Dendrite Int’l, Inc. v. Doe No. 3

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342 N.J. Super. 134; 775 A.2d 756 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2001)

A software development and servicing company sued four individuals who posted critical comments on a Yahoo! bulletin board, allegedly including defamatory statements and disclosing trade secret information. Id. at 146; 775 A.2d at 763. The plaintiff then sought to subpoena the identities of the four defendants. Id.

The appellate court upheld the trial court's refusal to issue the subpeona, setting forth the following requirements that must be met before such subpoena requests can be granted: 1) good faith attempts at notice, including posting to the message board in question if the allegedly defamatory statements were made on a message board; 2) specification of exactly which statements are actionable; 3) determination by the court that the plaintiff has set for a prime facie case that would survive a motion to dismiss; 4) sufficient factual support for each element of the claims; and 5) court balancing of the interest in anonymity against the strength of the plaintiff's prime facie case and the plaintiff's need for identify before the case can proceed. Id. at 141; 775 A.2d at 760-61. The court held that the traditional motion to dismiss standard insufficiently protected First Amendment rights. Id. at 157; 775 A.2d at 771.

View the decision on Google Scholar.

Chapter 2 - Content And Speech Regulation
Obscenity · Communications Decency Act - Obscene Materials · Children's Online Protection Act (COPA) · Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) · State Attempts At Regulation · First Amendment · Anonymity · International Content Regulation