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Monday, June 16, 2014

ACLU Sues City for Shutting Down Mayor Parody Twitter Account

In March of this year, a Twitter account was established in the name of @peoriamayor.  Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis's photograph was used as the account "avatar."  The account's biography read "I am honored to serve the citizens of our great city."  

The problem?  Neither Mayor Ardis nor any other City official or employee had anything to do with the @peoriamayor account.  Instead, the Twitter account was established by Jon Daniel, a 29 year old resident of Peoria, who posted a series of tweets about the Mayor using drugs and associating with prostitutes.  When the City learned of the Twitter account, it contacted Twitter and the account was shut down shortly thereafter, according to news reports.  

Just last week, Mr. Daniel (with some help from the ACLU) filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Peoria, Mayor Ardis, and a number of other City officials claiming that the City and officials conspired to violate Mr. Daniel's constitutional rights.  The complaint alleges that the City violated his First Amendment rights, as well as his Fourth Amendment rights when police searched his home and seized his computer and other property as part of its investigation of potential criminal conduct in impersonating a public official (the States Attorney declined to prosecute Mr. Daniel). Mr. Daniel asks that the court enjoin the city from engaging in future conduct that suppresses his freedom of speech rights and requests an award of unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Patient Sues Hospital After Her Medical Records are Posted on Facebook

A former patient sued the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, claiming that hospital workers posted her medical records on a Facebook page after she was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease.  She alleges that two hospital employees were persuaded by her ex-boyfriend to post her medical records on the Facebook group page called "Team No Hoes."  The medical records included the plaintiff's syphilis diagnosis, and were followed by comments that referred to the woman as a "hoe" and a "slut."  Plaintiff seeks damages from the hospital, as well as improved hospital procedures for protecting confidential patient information.

Hat tip to the ABA Journal for reporting on this case, filed Tuesday.


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