No Phat Pink Chicks Blog Prevails

A little cat-fight exploded into a blog-spat, then a lawsuit, which has finally ended with a lesson in First Amendment rights.

Reporter, Christy Lochrie filed suit against her former friend, Beth Norby. Norbry’s blog, “No Phat Pink Chicks” has been described as a “scathingly critical blog” aimed at Lochrie. (source).

[judge] Gibson denied Lochrie’s plea that Norby stay away from her and also take down her “No Phat Pink Chicks” blog, which for months has poked fun at Lochrie’s reporting and her personality.

Gibson said the First Amendment protected Norby’s blog. He added that its content didn’t constitute harassment, although it was “rude and boorish” and walked a thin line between protected speech and defamation.

“I think Mrs. Norby should not be proud of what she posted,” Gibson said. “This is sixth grade, but it might not even make it to that level.”

As such, Gibson also denied Norby’s request that Lochrie reimburse her for her legal fees.

“I think the comments by you (Norby) brought this on,” Gibson said.

But Gibson also criticized Lochrie.

“I think we can’t avoid that there’s a big, fat First Amendment staring you in the face,” he admonished. (source)

While it is heartening to see that some trial level judges understand that the First Amendment requires neither politeness nor fairness. See, e.g., Pullum v. Johnson, 647 So. 2d 254, 258 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994); Dockery v. Florida Democratic Party, 799 So.2d 291 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001).

On the other hand, the California Anti-SLAPP law seemingly should have required an attorneys fees award. The fact that Norby brought the suit on by posting negative comments about Lochrie doesn’t change the fact that the mere seeking of an injunction against future speech should be sanctionable in any U.S. court — especially one in California with its anti-SLAPP legislation.

3 Responses to No Phat Pink Chicks Blog Prevails

  1. John Torch says:

    The Freedom of Speech should never be regulated in my eyes. That is what is great about the United States, but it looks like day after day more of our freedoms are being taken away.

    We shouldn’t have any restrictions on information available to the public. You wouldn’t see any censorship on our site, Anarchology.org thats for damn sure!

  2. Large Marge says:

    Hi, my on-line name is Large Marge, and I am the author of the blog that was at the heart of this heated “blogger vs. blogger” debate. My blog can be found at http://www.nophatpinkchicks.blogspot.com.

    First I would like to sincerely thank you for discussing this issue on your legal blog; much appreciated!

    Also, I am hunting for additional ideas to recoup legal fees (about $2,000). If you have any suggestions, can you please let me know?

    Thanks!

    BETH

  3. Find a lawyer licensed in California. I’d imagine that someone would want to take your case. I can’t give legal advice to people who aren’t clients of my firm.

    Nevertheless, good luck with your case and I hope that you do win.

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