You hear about all of the stories in the news, you read on Facebook about how identity theft is getting worse by the day. One of your neighbors has a child that keeps getting harassed by the kids at school.

It won’t happen to you. Nope – It can’t happen. He won’t do it. If I just ignore her, she will stop.

You are looking for a new job and you google yourself to see what comes up and then suddenly you realize….you have become a victim of Online Defamation.

Your mind cannot stop racing:

  • Who would do something like this?
  • How did this happen?
  • How do I get this removed from the internet as soon as possible?
  • How do I find out who did this?
  • I might know who did this, but how do I go after them? (Do I have a case?)

The good news is: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

With the rise of technology and the internet, online defamation is the fastest growing areas of civil law today. 74% of those who made online defamation claims report that they suspect it was someone they already knew.


Each internet service provider has its own policies and procedures regarding how long they will store information – so it is critical to understand that the moment you suspect you have become a victim of online defamation that you seek counsel to bring a course of action. This will allow you to submit a petition for discovery which will halt any possible deletion or destruction of electronic evidence.

224 Petition for Discovery


Simply put, it gives lawyers a power tool to help determine who might be at fault for their client’s injuries. It is not a demand for damages. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 224 empowers lawyers to obtain important information from a potential defendant before disclosing their theory of the case.

  • Get information from a potential defendant (ex: Google) about an incident, without having to file a lawsuit
  • Compel a potential defendant to tell you who might be responsible for your client’s injuries
  • Depose potential defendants before disclosing your theory of the case

So long as the requirements of the Rule are met, a court has only limited discretion to deny the petition. A respondent to a Rule 224 petition cannot appeal an order granting the petition. Their only remedy is to refuse to comply, accept a contempt order, and then appeal the contempt order. ANY discovery tool you could use in a “regular” case you can use in a petition for discovery under Rule 224. A filing of a Rule 224 petition should include requests for all of the discovery tools available.