Anonymous Defamation: Can I Sue If I Only Know The Defamer’s Alias?
Can you sue an anonymous person for defamation? An Arizona Superior Court judge recently ruled “yes,” it’s possible to get an injunction against an unidentified person engaging in anonymous defamation.
Anonymous Defamation Lawsuit: Background
Several months ago, a tech-savvy bounder posted false and vile statements about a group of professionals. Being well-versed in the ways of online obfuscation, in addition to using aliases, the legal heckler connected to the Internet via a virtual private network (VPN). The VPN hid the perpetrator’s actual IP address, which made it difficult to identify the offending party. After all, filing a lawsuit without knowing the defendant’s name(s) is no small feat.
Thwarted by the defendant’s effective online privacy protections, the victims found themselves at an impasse. They had originally subpoenaed the defamer’s service provider for information, only to discover the user worked behind a VPN. Then they tried to get identifying information from the VPN service, but were denied. Not willing to throw in the gavel, the group turned to Kelly Warner – a respected AV-rated law firm that focuses on Internet defamation cases.
Daniel Warner filed a motion listing the available identifying information – their online aliases.
Anonymous Defamation Lawsuit: Arizona Court Ruling
The Arizona court agreed with Warner’s arguments and handed down a ruling in favor of the claimants, ordering both the removal of the defamatory material and an injunction to protect against future defamatory statements. Lastly, the Maricopa County Superior Court left the door open for the plaintiffs to seek monetary damages “when and if they deem it appropriate.”
Kelly Warner successfully handled this anonymous online defamation lawsuit – we can do the same for you.