1. Why would someone do this? Well, I understand that people can be petty and vindictive. But don’t they know that this can cause serious harm to the people they’re writing about? Also, why is it “personation” and not “impersonation?”

  2. David Schwartz

    The prosecution will have a hard time proving the personation charge. They will have to demonstrate that something the defendant posted would subject the pastor to something like a defamation suit if it had been done by the pastor.

    “Does any other act whereby, if done by the person falsely
    personated, he might, in any event, become liable to any suit or
    prosecution, or to pay any sum of money, or to incur any charge,
    forfeiture, or penalty, or whereby any benefit might accrue to the
    party personating, or to any other person;”

    The court also seemed to suggest that he could have been terminated from his position if he had said those things. But I don’t see how that could qualify as a “charge, forfeiture, or penalty”. Since the law doesn’t require any particular likelihood, allowing private discretionary actions to qualify as a “harm” would broaden the statute massively.

    (What comment doesn’t meet the “might, in any event incur any penalty” test if penalty can include discretionary actions by private parties?)

  3. SomeGuy

    Wow, what a curious thing. I can understand why this would cause damage – and why 8-529, et seq. make sense.

    Lately (slightly tangentially) I’ve been wondering when/if we’d see this statute applied to situations where the “person” in the profile doesn’t really exist – where it’s a completely fictional character. While most such profiles are used harmlessly, a few have been used to do – or to facilitate – physical or emotional harm to others.

    In those cases, can it be “personation” if the “person” isn’t real? I expect someday soon, we’ll see a prosecutor say “yes.”

  4. RnBram

    What if the profile that was set up exposes a truth? E.g. the extraordinary caring and honest woman who promised to share expenses whilst living in my home. When she had plenty enough income she pretended to do the necessary bookkeeping, but then split whilst falsely accusing me of violence towards her. She got just what she wanted, some $50,000, which is just the level that even if I won the court case, only the lawyers would benefit.

    Justice should not let such people “get away with it”, getting away with it is precisely what any criminal hopes to achieve. Though it is vigilante justice, exposing her on a FaceBook profile using her full name and several pictures is justice…the system should not be so indifferent, and it is getting a lot worse.

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