googled it. Very interesting choice. I believe this is not the first time you’ve made an interesting choice with regard to a namesake. I have found the information you offer to be insightful, thought provoking, and helpful. Please continue visiting here. I believe someone like you is needed as a voice of reason when we seem to be surrounded by chaos. Thank you.
EBW—Thank you for every word.
EBW…..Is there anywhere you can direct me online to verify your legal opinion? I have checked into the subject of defamation online and through a few attorney’s, one of who’s practice is comprised of over 60% 1st Ammendment law. Never has the opinion in your post entered the discussion. This matter aside, I don’t think that the John Doe’s have much to worry about anyway given the uphill battle that the plaintiff has in order to “unmask” them. There is no guarantee that an out of state server is going to just give up the data containing their IPs, regardless of a subponea. Even if they do, the data will require costly forensic analysis in order to uncover the IPs. Then after all of that, the plaintiff would have to subponea all of the internet carriers for the account holders names. And again, it is questionable whether or not the internet carriers will even comply. This is a long process overall, and even if this all goes unchallenged with the server, there is no guaranteeing that the data they are looking for hasn’t already been overwritten anyway……leaving them with zilch, nada, squat. Oh…..and the cost associated with the forensic analysis is theirs to keep. It couldn’t be passed on to the defendants even if the case(s) went to trial and the defendants lost.
So my friends, fear not. The same lengthy process that may have vindicated certain boys of legal accountibility in the rape case, can also vindicate you. All that BCI forensic stuff involving their telephones could very well have been smoke and mirrors. I highly doubt that this is the first case in Jefferson County where the prosecutor and law enforcement utilized the services of BCI. I think they would have known that deleted information from an iphone couldn’t be recovered by those means, and if they didn’t, then it would seem they are pretty clueless at their jobs.
The key element in any internet Defamation case is the old adage;'”The truth will set you free” meaning if a post by a commenter is true or even if the poster of the comment had a “good faith belief” of its truthfulness it is very hard to be proven to be defamatory, ditto for “opinions” which fall under First Amendment protection. Dont want to direct anyone to any specific web site for personal reasons but lawyers versed in First Amendment law would be familiar. Like the medical field today the legal field is very specialized and this area of law is one that falls into that category.
EBW….So it is to your understanding that there is case law that supports your assertion of “good faith belief” specifically when the internet was the medium of communication in a defamation suit? If there is some Supreme Court ruling on this specific matter, point me toward the right State and I will find it. I’d love to read the summary.
Yes, dont want to be overly specific in this venue as to detail. In short why give plaintifs counsel a “roadmap” on amendeding the flaws in their case? But “yes” there is relevant case precedent.
But the flip side is that if a person posts any comment that they know to be false about another person than they have placed themselves in a position that is perilous, meaning they can legitamately be sued for Defamation but the burden of proving that is on the Plaintiff in any legal filing of that nature.
It is my understanding that some internet carriers (ISP) will not disclose personal information of customers. In addition, some carriers offer a “Dynamic” IP address, which means the IP address changes, each time the PC accesses the internet. This process of identifying anonymous bloggers could be long, arduous, and very expensive. Companies who own host servers don’t often conduct research for free. One can only imagine the cost to research 15 or 25 screen names, if it’s even possible. Some Internet providers offer customers the option of using a dynamic address instead of a static IP address – check with your carrier. There is usually no additional cost for a dynamic address.
Also, “Hide My Ass’ is an easy to use proxy server for keeping your IP address masked when you access sites on the Internet. There are ways to make it very hard for your identity to be uncovered!
Again, EBW, I want to thank you for the helpful information you’re providing.
Honeybee and EBW, I hope you are not misunderstanding the tone of my posts. I think it’s great that people are sharing their knowledge or understanding of the law surrounding this case. I just want to be thorough and make sure that I am not misunderstanding the meaning.
In my opinion, I hope it is VERY expensive for the Saltsmans to get this discovery and pay for financial analysis. I think they are creating a smoke screen when the town is corrupt as are the officials IMHO. Football can’t be swept under the table since it is more important than the raped girl in this case. Don’t enable bad kids. Make them go back to the store and admit they shoplifted. They might become better people in the end when they fess up rather than try a cover-up or a counter attack where none is warranted. Then the plaintiffs run into the scenerio of who was at the computer screen and who posted the comments. We know how that went in the Anthony case.
I just hope the Saltsman or however you spell it spend lots of money and end up high and dry. I hope this becomes a famous ruling and I do hope the in “good faith clause” is true. I support Prinnie and her opinions. She is always right on top of the cases and causes she wants to follow and knows how to dig for information that is out there. Boys posting a utube video doesn’t show shame but bragging. Truly disgusting. Just like let them pry my gun from my cold dead fingers… let me speak my piece because I love my First Amendment Rights which are protected by my Second Amendment Rights.
How much money are the Saltzman’s going to spend and there will be no offer to buy them out. They should have bought more lottery tickets because I hope and think that they will end up with poop on their faces and fingers. Change of venue out of Jefferson County is a must in this case. Good luck everyone… their financial clocks are running and I hope their costs mount highly. Want to sue me Saltzmans?? As Arnold would say Make My Day!
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