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Thomas & Betts Corporation v. Does 1 through 50

Close Date: 08/03/2000
Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Right To Speak Anonymously
Citation: GIC 748128 (CA Sup San Diego Cty)
Date Of Involvement: 05/12/2000

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Thomas & Betts brought suit in California state court against twelve persons, some of whom were alleged to be employees or former employees of the company, who had posted anonymous messages on an Internet message board, including information that T&B considered to be confidential, non-public information. As part of the suit, the company sought to identify the anonymous posters. Representing one of the Does, Public Citizen filed a special motion to strike the complaint, arguing both that the suit was a SLAPP statute and that the subpoena infringed the Doe’s First Amendment right to speak anonymously. In response, plaintiff dismissed its suit against all twelve Does.