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City of Memphis, Tennessee & Larry A. Godwin v. John and/or Jane Doe 1- 30

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Right To Speak Anonymously
Date Of Involvement: 08/12/2008

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Description:

The City of Memphis and its police chief filed a motion in state court in Tennessee seeking leave to take discovery to identify a blogger who criticized the police department from the point of view of rank-and-file police officers, but did not notify the blogger and filed their motion for discovery under seal. After the judge allowed discovery to be sought, and the blogger received notice of the subpoena from AOL, she moved to unseal the filings, and prepared a motion to quash the subpoena. In response to Public Citizen’s arguments, the City of Memphis withdrew its subpoenas and agreed to the unsealing of virtually the entire record except for a small excerpt which, it claimed, could endanger certain undercover operations. The anonymous defendant decided not to oppose the continued sealing of that small excerpt.