Attorney Calls Websites Extortionate
ATLANTA (CN) - An attorney claims in court that racketeering websites defamed her and tried to extort her for $699 to have the defamatory statements removed.
Jane Doe sued Grambling T. Dominique Jr. aka Ernest Eugene Slade, Truth in Posting LLC, Margaret Pickard and the Does who operate the websites ReportYourEx.com, RemoveNames.com, RemoveMyName.com and RemoveAPosting.com, in Federal Court.
Doe, who has 13 years experience as an attorney, claims the defendants violated RICO laws "through a pattern of racketeering activity, including, but not limited to extortion of plaintiff by requiring payment to remove defamatory statements from the website ReportYourEx.com."
She claims: "Grambling T. Dominique Jr. knowingly and maliciously portrayed the plaintiff in an entirely false light, as a victim of domestic violence, committing criminal acts involving the criminal court system of which she is affiliated, and violating bar ethical rules, amongst other false allegations."
Doe claims the statements were published on ReportYourEx.com, where family members, business partners and prospective clients saw it. She claims the defendants made money from the defamation by way of paid advertising on the site.
Her efforts to have the defamatory statements removed from the site were fruitless, as "ReporteYourEx.com flat out refuses to remove posts at the request of victims," the complaint states. "Instead, victims of posts published on their site who wish to have posts removed are directed to the websites of defendant Truth in Posting LLC, defendant John Doe dba RemoveName.com, defendant John Doe dba RemoveAPosting.com, and defendant John Doe dba RemoveMyNames.com.
"John Doe dba ReportYourEx.com claims that these sites are 'independent 3rd party services' that can assist victims in challenging a post. However, reportyourex.com indicates that there is no guarantee that the post will be removed even after the harmed individual pays money to have the post removed," Doe says in the lawsuit.
The sites "charge fees ranging from $199.00 to $699.00 for 'arbitration' or to assist in the removal of posts from reportyourex.com. None of these defendants guarantee that the negative post will be removed if someone pays for their services," according to the complaint.
Doe claims she was told to pay $699 to have the statements removed from ReportYourEx.com, and when she refused, the defamatory content was left on the site.
Though she mentions "extortion" in the lawsuit, it is not listed among the causes of action, which include defamation, libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy to violate RICO law.
She seeks treble and punitive damages and an injunction.
She is represented by Sandra Finch of The Russell's Law Firm in Atlanta.