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Benvenuto v. Brookman

A Hartford police officer filed a petition for prelitigation discovery against a local blogger who writes about police matters, seeking to identify anonymous users who had criticized the lieutenant in comments posed to the blog. The trial court granted the petition, deciding that the officer had shown that some of the comments asserted facts, not only opinions, and that the officer had made an evidentiary showing of falsity. On the blogger’s appeal, Public Citizen filed an amicus brief urging the court to adopt the Dendrite test, including the balancing stage, and explaining how each side in the case might use the balancing stage to argue for or against identification. The court, however, dismissed the appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction on the ground that the order under appeal was not “final” because the question what protocols for searching the respondent’s computer would protect the blogger’s privacy had not yet been answered.