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Justices take Star appeal regarding naming of online commenter

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The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether the Indianapolis Star must reveal the identity of an online commenter in a long-running defamation case filed by a former executive of a nonprofit organization.

The justices granted transfer in Indiana Newspapers, Inc., d/b/a The Indianapolis Star v. Jeffrey M. Miller, et al., 49S02-1305-PL-311. A divided Court of Appeals in a January rehearing affirmed its 2012 order in favor of Jeffrey Miller, requiring the Star to reveal the identity of online comment posters.

Marion Superior Judge S.K. Reid ordered that the Star disclose to Miller, former CEO of Junior Achievement of Indiana, the identity of a commenter on its website whose screen name was DownWithTheColts, and the Star appealed.

Miller sued multiple parties for defamation and sought to add people, including DownWithTheColts, who made anonymous comments on news organization websites that ran stories about Miller, and J.A. Miller’s attorney claimed the Star was in contempt of an order from the Court of Appeals as it continued to shield the commenter’s identity.

Justices also granted transfer in Christopher Smith v. State of Indiana,18S02-1304-CR-297, a case involving a former Muncie Central High School principal. A divided Court of Appeals in January ruled  that Smith’s Class B misdemeanor conviction for failure to immediately report child abuse or neglect should be tossed out.

Justices denied transfer in the 19 other cases reviewed during the week ending May 3. The court’s transfer depositions may be viewed here.

 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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