Sunday, March 17, 2013

Google defamation suit not anonymous blogger's first time at rodeo; California woman sought, received relief in courts

DALLAS -- It's not the first time for an anonymous blogger named in an ongoing defamation suit against Google to be involved in a legal action alleging libel.

A California woman filed a lawsuit last year alleging that a Collin County, Texas, woman defamed her and her fiancee by anonymously posting that they "aided child molesters," "supported pedophiles" and "attacked victims of alleged child molesters." The lawsuit, "Lorraine Schaffer Haake v. Megan Van Zelfden and John Doe Defendants 1-10," claimed that Van Zelfden, posting anonymously, libeled her on the Texas blog, EllisCountyObserverSucks, and in the comments section of JoeyIsALittleKid.wordpress.com.

JoeyIsALittleKid.blogspot.com, which is authored by an anonymous blogger named Ginger Snap, who claims to be a man, is now identified in a defamation lawsuit filed in Dallas County styled John Margetis v. Google, Alfred Davis and Defendants John Does 1-3.  http://therarereporter.blogspot.com/2013/03/google-seeks-dismissal-of-defamation.html

The case, which was filed in 95th Judicial District Court, is now under review by the judge who is considering several motions filed by the plaintiff and Google. One of Margetis' requests of  the court in the lawsuit is to learn the identity of the anonymous bloggers from Google.

Haake said the attack especially posed a danger to her fiancee, with whom she lives, because he was involved in a child custody battle that had reached the appellate level. It could have caused him to lose his child, she said.

The "hateful, false remarks" apparently arose because they appeared on a radio show hosted last year by Joey Dauben, publisher of the blog EllisCountyObserver.com, Haake said. The couple had only known Dauben about three weeks, and they had no idea he would be indicted for sexual assault of a minor and later convicted, she said.

Haake said they became the subject of scorn from a group of people who apparently anonymously bonded on the blog to berate Dauben, who was widely criticized for unfair reporting on his blog. In addition to the libelous remarks, the bloggers even ridiculed her hair color, her fingernail polish, the appearance of her apartment and other personal subjects based on their scrutiny of her Facebook page, she said.

Attempts via messages online to get Van Zelfden and the bloggers to cease and desist the malicious remarks failed, and it resulted in more abuse, Haake said.

"Every time you try to address the defamation, it's a digital free-for-all from Ginger Snap," Haake said in an electronic message interview. "And  as the lies, threats and their reasoning get more and more outlandish, you are accused of several mental problems."

They even accused her of being a "cat woman," she said.

One woman posting on the blog, who goes by the name of Yappy and claims to be a Canadian citizen living in Houston on a work permit with her husband, even threatened to "submit documents to the court to ruin his case," she said. Yappy claimed to be a former child advocacy specialist before she immigrated to the U.S. with her husband who works for an oil company, she said.

"Megan Van Zelfden said if I didn't like it, I could sue her," Haake said. "So I did.

Haake said she felt forced to take legal action, and that it cost her $4,000 just to determine the identity of Megan Van Zelfden so she could sue her. The cost of an attorney to file the case represents about another $6,000 in legal fees, she said.

Haake said that when Van Zelfden shut down the blog EllisCountyObserverSucks.com, she began posting malicious remarks on JoeyIsALittleKid.wordpress.com so she was forced to include that blog and its participants in her lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed Feb. 20, 2012, ended with a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff Dec. 3, 2012. Van Zelfden, who according to court records was evicted from her home in Plano Aug. 6, 2012, never responded to the legal action. The court ordered all of the offensive language removed from the blogs.

When JoeyIsALittleKid.wordpress.com was shut down late last year by that blog hosting company because it was determined to be allowing homophobic hate speech -- according to a subsequent post by Ginger Snap -- Haake said she saw a reprint of the libelous remarks about her and her fiancee. Ginger Snap relaunched the blog on Google's website hosting service, Blogspot.com, and one of his associates, OReader, transferred all of the old files to a new blog called JoeyIsStillALittleKid.blogspot.com.

The blog set up by OReader reprinted all of the hateful rhetoric the court had ordered removed, Haake said. Her Houston lawyer contacted Google asking for the information to be moved, but that apparently never took place, she said.

OReader, who is also named in the Margetis lawsuit for posting the old blog stories that includes multiple references to him, changed the status of the blog to "invited guests only" after the latest lawsuit was filed. The anonymous blogger noted in a telephone call seeking information about the current lawsuit that she used to be involved in an online program called "Perverted Justice" that targeted sex offenders, helping lure them to meetings with what the offenders thought would be minors.

OReader, who said she planned to cease blogging, claimed that the offensive remarks about Margetis would have been removed had he asked her, but Haake noted that's never been the case in the past when she complained to the blog participants.

In his legal documents, Margetis claims he asked Google to remove the posts he found offensive, and the company refused his request. That prompted him to file the lawsuit, he said in the court documents.

Recently, the blog JoeyIsStillALittleKid.blogspot.com became inactive, but JoeyIsALittleKid.blogspot.com continues as before, targeting a group called Lawless America and its founder Bill Windsor. Windsor is threatening to file both criminal complaints against Ginger Snap and the other bloggers.

After Google filed its answer to Margetis' original petition, Ginger Snap apparently took it as a sign of impending success and blogged that the company would be supporting him and the other bloggers. "They've got our clubhouse's back," said the blogger, who has bragged about his ability to keep his identity secret for two years.

Afterwards, Yappy, who claims to have been a child rape victim and appears to be one of the more aggressive participants on the blog, has in recent weeks told The Rare Reporter who complained about unfair, untruthful remarks being made about him on the blog that her research showed that he had driven his "longtime lover" to commit suicide, that he was an alcoholic, that he was a supporter of child molesters and possibly a child molester himself. Ginger Snap and several of the other bloggers told the author of this blog, who found a friend of 40 years dead as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound two years ago, that he was a "sad, miserable, pathetic, old man."

Later, as it has become clear the lawsuit filed against Google would not be the slam-dunk success Ginger Snap anticipated, the blog has become eerily quiet.
















8 comments:

  1. Yes, Yappy did tell someone he had driven his "longtime lover" to commit suicide, that he was an alcoholic, that he was a supporter of child molesters and possibly a child molester himself.

    But then she claimed she was calling the po po to tell them her victim was a meany. When the po po bluff failed she imploded and started screaming that her past entitled her to special treatment.

    Yappy is just one of the gems on the Joey blog.

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  2. I understand that anonymous posters are complaining on their blog that this report is biased, and that their side of the story was ignored. That's true. This is a biased report. It is biased against them because of my observations of the blog participants in action. It's my opinion that the individuals congregating there apparently serve no other purpose than to distort the truth and inflict misery on other people. That's why they all hide behind screen names. They are cowards and bullies. They do not deserve to have a voice. There is no "side" to their story.

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  3. They have a new bizarre target Bill Windsor of Lawless America whatever that is. It seems to vacillate between 1.)a forum for mothers who have lost their children, of course due to judicial corruption and not their false allegations against their exes, and 2.) bizarre allegations that the entire governments of all cities, states and the USA are corrupt and illegitimate and criminal enterprises That's no to say that mothers haven't lost children due to corruption and that there is incredible corruption in government just not to the extent alleged Here are some good topics 1. What fuels the mental illness of the Gingersnaps and yappys of the world, 2. What the hell is this lawless america bizarre world. I just toss that out and since i'm the girl that shut down the first gingersnap hate blog I feel empowered to give suggestions

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  4. Please remove the name Megan Van Zelfden from all your articles unless you have facts to back up what you write. What you have written is not based in fact and should be removed immediately.

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  5. The story was based on official court records from the Collin County District Clerk's office. The story is a factual reflection of the lawsuit that was filed by the plaintiff against the defendant and what ensued. It is not meant as harassment against anyone. It is an example of legal problems that can develop as a result of blog posts and the comments that accompany them.

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  6. The information you stated that Ms. Van Zelfden is involved in the "joeyisalittlekid" blog as a poster or commentator is false. Please remove what you wrote about that. Ms. Van Zelfden has had no involvement with this group for over a year. She voluntarily took down the blog about Joey Dauben even though she did not have to under 1st amendment rights because of physical threats to her safety. She took down this blog prior to any lawsuit being filed by Ms. Haake and Mr. Lingle. A simple online search would confirm those facts. She was sued in spite of the fact that what she said was true and Joey Dauben did go to prison for his actions. The other commentators were anonymous and she does not take responsibility for their comments as per 1st amendment. However, she removed what she could anyway because it appeared she was dealing with a dangerous gang.

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  7. As the Collin County District Clerk's official court records show, this person did, in fact, post and/or comment in the "joeyisalittlekid" blog multiple times. It is interesting to note that the "joeyisalittlekid" blog owner has previously admitted that this person posted on her blog. 1st Amendment rights do not extend to defamation, hence, the court found that the statements made were defamatory as well as false - including but not limited to alleged "threats to safety" and/or "dangerous gangs(s)". Further, the original blog remained active and online for several MONTHS after the Haake/Lingle lawsuit was filed, in direct contradiction to the above poster's misguided claim. Again, the court records will easily bear this out. The readers should be reminded that the lawsuit was won by a default judgement as the defendant's online activity was clear and convincingly found to be DEFAMATORY and FALSE. Note that the defendant is barred from posting further defamation and/or false statements regarding plaintiffs without triggering additional legal action.

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  8. Strong need to project spew rage.

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