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Appeals court to hear Star appeal on identifying online commenter

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has blocked a court order requiring The Indianapolis Star to disclose the name of an online commenter and will hear further arguments on the matter Tuesday morning.

The court on Friday granted The Star’s request for a stay of a court order in Jeffrey M. Miller, et al. v. Junior Achievement, et al., 49A02-1211-PL-898, that would have required the newspaper to reveal the name of an anonymous online commenter by that day, according to COA spokesman Martin DeAgostino.

Jeffrey Miller, former CEO of Junior Achievement of Indiana, sued multiple parties for defamation and sought to add people who made anonymous comments on news organization websites that ran stories about Miller and Junior Achievement.

The Court of Appeals in February reversed Marion Superior Judge S.K. Reid, who issued an order in 2011 that the news outlets must identify people who posted comments on their websites. The Star appealed whether it had to provide Miller information to help him identify an anonymous commenter. The appellate court ordered the trial court to apply a modified version of the Dendrite test, which comes from New Jersey, under both the federal and state constitutions to determine if Miller satisfied the requirements for obtaining the commenter’s identity.

The trial court again ordered the newspaper to disclose the commenter's identity in October.

Tuesday’s hearing will be at 11 a.m. in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom.

According to the order issuing the temporary stay and setting the hearing, “In addition to any other issues, the court will expect the parties to address whether the court has jurisdiction to consider the trial court’s discovery order.”

DeAgostino said Judges Elaine Brown, Edward Najam and Rudolph Pyle III will hear Tuesday's appeal.

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  1. Such things are no more elections than those in the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

  2. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  3. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  4. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  5. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

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