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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. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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