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The Star asks Supreme Court to review order to name online commenter

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Editor's note: This story has been corrected regarding action taken by the Court of Appeals.

The Indianapolis Star has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to hear its appeal of an order that it identify an anonymous commenter who posted messages on its website that became part of a defamation suit.

A divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals last week rejected The Star’s petition for an emergency rehearing in Jeffrey M. Miller, et al. v. Junior Achievement, et al., 49A02-1211-PL-898. The Star on Monday petitioned the Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction.

After granting an emergency stay of a Marion Superior Court order that The Star name an online commenter, an appellate panel heard oral arguments last month before dismissing the appeal for lack of jurisdiction in a 2-1 decision.

At the center of the appeal is whether The Star must reveal the identity of a commenter whose screen name on Indystar.com was DownWithTheColts. Jeffrey 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 JA.

Presiding COA Judge Edward Najam and Judge Elaine Brown dismissed the appeal and rejected The Star’s request for an emergency rehearing before the appeals court. Judge Rudy Pyle III dissented in both instances.

There was no immediate indication Tuesday whether the Supreme Court would intervene.

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  1. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

  2. What a fine example of the best of the Hoosier tradition! How sad that the AP has to include partisan snark in the obit for this great American patriot and adventurer.

  3. Why are all these lawyers yakking to the media about pending matters? Trial by media? What the devil happened to not making extrajudicial statements? The system is falling apart.

  4. It is a sad story indeed as this couple has been only in survival mode, NOT found guilty with Ponzi, shaken down for 5 years and pursued by prosecution that has been ignited by a civil suit with very deep pockets wrenched in their bitterness...It has been said that many of us are breaking an average of 300 federal laws a day without even knowing it. Structuring laws, & civilForfeiture laws are among the scariest that need to be restructured or repealed . These laws were initially created for drug Lords and laundering money and now reach over that line. Here you have a couple that took out their own money, not drug money, not laundering. Yes...Many upset that they lost money...but how much did they make before it all fell apart? No one ask that question? A civil suit against Williams was awarded because he has no more money to fight...they pushed for a break in order...they took all his belongings...even underwear, shoes and clothes? who does that? What allows that? Maybe if you had the picture of him purchasing a jacket at the Goodwill just to go to court the next day...his enemy may be satisfied? But not likely...bitterness is a master. For happy ending lovers, you will be happy to know they have a faith that has changed their world and a solid love that many of us can only dream about. They will spend their time in federal jail for taking their money from their account, but at the end of the day they have loyal friends, a true love and a hope of a new life in time...and none of that can be bought or taken That is the real story.

  5. Could be his email did something especially heinous, really over the top like questioning Ind S.Ct. officials or accusing JLAP of being the political correctness police.

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