Monday, March 11, 2013

Google seeks dismissal of defamation lawsuit, plaintiff vows to go forward

DALLAS --A Texas man who filed a defamation lawsuit against Google and two anonymous bloggers could be on the hook for legal fees and damages if the judge rules against him, but John Margetis of Midlothian is vowing to fight on and win.

Margetis said Google attempted to settle with him today, but he rejected their offer. "I'm not going for that stuff," he said. "I'm going forward full force."

A hearing is scheduled for March 14 on Google's motion to dismiss the lawsuit that Margetis filed in 95th District Court in Dallas Feb. 19

Google  is arguing under Chapter 27 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code that the lawsuit lacks an essential element. The stories cited by Margetis actually were published by an anonymous blogger on the company's free service, not Google itself.

Google also argued that Margetis is a  public figure because he is a frequent subject of the media, and that he is a "self-proclaimed freedom fighter" who has attracted widespread public attention. The plaintiff is known throughout the community for himself posing the question, "Am I a homosexual?" during a protest at a local voting precinct, the motion said.

Google also noted that Margetis has had judicial proceedings filed against him that the anonymous blogger covered in opinion pieces.

Google further backed the anonymous blogger, who identifies only as "Ginger Snap" and posts on  "," by noting that the opinion pieces concerned matters of "public concern regarding public figures, safety, the government, community well being and public officials."

After the blog was shut down for alleged hate speech by last year, the anonymous blogger relaunched it on All of the old stories, including ones attacking Margetis and suggesting he and former Ellis County Observer blogger Joey Dauben were homosexual lovers, were transferred to a Google blog "" by an associate of "Ginger Snap" that goes by the name "OReader" and "OllieReader."

The old stories are now able to be read by invited guests only since the filing of the lawsuit. OReader commented on Ginger Snap's blog that if Margetis had requested the removal of the stories rather than filing suit, it would have happened.

Margetis named both of the anonymous bloggers and Google in his lawsuit. Google is represented by Dallas media attorney Charles Babcock.

Margetis initially obtained a temporary restraining order against Google and the anonymous bloggers, but that was dismissed by Judge Sheryl McFarlin Feb. 25 during the company's initial answer to the lawsuit. A hearing was scheduled for March 14 on a permanent restraining order, but Google's motion for dismissal will also be considered now.


  1. It's too bad Gingersnap is not as protective of free speech as Google.

    Gingersnap allows some users to spew baseless accusations with abandon. But when the victims of that spewing try to respond, Ginger bans them.

    Gingersnap frequently refers to another forum owner that bans dissenters as "Hitler". Yet Ginger himself reaches for the ban button whenever it suits him. The hipocrisy is staggering!

  2. Ya gotta love the genii over at Ginger's blog! They seem to think this means THEY will not be sued by Margetis. To be fair, I think Ginger knows the score but his lemmings are clueless.

    The suit against Google will definitely be dismissed, but that has nothing to do with the merits or lack thereof, of the claims against the author of any defamatory post.

    And although Google has offered its opinion of the validity of Margelis claims, it is not unusual for a defendant to argue that the claims lack merit, lol. Google's assessment is not quite the same as an actual judgment on the claims. I hope I dumbed that down enough for the folks at Ginger's! Wait, let me try again: Google's opinion does not matter. There, they might be able to understand that!

    I have no opinion on the validity of Margelis' claims. I am merely commenting on the stupidity of those who think Google's opinion settles the question.

  3. Aaaaand, the genii over at Gingersnap's blog remain hopelessly dazed and confused, lol. Yesterday there was an article here about Google's recent filing. Several of Ginger's regulars posted beneath that article, as did I. The article and all comments were then deleted, because Mr. Webb wanted to rewrite the article.

    When the rewrite appeared, none of the comments on the previous article were posted as obviously those comments were not intended as comments on a rewrite. I came by and rewrote most of the content from my previous comments.

    The genii think Mr. Webb reposted my comments, but not theirs, lmao. The level of paranoia amongst those people is getting scary.

    Dumbed down version for Yappy, Ninja, and Petunia: The article you commented on was deleted. All comments were deleted with it. There is a new article, with new comments. I hope this helps!

  4. Is there an update from the hearing held today?