Online Review Court Case Appealed to State Supreme Court

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Two groups are taking the case of a Virginia woman ordered to remove negative online reviews of a home contractor to the state's highest court.

    The Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and Public Citizen said Wednesday that they filed papers in the Supreme Court of Virginia appealing a preliminary injunction issued in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

    Jane Perez is being sued over comments she posted on the Internet, including on Yelp and Angie's List, regarding Dietz Development LLC. Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the homeowner could not imply that the contractor stole items from her home. And she is barred from repeating them in new posts. The contractor is claiming the reviews were false and cost him business.

    The groups say the judge's order is a violation of free speech rights.

    "Such orders run afoul of the American tradition of free speech, which assumes that the public can sort out truth from fiction so long as both sides have the opportunity to have their say,'' Paul Levy, an attorney with Public Citizen, said in a news release.