New Jersey’s long arm statute seems to have stretched a little too far in this decision. In Goldhaber v. Kohlenberg, the New Jersey Court of Appeals ran through a litany of internet jurisdiction cases, most of which held that a defamation defendant doesn’t get to sue in his home court — but must sue in the speaker’s home court. Unfortunately for free speech, the New Jersey court decided that since the speaker talked about Jersey a little too much, then Jersey jurisdiction it is.
The author not only knew that plaintiffs resided in New Jersey, he knew the municipality in which they resided and made specific disparaging references to that municipality in many of his postings. Certain of his postings were made in response to plaintiffs’ replies to the offending comments. He also made insulting comments about that municipality’s police department. In addition, he referred to plaintiffs’ neighbors in the apartment complex in which they resided and at one point even posted their address. Conduct of that nature and its connection to New Jersey “are such that [defendant] should reasonably [have] anticipate[d] being haled into court” here.
See also this post.