Case of the Day: In re Application of Ontario Principals’ Council

The case of the day is In re Application of Ontario Principals’ Council (N.D. Cal. 2013). The Ontario Principals’ Council, Gordana Stefulic, Vivian Mavrou, and Varla Abrams were plaintiffs in a Canadian defamation action. The allegation was that anonymous or pseudonymous internet users had posted defamatory comments on websites such as Topix. The plaintiffs sought leave to serve a subpoena on Topix in order to identify the supposed tortfeasors.

The magistrate judge conducted an Intel analysis. The factors favored the subpoena: Topix was not a party to the Canadian case; the evidence would assist the Canadian court in assessing the claims; there was no evidence of an attempt to circumvent Canadian proof-gathering mechanisms. The judge therefore granted the application.

The plaintiffs also sought an injunction enjoining Topix from notify its users of the subpoena. The judge correctly rejected this request for a prior restraint of speech without much analysis. That’s one I haven’t seen before.

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

2 thoughts on “Case of the Day: In re Application of Ontario Principals’ Council

  1. Ted Folkman, these three TDSB teachers are using taxpayers’ monies via Ontario Principals’ Council to prevent concerned teachers from leaking out information from the disciplinary committee of the Ontario Teachers’ College which is the professional and licensing organization of teachers in Ontario, Canada.

    Some of the TDSB staff were releasing allegations and memos of these teachers and the recent allegations on the news about a teacher who shared sex pamphlets to students and a deputy Minister being caught in a child pornography scandal is making the TDSB Trustees, administrators and union wolves nervous.

    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protect private citizens from unreasonable search by public entities. This includes public schools.

    The quoted defamatory comments are the memos, paraphrased news stories and teachers’ allegation which the concerned teachers leaked about Gordana Stefulic, Vivian Mavrou & Varla Abrams.

    The Ontario Principals’ Council is protecting their union cronies. Same old same old public school old people protecting their own…

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