While only a stipulated (i.e. consent) judgment with no precedential value, the recent decision of the U.S. District Court (Fla. N.D. Tallahassee Div.) In InvestorsHub.com et al. v. Mina Mar Group Inc. (Case No.: 4:11cv9-RH/WS) appears to be the first declaratory judgment issued under the SPEECH Act. (my previous post at Inforrm’s Blog is available here.
Mina Mar’s Affirmative Defenses (subsequently withdrawn) were as follows:
1. Plaintiffs are estopped from recovering by virtue of a negotiated resolution of the Canadian case.
2. Plaintiff has waived any right to such a declaration by virtue of a negotiated
resolution of the Canadian case.
3. The defense of accord and satisfaction applies to the claims of the Plaintiffs, given the negotiated resolution of the Canadian case.
4. The Canadian case has been settled by a negotiated resolution.”
The stipulated judgment reads in part:
“19. The parties acknowledge, and the Court finds, that Canadian law does not provide as much protection of speech as the First Amendment, federal law, and Florida law.”
“20. Nor does Canadian law provide the protections for freedom of on-line speech provided by the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230.”
“22. The Court hereby declares that the Foreign Defamation Judgment in the matter of Mina Mar Group, Inc., et al. v. Investorshub.com, et al., Court File No. CV-08-364413-0000, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, is not enforceable in the United States pursuant to the SPEECH Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 4101-4105, and any orders entered in connection therewith are invalid and unenforceable in the United States.”
A pdf copy of the stipulated judgment is available here.
The contempt motion brought by Mina Mar against Investorshub.com for breach of Mr. Justice Perell’s order has been converted to a trial and is scheduled for November 7, 2011. A copy of the contempt motion is available here.
H/T Hector MacMahan
Tags: Case law, Communications Decency Act, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Law of Canada, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, SPEECH Act, United States, United States district court