The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

N.J. Case Ordering Google to Stop Showing Picture of Plaintiff Removed to Federal Court

The same happened to the case against the Chicago Tribune, in which the judge orally ordered the Tribune to take down a post that contained the picture (though the written order failed to reflect that).


For much more on the remarkable cases, Malandrucco v. Google and Malandrucco v. Chicago Tribune, see here [UPDATE: link fixed]. Now that the cases are in federal court, I expect the order against Google to be promptly vacated, and the request for the order against the Chicago Tribune to be promptly dismissed.

The bases for the removal are, to oversimplify things a bit:

  1. The parties are citizens of different states, and the plaintiff is claiming unspecified damages that are likely in excess of $75,000 (the statutory threshold for removal to federal court based on diversity of citizenship).
  2. Malandrucco is apparently asserting a federal copyright claim as well as a federal Crime Victims' Rights Act claim—both of those are losers on the merits, I think, but they are federal claims as to which the Tribune is entitled to a federal forum.

I've uploaded, for your reading pleasure, the notice of removals in the lawsuit against Google and the lawsuit against the Chicago Tribune.