Friday, February 12, 2010

Judge Says Prosecutor Not Entitled to Know Identies of Anonymous Bloggers

Seal of Orange County, New YorkImage via Wikipedia
Orange County (N.Y.) Court Judge Nicholas De Rosa has quashed a  grand jury subpoena seeking the identities of two anonymous bloggers who posted on a newspaper's Web site concerning a story about the controversial resignation of a school superintendent.

The grand jury subpoenaed  Straus Newspapers' The Chronicle, a weekly covering Goshen and Chester, New York, to learn the names of the anonymous posters who commented on the resignation of former Chester Superintendent of Schools Helen Ann Livingston.

Judge DeRosa reviewed the anonymous messages from the bloggers in his chambers because grand jury documents are sealed. He concluded that the statements at issue were neither criminal nor did they constitute a noncriminal violation. He also held that the prosecution failed to prove the information sought was indispensable to the case being reviewed by the grand jury.  The district attorney has yet to disclose whether he plans to appeal Judge De Rosa's ruling.

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