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Supreme Court denies Star appeal in online commenter case

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The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday denied transfer in The Indianapolis Star’s appeal of an order that it identify a person who posted an anonymous online comment that has been included in a defamation suit.

The order had been temporarily stayed in Jeffrey M. Miller, et al. v. Junior Achievement, et al., 49A02-1211-PL-898. A divided Court of Appeals panel last week dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to intervene. In its two-page order, Chief Justice Brent Dickson wrote for the court, “Jurisdiction, to the extent it exists in this matter, remains with the Court of Appeals.”

Star attorney and Barnes & Thornburg partner Jan Carroll said in an email the court’s order means “we have to await the Court of Appeals ruling on the petition for rehearing.”

Meantime, Miller’s attorney, Betz & Blevins partner Kevin Betz, said stays that had been issued and extended to prevent enforcement of a trial court subpoena requiring the Star to identify the commenter have expired.

“At this point, The Indianapolis Star, we believe, is in contempt of the subpoena,” Betz said Friday.  

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

Miller, former CEO of Junior Achievement of Indiana, 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.


 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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