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.
The bad news: TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
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.