Legal FAQ’S

To help answer some of the many questions we get a day we created this Frequently Asked Questions for your information.

If your question isn’t answered here you may email us at SpringfieldILExposed@gmail.com and someone will get back to you within 48 business hours.

Can I Sue SpringfieldILExposed.com For Posting A Story?

In a word — NO. Under a federal law known as the Communications Decency Act or “CDA”, website operators like SpringfieldILExposed.com are generally not liable for “publishing” content from third party users.

This does NOT mean you are helpless if someone has posted false information about you. You can always sue the author. You just can’t sue us for running an online forum that someone else misused.

If you are a lawyer and want to know more about the CDA, please read this: Jones v. Dirty World, LLC, 755 F.3d 398 (6th Cir. 2014).

If you are not a lawyer watch this:

NOTE — this news story was published in June 2014, and the plaintiff did not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. This means the judgment in favor of TheDirty is final.

How Can I Get A Post Removed?

 

There are two main ways to remove a post:

1.) With a court order; and
2.) General Removal REQUEST.

Details for both are explained below.

COURT ORDERED REMOVALS

Most people ask us to remove posts because they claim the post is false. Unfortunately, we are not the Truth Police. We cannot resolve factual disputes between strangers. Therefore, we will not remove posts simply because one party makes an unproven claim that a post contains false information.

Instead, we generally will not consider removing content unless a court has determined the speech in question is false. However, filing a lawsuit is not always the best solution. For one thing, filing a lawsuit creates a permanent public record of the matter and can have unforeseen harmful consequences. Thus, before you file any lawsuit, you should consult with a lawyer in your area who has substantial experience dealing with Internet law matters. We strongly recommend that you do not take advice from any attorney who does not have experience in this area because the rules which apply to online matters are unique and are not familiar to most lawyers.

If a court determines that a post contains false statements of FACT (opinions cannot be false), we will review the order and, subject to our final editorial discretion, we may remove any false factual content.

If you have obtained a court order that you want us to consider, please email a copy of the order to us at SpringfieldILExposed@gmail.com . Please be aware that we will contact the court to confirm the order, so please don’t even think about trying to send us a fake/forged order.

Although it is our policy to comply with any valid/lawful court orders, we can’t promise that we will always comply with every order or judgment we receive. Also, to avoid any confusion caused by cases such as Barnes v. Yahoo!, Inc., 570 F.3d 1096 (9th Cir. 2009), nothing on this page or in our Terms of Service should be construed as a promise to remove any content; removal is always subject to our final editorial discretion.

NOTE — Because we are not liable for third party speech, it is not appropriate for you to name SpringfieldILExposed.com as a party to a lawsuit you file against the author of a post. If you do name SpringfieldILExposed.com as a defendant, we will not consider removal of your post under any circumstances.

ALSO NOTE — The above discussion is offered solely to explain our general policies. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it represent an exhaustive overview of the law.

GENERAL REMOVALS

See http://springfieldilexposed.com/terms-of-service/removal-policy

How Can I Get The Information Of The Person Who Put Me On Here?

If you want the name/IP address of a user who posted something on our site, the process for that is simple — YOU MUST HAVE A SUBPOENA. We will not, under any circumstances, provide any information about a user of our site without at least a subpoena.

The reason for our policy is simple — the First Amendment protects the right to anonymous speech. This means that if a person posts something anonymously on SpringfieldILExposed.com, they have the right to remain anonymous unless you demonstrate that you are legally entitled to discovery the author’s identity. That’s why you MUST have a subpoena, and you must demonstrate that you have satisfied the applicable legal standards for unmasking an anonymous author.

The general standard we follow is the one described in Mobilisa v. Doe, 217 Ariz. 103, 170 P.3d 712 (App. 2007). For more information, please review this page.

NOTE — We will NOT, under any circumstances, provide author information in response to a Rule 224 petition from Illinois. Each state has the right to control the manner and method by which records are produced within the borders of that state, but no state has the right to command the production of records from another state that violates the law of the place where the records are kept. See, e.g., Yelp, Inc. v. Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, Inc., 770 S.E.2d 440 (Va. 2015) (a Virginia court has no authority to order Yelp.com to produce records located in California) (citing extensive authority).

An Illinois Rule 224 petition may be an appropriate tool for obtaining records located in Illinois. However, SpringfieldILExposed.com’s records are not located in Illinois and Illinois Supreme Court 224 does not comply with the legal requirements established by another jurisdiction’s law. For that reason, if you obtain an order purporting to require us to produce records under Rule 224, you should expect that we will not comply with the order, and we may, if necessary, file a lawsuit against you in our jurisidiction seeking declaratory relief.

SpringfieldILExposed.com records are maintained in the country of Netherlands.

Law Enforcement Information:

Please start by sending us an email from your official law enforcement email account to SpringfieldILExposed@gmail.com Just let us know what you’re asking for and why you need the information. Requests which include a police report are MUCH more likely to be viewed favorably. ALWAYS include a link to the specific post in question. Depending on the specific situation, we may require you to obtain a subpoena (a search warrant is not the proper investigative tool), but we will explain this further after you contact us.

Also, FYI — although we are happy to work with law enforcement dealing with legitimate investigations, please be aware that it is unlawful for any public official to use his/her governmental power to violate the First Amendment rights of an anonymous Internet speaker. In plain English, what this means is very simple — if you are a member of law enforcement and you offer to help a friend by issuing a subpoena without valid legal grounds for doing so, you are breaking the law and you could face significant personal liability pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

To help demonstrate this point, take a look at this case: Rich v. City of Jacksonville, 2010 WL 4403095 (M.D.Fla. 2010). As this case explains, if a public official obtains a subpoena seeking to unmask an anonymous Internet speaker without probable cause, the public official will not be entitled to qualified immunity and will face personal liability for violating the speaker’s constitutional rights.

Moral of the story to all good cops out there — please don’t even think about pursuing the identity of an anonymous Internet user unless you have probable cause to believe the person has committed a crime. Also, when contacting us please be prepared to explain what crime you are investigating and why probable cause exists to believe our user has committed that crime. We’re not trying to make your life harder; we are simply trying to protect the rights of our users unless and until there’s valid grounds to believe they have crossed the line.

For more information make sure you read out Terms of Service located at http://springfieldilexposed.com/terms-of-service

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