How to find the true identity of a Social Media Troll who is causing you harm

Saturday , 3, September 2016 Leave a comment


The answer that people have been looking for in terms of how to take action against a party whose identity you do not know, who has done you wrong. Is both covered in Common Law and is Supported by Legislative instrument.

troll

The Common Law principle is called a NORWICH PHARMACAL ORDER which stems from a English House of Lords case Norwich Pharmacal v Customs and Excise Commissioners 1974. In that case a Pharmaceutical company wanted to know the identity of a party who was breaching it’s patent rights and sought an order from the Court to compel the Customs and Excise Commissioners to disclose that information which they had. The principle that the Court applied was that if through no fault of his own a person (or Company) gets mixed up in the Tortious Acts of others, so as to facilitate the wrongdoing, he may incur no personal liability but he comes under a duty to assist the person who has been wronged by giving him full information and disclosing the identity of the wrong doers.

In other words, if a corporation is involved in wrong doing (let’s say Facebook publishing comments of a Troll that cause harm to others) even though Facebook themselves is innocently involved, they have an obligation to disclose the identity of the wrong doer.

This is further supported in Statute by legislative instrument for instance in Victoria the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005  under ORDER 32 PRELIMINARY DISCOVERY AND DISCOVERY FROM NON-PARTY   it states :-

32.03 Discovery to identify a defendant

(1) The Court may make an order under paragraph (2) where—

(a) an applicant, having made reasonable inquiries, is unable to ascertain the description of a person sufficiently for the purpose of commencing a proceeding in the Court against that person (in this Rule called the person concerned); and

(b) it appears that some person has or is likely to have knowledge of facts, or has or is likely to have or has had or is likely to have had in that person’s possession any document or thing, tending to assist in such ascertainment.

(2) The Court may order that the person, and in the case of a corporation, the corporation by an appropriate officer, shall—

(a) attend before the Court to be orally examined in relation to the description of the person concerned;

(b) make discovery to the applicant of all documents which are or have been in his, her or its possession relating to the description of the person concerned.

(3) Where the Court makes an order under paragraph (2)(a), it may—

(a) order that the person or corporation against whom or which the order is made shall produce to the Court on the examination any document or thing in his, her or its possession relating to the description of the person concerned;

b) direct that the examination be held before an Associate Judge.

So both in Common Law and by virtue of legislative instruments if you are the Victim of a Troll on the Internet who hides behind an Anonymous account, BEFORE you commence action against the Troll you need to know their true Identity and the above shows you how, in law, the Courts and the legal system are here to ensure you get Justice and the perpetrator is called to account.

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NOTHING IN THIS WEBSITE IS TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE, IT IS PURELY INFORMATION TO ASSIST YOUR UNDERSTANDING, WHICH WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU BRING TO A LAWYER AND URGE YOU TO SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE.

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