|Trout Underground Claims Victory in Tom Stienstra Lawsuit|
At the time, the arrest garnered significant attention from local media. Tom Chandler also posted a story about the arrest in April 2010 on the Trout Underground blog. Tom Stienstra was not ultimately charged with a crime according to an article on redding.com (The Record Spotlight).
Earlier this year, Tom Stienstra took exception to Tom Chandler's post on the Underground. Tom Stienstra filed a lawsuit seeking $10,000 in damages.
The results off the suit were announced last week and the ruling was in favor of defendant Tom Chandler. Yesterday, Chandler wrote about his point of view on the victory. It turns out that the ruling turned on the fact that the statute of limitations (1 yr in this case) had expired. No ruling was made on the facts presented though one might infer from the ruling's discussion of the merits that things would have ultimately gone in Chandler's favor.
I was watching this case because it presents a close-to-home example of First Amendment rights associated with blogs. Clearly, one can't go spreading lies about someone and expect to walk away free from harm. But what was reported on the Trout Underground appears solidly rooted in fact and was in all ways similar to what other media outlets (including the ones quoted in the Chandler article) were reporting.
The First Amendment lives on to fight another day.