Message Board Operator Fights Discovery Order Requiring Broad Disclosure [Update] — Concerned Citizens for Crystal City v. City of Crystal City

[Post by Venkat]

Concerned Citizens for Crystal City v. Crystal City, No. ED94135 (Mo. Ct. App.; Nov. 30, 2010) (amended order)

I posted in October about a discovery dispute involving a message board operator who was subject to an overly broad discovery order. (“Message Board Operator Fights Discovery Order Requiring Disclosure of Identities and Private Messages.”)

The trial court dismissed the lawsuit in response to the message board operator’s refusal to comply with the order. Although the appeals court reversed, the previous post mentioned that the appeals court offered little by way of direction to the trial court, in particular regarding the private messages that the message board operator was ordered to produce.

The appeals court on its own motion issued a revised opinion, adding the following language:

In order to narrow the scope of discovery concerning private messages, Defendants will need similar access to the text or other information as to the content of those messages, with identifying information removed, as was provided concerning the public postings. This will enable the parties and the court to then determine which private messages and what identifying information about those messages is properly discoverable. [emphasis added]

It’s nice to see the court (on its own motion) give a bit more clarity to the issue. Unfortunately, the order didn’t cite the blog post, so I can’t claim credit for this.