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Cahill v. Doe

Close Date: 10/05/2005
Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Right To Speak Anonymously
Status: closed
Citation: C.A. No. 04C-011-022 (DE. S.Ct.)
Date Of Involvement: 08/01/2005

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Description:

Member of the Smyrna, Delaware town council sued four anonymous posters to a community blog sponsored by a local newspaper, who posted denigrating material. One of the four Does moved to quash a subpoena for identifynig information, but the trial judge enforced the subpoena, holding that a defendant must be identified so long as the plaintiff hgas sued in good faith. Public Citizen filed an amicus brief in the Delaware Supreme Court arguing for the application of the Dendrite analysis, and contending that this standard was not met because, especially given the fact that the plaintiff was a public official, the comments over which plaintiff had sued were not defamatory (because they were opinion), and in any event the plaintiff had not shown falsity.

The Delaware Supreme Court reversed the order requiring that Doe be identified, issuing a major precedent setting opinion about the standards and procedures to be used in future cases