Justia Connecticut Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Internet Law
This case involves a lieutenant with the Hartford Police Department who filed a bill of discovery against a blogger who writes about Hartford municipal governance. The plaintiff is seeking to compel the defendant to release data that would reveal the identities of anonymous commenters on the blog who posted allegedly defamatory statements about him. The plaintiff also wants the defendant's laptop and cellphone to be submitted for forensic analysis.The trial court granted the plaintiff's bill of discovery, stating that the plaintiff had shown probable cause for his defamation claim against the authors of certain anonymous comments. The court ordered that the parties should try to agree on a protective order and search protocols to safeguard the defendant's privacy during the forensic analysis. If they couldn't agree, the court would resolve the dispute. The defendant appealed the decision before any negotiations took place.The Supreme Court of Connecticut dismissed the defendant's appeal, stating that the trial court's decision was not an appealable final judgment. The Court explained that the final judgment rule applies to a pure bill of discovery, and the trial court's decision wouldn't become a final judgment until the scope of discovery was clearly defined either by the parties' agreement or by court order. In this case, the parties hadn't yet complied with the court's order to either agree on the terms of the protective order and search protocols or to return to the court for resolution of those issues. Therefore, the trial court's decision was not a final judgment. View "Benvenuto v. Brookman" on Justia Law