Another court adopts the Cahill standard for unmasking anonymous online defendants

A trial court in Arizona has quashed a subpoena served on Godaddy, issued by a plaintiff in a defamation suit against an anonymous website owner. Applying the standard articulated in the Delaware Supreme Court decision of Doe v. Cahill, 884 A.2d 451 (2005), the court held that the plaintiff had failed to present a strong enough case to overcome the defendant’s First Amendment right to speak anonymously. Under the Cahill standard, a plaintiff seeking to unmask an anonymous Internet defendant must put forth evidence sufficient to withstand a motion for summary judgment before the court will order the identity to be revealed. [Read more here.]

Public Citizen represented the anonymous defendant, and issued this press release which explains the case in more detail, and provides a link to the court’s opinion.

See also Techdirt’s commentary on the case.

McMann v. Doe, Case No. CV 2006-092226, Maricopa County Superior Court, January 18, 2007.