Blockowicz v. Williams, No. 09-C-3955 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 21, 2009)
STATUS: 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the district court on Dec. 27, 2010.
7th Cir.: Websites Don't Have to Remove Nasty Comments
Courthouse News Service
A website's host and manager are not bound by an injunction that ordered the removal of defamatory comments because they were not "in active concert or participation" with those who posted the comments, the 7th Circuit ruled.
--Decision: Blockowicz v. Williams
Status: Bloggers enjoined after default judgment.
The Blockowicz family brought suit against defendants Joseph David Williams and Michelle Ramey after they allegedly posted defamatory statements on various websites. The defendants defaulted, and on Oct. 6, 2009, the court entered a permanent injunction requiring the defendants to remove their postings from the websites. The plaintiffs, however, were unable to contact the defendants; instead they approached third party providers of the websites. One of these, RipoffReport.com, refused to comply, arguing the court had no jurisdiction over them. The court agreed, finding the provider was not "acting in concert or legally identified" with the enjoined party as required for the court to enforce an injunction against a non-party under F.R.C.P. 65(d). Accordingly, the court denied the Blockowicz's motion to compel.
Links and court documents
Opinion denying motion to compel, filed Dec. 21, 2009
Ripoff Report Not Bound by Takedown Injunction Against User - Blockowicz v. Williams, Technology & Law Marketing Blog, Dec. 22, 2009
Court Allows Libelous Post To Remain Online, MediaPost Blogs, Dec. 24, 2009