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Hearing date set for motion to quash Carpenter subpoena

COVINGTON -- The hearing on the Newton Citizen's motion to quash the subpoena seeking information identifying individuals named in a lawsuit by Alcovy High School Principal LaQuanda Brown Carpenter has been set for June 14 in Newton County Superior Court, according to Citizen attorney David Hudson.

The subpoena was issued against the Newton Citizen newspaper and its editor Alice Queen by Carpenter's attorney Stephanie Lindsey, seeking to identify 11 "John Does" who commented negatively about Carpenter on the Citizen web site.Upon receipt of the motion to quash, Lindsey notified Hudson that she had suspended the requested deposition of Queen, along with information and documents on the matter, pending the outcome of the hearing.Carpenter is claiming defamation and libel for 11 comments posted between Feb. 10 and April 19, which she claims are false, intended to expose her to "hatred, contempt and/or ridicule" and made with reckless disregard for the truth.

The subpoena requested by May 4 all information and documents sufficient to identify the names, addresses and telephone numbers associated with those named in the lawsuit, as well as documents reproducing the texts of the comments from Jan. 1, 2011, to present and all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records and application or registration forms related to those named.

The motion objects to the subpoena for the newspaper and Queen's deposition and production of documents.

Hudson contends in the motion that the request for documents is invalid because of the qualified privilege for journalists against disclosing the information.

Additionally, he argues that in other states, courts have ruled in favor of protection for the anonymity of "speakers" on the Internet and courts have extended free speech protections to the Internet. He asserts that a plaintiff cannot force the identification of any anonymous Internet speaker without showing a valid reason.

The motion states that the comments cited in the lawsuit are writers' opinions or criticisms of Carpenter and privileged under the First Amendment.

"Each instance where she alleged that she was defamed is nothing more than a statement of opinion which is protected from a claim of defamation," the motion reads, adding that the incidence of alleged libel does not rise to the level of a serious prima facie case for defamation against any of the anonymous sources and that is sufficient reason for quashing the subpoena.

Newton Citizen reporter Michelle Floyd contributed to this story.

Comments

HonestAbe 2 years, 2 months ago

Wish it would come sooner so that the case could get kicked out and emphasis could get back to managing the school system and the school children. Does the citizen know which Judge will hear the case? Hope it is Judge Ozburn. I would have paid to be a fly on the wall with Lindsey taking a disposition of Alice Queen. We know which one has the better head on her shoulder.

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ShannonBlack 2 years, 2 months ago

The teacher never admitted the information was false - see Covington paper.  That is not true.  If a decision was made between the principal (wife) and the HR department (husband) before the investigation then there is a LEGAL issue here. It sounds like the bd atty and Matthews had not been included. . Please tell us.

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Satan69 2 years, 2 months ago

We know for a fact that she did not state that what she wrote was false. We hope her attorney sues both carpenters if a decision is made before the investigation.

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Kodaanddylansmom 2 years, 2 months ago

Why is she only suing 11 why not sue all 181. This is such trash and shameful. If the article says that all she wants is for people to come forward like the teacher then she is a bully

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Watermelonlover 2 years, 2 months ago

Hello Stephanie it's the wee hours of the morning and I'm up again. Why did you tell the other paper that the statement was false. Will you sue me if I say it's a lie?

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Crazyhooker99 2 years, 2 months ago

Well you might want to them over at the AJC because they are blogging about them too. Laquanda you won't find a job anywhere in Georgia girl you did it to yourself.

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Crazyhooker99 2 years, 2 months ago

I just read an article where John trotter called mark elgart a joke. You can get sued in newton county for that.

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Satan69 2 years, 2 months ago

Laquanda, You have the lowest performing high school in the county. You have most discipline problems in the county. You have the lowest graduation rate in the county. Putting your best foot forward isnt working. It is the wee hours and I'm going to sleep. I already graduated from high school.

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Satan69 2 years, 2 months ago

Laquanda,

I will be suing you for allowing the school auditorium to be trashed and the bathroom walls full of drawings you are responsible for everything in that building.

Where did you come from?

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Billy 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm sure that this frivolous suit will be shot down by a judge--if not the first one who hears it, then certainly the second. Glad my kids are going to go to a religious school. The public schools are full of people like these. Thank the Almighty for alternatives...

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JoanD 2 years, 2 months ago

Grow up lady and stop being a Nazi.  People curse me at work all the time.  The kids in your school get away with cursing the teachers because of your bad leadership - failing school, high crime, major arrests, so can the teachers sue these kids.  You need to grow the heck up and leave the county.  I am ashamed of YOU and the school board that allowed this conflict of interest to exist.  RECALL the entire board for allowing this to happen and get some people in their who will fight for students and teachers.

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Henrycounselor 2 years, 2 months ago

Covingtonians please contact the ACLU about the attack on free speech in Communist Newton:  info@acluga.org       770.303.9966 ACLU of Georgia 1900 The Exchange Suite 425 Atlanta, GA 30339

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CBSfinder 2 years, 2 months ago

I will be going to court and telling about all of the trash her husband said at the ballgames about board members and principals.

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CBSfinder 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh but wait a minute.  It makes sense that Carpenter 1 and 2 would make decisions w/o the attorney and supt.  They crave power and threats and fear.  Isn't this the same guy who was behind the attack on free speech and sending the supt out?  He did not do it but everyone says he was behind it.

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amp72 2 years, 2 months ago

Folks, this is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. This was a gross miscalculation on her part and the attorney and it will come back to haunt them. Several teachers and even administrators are even more angry than before now that we know a current teacher was suspended. There are legal and ethical questions to be answered. The lesson here is when you consistently treat people with disrespect and disdain it WILL come back to you eventually. I know for a fact that the AJC is looking into this as well as other media outlets. This sort of thing is reprehensible and has no place in our schools or any where else for that matter. What she and others fail to realize is that even if you don't like anonymous commentators and their methods, some times that is the only avenue for airing grievances. When your husband is responsible for personnel decisions then how in the world can you have an open and honest discussion without there being repercussions? How can her attorney say the teacher admitted the statement was false when it was an opinion. She stated that Dr. Carpenter was not the answer. You can't argue the falsehood of such a statement because it was this teacher's OPINION.

Stay tuned on this one. I happen to know some things that are building behind the scenes and I don't think this will go away any time soon. I encourage the citizens of this community to contact anyone they think will listen. Contact the newspaper and thank them for fighting for your right to free speech and please contact your leaders to support these teachers. There is no union in this state so teachers have NO protection. This nepotism must end and someone must initiate an investigation to find out when the nepotism connection began and fix this problem immediately!

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Personalsavior 2 years, 2 months ago

Employees come forward with stories of threats at this high school.  Go to the papers they are protecting names if you ask them to do so given the climate of fear at AHS.  If a principal can file suit to bring down the NCSS image without telling the superintdendent then employees can do the same w/o any retribution.  DO IT and save this system and get her moved out of here.

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Grandcanyon 2 years, 2 months ago

This suit falls on its face.  Lindsey says we think there are one or two people.  I know for a fact that is wrong on its face.  I am commenting now and I know others by name who comment out of sheer exhaustion with her threats and need protection and American law offers protection.  The teacher who came out today and I hear there are more make this fall on its face.  It should be thrown out for the free speech purpose but if not for that alone because it is use of public courts for purposes of vendatta, coercion, intimidation and threats.   Why is this school so out of control?  Because your elected school board has allowed this situation to exist between a husband and wife even though teachers have raised concerns long before this flap.  She and her husband spend so much time out of their offices and attacking people and that is why we need a new principal.  Bill Kruskamp please come back.  It was great while you were here and we hated knowing she was coming back.  And we resented the heck out of being coerced to give money for that horrible baby shower we were forced to endure under her third reich regime.   Get her out and sue her for bogging courts down with crap.

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FairMinded 2 years, 2 months ago

I am not a teacher. I am a parent with an AP child at the school. I am looking for protection for the children not myself. If it were just me I would have no problem confronting this issue face to face. I’m afraid that if I come forward the repercussions will fall on my child.

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Teedoffparent 2 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Turner needs to go. Please get rid of him!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Beautifulblueeyes 2 years, 2 months ago

Principals cannot exercise the right to putting this lady on leave. Did she talk with HR? HR is her husband and his best friend he hired from Clayton. This is not a principal-HR decision it is a supt - bd attorney decision. If she broke the law FIRE HER NOW and SUE ME LATER for saying it.

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Jugsapoppin 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes Honest Abe and others you are all correct.  Central Office people say her husband trolls the web comments all day.  He even ended with a harassment letter from a parent who he called and attacked for this.  So he is behind  it and district 4 is not far behind him.

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Jugsapoppin 2 years, 2 months ago

I think these people don't belong in court these sue types.  They should leave NCSS and go on the Real Housewives.  After what I learned last night at Amici's about the GBI calls someone needs not to be reelected.

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Henrycounselor 2 years, 2 months ago

What a horrible judge this lawyer would make.  Trashing elected officials all over town.  They are all on to you Lindsey.  I told.  And district 4 bd seat needs cleaning out.

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amp72 2 years, 2 months ago

These people have shown just how dense they really are. They know full well that JPS is en route to look at the district and what do they do? File a frivolous lawsuit that only forces their pictures on the front of every newspaper in town for days. LOL! Who does that? And add to that an attorney who is running for elected office advising them in this moronic little adventure. And you expect them to run a high school and serve as second in command for the entire system? Seriously? And to top it off, few if any are offering support. This has only served to fan the flames that have been smoldering for years. Nice job guys! Keep it up. Unfortunately for us you will never find another job outside of this county.

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Romulus 2 years, 2 months ago

The nepotism started very early in NCSS. Pretty much as soon as he arrived, he began hiring friends and family:

http://www.covnews.com/archives/3238/

And one can probably follow the trail to even earlier, as the character of the central office began to change and become more and more hostile toward teachers and teaching. NCSS used to be a great system to work for and a great place to live. Now, who would want to buy a house in a district of failing schools and failing leadership? Our kids are being thrown under the proverbial bus because excellence has been sacrificed for expediency and political gain. NCSS is now dominated by this hegemony that is vigorously trying to preserve their rule through intimidation and abridging our 1st amendment rights. Every despot in history has recognized the danger of a free press and free speech and has worked to suppress it where possible. Thank you Newton Citizen for helping us keep some semblance of this freedom, even if it does have to be behind a veil of anonymity. I remain hopeful that the truth will come out and justice will prevail.

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amp72 2 years, 2 months ago

Great find! I forgot about that. And what happened to Sams? Yep.

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HonestAbe 2 years, 2 months ago

Do any of you know where in covington i need to go to get a permit to hold my sign up on June 14th in front of the court house. My sign says PROTECT FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. Also can i legally hold it up in front of the board of education without getting thrown in jail. I'M to old to get thrown in jail.

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