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Motions hearing set for Tuesday

COVINGTON -- Newton County Superior Court Judge Eugene Benton is expected to hear motions Tuesday in connection with the lawsuit filed by the Alcovy High School principal who claims remarks made on the Citizen website by eight commenters are libelous.

Benton is scheduled to hear the motions at 9:30 a.m. at the Judicial Center on Usher Street..

In April, attorney Stephanie Lindsey filed a lawsuit on behalf of Principal LaQuanda Carpenter, claiming originally that 11 commenters posted libelous, defamatory comments and false information that subjected her to public hatred.

In May, she removed three names, and earlier this month, she added Newton County Board of Education Vice Chair Jeff Meadors, claiming he created three of the IDs to make comments on the site.

David Hudson, the attorney for the Georgia Press Association who is representing the Citizen, filed a motion in May to quash a subpoena that requests from the Citizen all information and documents sufficient to identify the names, addresses and telephone numbers associated with the commenters, as well as documents reproducing the texts of the comments and all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records and application or registration forms related to the commenters.

Hudson's motion cites that the request for documents is invalid because of the qualified privilege for journalists against disclosing the information and that the anonymous commenters are afforded protection under the First Amendment.

In a response to the motion filed earlier this month, Carpenter claims that the information sought is relevant to identify the commenters.

Hudson said Monday that the motions hearing will simply center on legal arguments. He said that in some cases the judge will make a decision that day, but he could take information under advisement, thus delaying a decision.

Hudson said that even if the judge agrees with the motion to quash the subpoena, the case could still continue.

"Sometimes the law requires the plaintiff to go through several steps, so it could go back to us (later)," he said.

Meadors and Shannon Black, an individual who has claimed two of the IDs, have confirmed that they have been subpoenaed to appear Tuesday.

Black claimed Monday that she received a hand-written threatening letter on her car overnight Sunday; she has turned it over to the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, which is handling a report of some other threats she has received via her cell phone and by visits to her home in Conyers.

The letter states that she should "watch her back" in court and that she should "keep her mouth shut" in court. The person who wrote the letter claims to know where she works and lives and to have her phone number.

The person also claims to have called and visited her home and threatens to return and also will be watching her in court today.

RCSO is heavily patrolling her home since Black turned over the letter to authorities, according to RCSO Investigator Michael Camp. He said deputies couldn't retrieve fingerprints from the letter since it was brought into the office and not left at the scene without being touched. Black has been instructed to call 911 immediately if any strangers visit her home, authorities said.

Comments

JoanD 1 year, 10 months ago

Now this is just sad.  This high school principal without a lick of high school exp comes to this beautiful building we pay for and sues us and sues our elected people.  This Black lady has been threatened over and over I hope Judge Benton protects Ms. Black.  Ms. Black I know something must have happened in NCSS to make you leave this year and I am sorry for that and that you keep being treated this way.   I am mainly concerned that someone

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amp72 1 year, 10 months ago

It is sad, and also sad that it could have been prevented had we enjoyed strong leadership at every level. And look what happens when someone (Jeff Meadors) tries to exhibit strong leadership- he gets named in the suit too! Thin skins and desperate ploys to hang on to jobs for which some people are simply not qualified. And the students and community suffer.

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AWOL 1 year, 10 months ago

If no one at the school board is going speak out against this suit, then they should at least keep the pressure on this principal to improve conditions at Alcovy High. Right now this principal is being paid to have the school ready for next year and develop strategies that will improve the performance of her teachers and students. Someone needs to ask her the following questions on a weekly basis: 1. What are you going to do this next school year that will energize and excite your teachers? 2. What is your plan to ensure each teacher is fully supported and supervised? 3.What is your plan for a communication policy to keep parents and community members from being dissatisfied with Alcovy High. How do you know each teacher has a good plan to energize and excite the students about learning? 4. How will you show this county that the students are your highest priority?5. What system of measurement will you use to determine how successful you are? BTW these same questions should be asked to the school board and the superintendent. Honestly, we at least need an interim principal while carpenter pursues this court action.

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Frustrated 1 year, 10 months ago

The threats just go to show what kind of people are supporting Carpenter. Sounds like a bunch of thugs all the way around.

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Satan69 1 year, 10 months ago

Well peeps if I ever doubted it before today proved it:  STEPHANIE LINDSEY DOES NOT KNOW THE LAW.  She wasted tons of peoples time.  A horrible horrible team these 3 are and I approve this message.  Do not even THINK of voting for her on July 31 IMO.  

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HonestAbe 1 year, 10 months ago

you are 100% right Satan. I have never seem a worse presentation and disregard for proper court procedures, and poorly prepared than Lindsey presented here. If she was MY lawyer today i would walk out of court with my face covered from shame.

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Satan69 1 year, 10 months ago

I think that some should not give up their day jobs. Come on people really trying to scare people into not going to court really? Didn't work did it. Frustrated I'm right there with you All's I can say is " the company you keep shows your true character " just because y name is Satan doesn't mean I'm the devil. Think about it. Wow.

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