NEW HAMPSHIRE SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS FREE SPEECH RIGHTS FOR ONLINE NEWS SITES
Ruling Mirrors Arguments Made in Brief by the Citizen Media Law Project, Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic, and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
May 6th, 2010
by CMLP Staff
May 6, 2010 – The New Hampshire Supreme Court today issued an important decision upholding the First Amendment rights of online publishers. Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic submitted an amicus curiae brief last June on behalf of the Citizen Media Law Project and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in the case, The Mortgage Specialists, Inc. v. Implode-Explode Heavy Industries, Inc. The reasoning of today’s ruling mirrored arguments in the amicus brief, as the Court concluded that a lower court’s injunction preventing a website from posting a leaked document was an unlawful prior restraint on speech.
In 2008, the mortgage industry website, The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter, published an article detailing administrative actions taken by the New Hampshire Banking Department against mortgage lender The Mortgage Specialists, Inc. The article included a link to a financial document that The Mortgage Specialists allegedly submitted to the state banking authorities, which the Implode-O-Meter website had obtained from an anonymous source. Mortgage Specialists sued the website, demanding that the document be removed from the internet and that the anonymous source be identified. A Rockingham County Superior Court judge granted these requests.
The Supreme Court reversed the injunction preventing publication of the leaked document...