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November 19, 2012

Indiana court steps into dispute over online comment

INDIANAPOLIS — The state Court of Appeals has temporarily stayed a local court decision that ordered The Indianapolis Star to disclose the identity of a person who made anonymous comments on its website that a former chief executive of Junior Achievement of Central Indiana contends were defamatory.

The court will hear motions Tuesday filed by the Star and Jeffrey and Cynthia Miller, who sued the newspaper. The appeals court stayed the lower decision Friday.

The dispute stems from a 2010 comment regarding Junior Achievement’s financial affairs which former Junior Achievement CEO Jeffrey Miller claims defamed him.

The Star appealed after a local judge ordered it to identify the commenter. The appellate court set standards for requiring the Star to comply, and the local judge again ordered it to identify the commenter.

 

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