Section 230 Doesn’t Protect Summaries of Third Party Remarks–Diamond Ranch Academy v. Filer

17 01 2017

Diamond Ranch Academy runs a “residential youth treatment facility” in Utah. Chelsea Filer (nee Chelsea Papciak) runs a website,, critical of Diamond Ranch Academy. Diamond Ranch Academy sued her for defamation and tortious interference in Utah. For reasons not revisited in this opinion (but resolved in a prior opinion), the court concluded that California’s anti-SLAPP law could apply to the case. In the latest ruling, the court partially grants Filer’s California anti-SLAPP motion to strike but denies attorneys’ fees to both sides (even though I believe Filer nevertheless should get attorneys’ fees for the pieces she won–see, e.g., Wong v. Jing). Among other interesting things, the opinion addresses the statute of limitations, the single publication rule, what constitutes “republication” of previously published content, and how much evidence a plaintiff must present to survive an anti-SLAPP motion to strike. If you’re interested in such things, I hope you’ll read the entire opinion.

This post will focus only on the court’s Section 230 discussion. Filer explained that “ also includes an ‘About Diamond Ranch Academy’ page, which summarizes many of the core complaints about DRA in a format that is more digestible than reading through many separate survivors’ testimonies.” Consistent with the court’s skepticism about the anti-SLAPP defense, the court doesn’t find this argument very persuasive to a Section 230 defense:


Case citation: Diamond Ranch Academy, Inc. v Filer, 2016 WL 633351 (D. Utah Feb. 17, 2016)


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