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Mickelson sues to quash on-line Canucklehead

Posted on: February 2, 2012 10:17 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 5:26 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Attention flamers, vicious posters and other reputation-savaging knuckleheads who hide behind the anonymity of chatroom walls while tossing grenades at others:

Phil Mickelson is fighting back.

In a move that could bring unintended light to a very personal issue, Mickelson filed suit in Canada to learn the identity of a person who has been ripping him on the Internet.

According to the Courthouse News Service, Mickelson alleges in the complaint that "the postings suggest that plaintiff has an illegitimate child, that his wife has affairs and other similar vexatious statements that are absolutely untrue and, simply put, vicious.”

Mickelson has long been dogged by wild and absurd rumors, and his wife Amy has even been known to make jokes with friends about them.

But nobody’s kidding around this time.

"I'm all for freedom of speech, but I won't tolerate defamation, and so I've got a great attorney who's on it," he said after the first round of the Phoenix Open on Thurday.

Mickelson sought and was granted by San Diego Superior Court the right to subpoena Yahoo! for information about the identities of two screen names, "Fogroller" and "Longitude," and Yahoo! responded with Fogroller's Internet protocol address, which is registered to a Videotron subscriber, according to the Courthouse News report.  

The news report states that Videotron's attorney said Mickelson needs a court order for the company to provide him with the information. In the filing, Mickelson seeks the court order.

"It is urgent, and in the best interest of justice, to accurately identify the person using the 'Fogroller' pseudonym and posting these offensive and defamatory statements, in order to stop the dissemination of false and wrongful statements about the plaintiff and obtain reparation for the prejudice already suffered," the complaint states, according to Courthouse News.

Reparation, of course, is the legal euphemism that broadly means "blood and money."

Category: Golf

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:37 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Aug 11, 2010
Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:31 pm

Mickelson sues to quash on-line Canucklehead

I think Phil Mickelson needs to grow thicker skin.  Yes, words are hurtful.  But the best way to deal w/ internet flamers is to ignore them.  These sad and lonely people spew hate so they can get a little attention.  By filing suit, Mickelson has given them their 15 minutes of fame. 

Since: Jan 15, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:29 pm

Mickelson sues to quash on-line Canucklehead

Good for Phil. There are way too many goofballs who just rip people for their success and have nothing better to do than create silly rumors that have no validity whatsoever. I hope Phil and his lawyers catch this person and make him/her pay.

If someone wants to rip Phil for missing so many short putts, fair enough. Anything other than what he does on the golf course should be deemed irrelevant.

This is a Ryder Cup year by the way and all Americans should realize we will need a healthy & happy Phil to win the Cup. Let's lay off him a bit- eh?

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:27 pm

Mickelson sues to quash on-line Canucklehead

Good for Phil. Its not like he don't have enough on his plate with his wife and mother's cancer. And his arthritis thing. Now, some snot nose piece of crap is trying to bash him and his wife.
Some people just hate successful people.

Hope he sues them to homelessness.


Since: Jan 11, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:25 pm

Mickelson sues to quash on-line Canucklehead

Exactly, for the most part I have stop going to comments on most stories (was curious about the reaction to this story)   Being a Steeler fan and a Penn State graduate, I have seen far too many comments that in my opinion should be deleted.  

Since: Jun 7, 2011
Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:22 pm

Mickelson sues to quash on-line Canucklehead

vranger, you're right about the limitations on free speech.  Also, one thing everyone needs to remember is that, when the Constitution was written, slander would normally result in a slap across the chops with the subject's glove, followed by a really serious contest with swords or pistols.  Too bad that particular tradition is no longer available to us.  I'll bet it would shut down cowards like "Fogroller" in a heartbeat.

Since: Oct 29, 2011
Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:01 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 12, 2011
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:59 pm

Mickelson sues to quash on-line Canucklehead


As stated before “I believe Phil is doing the right thing”.
And you are making very salient points; however you as well as I are using good
old fashion common sense. Which may not always follow the lines of our judicial

Our Supreme Court is inundated with a variety of cases
similar to this one where the outcome is a total surprise to reasonable person
approaches (common sense). I hope Phil wins and it seems that he is gaining
traction in this uphill battle, but slam dunk, especially with respect to
Internet regulation and slander, I cannot agree with you.

The tabloids are littered with garbage, enough to keep our
legal system tied up until the next century, but how many cases are brought
forward and more important how many follow the good old fashion common sense

Good commentary Vranger!!!!

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:52 pm

Mickelson sues to quash on-line Canucklehead

The First Ammendment gives a person a right to say what they want when they want, but it doesn't give them immunity from having to take responsibility for their words. If they yell "fire," in a crowded theater, they are criminally liable for what happens next. If they damage a person with slanderous or libelous comments, they are liable in a civil court. This isn't the place for a lengthy analysis of the US legal code, and libel is defined state by state in slightly different ways. But essentially, it's libel/slander if (1) it is factually incorrect; (2) a reasonable person doing due diligence would have known it was factually incorrect; and (3) the untruth was accompanied by evidence of malicious intent. I think Phil would have a very strong case. The rub would be showing financial damages. But I don't think that's what Phil is after. He's just looking to make someone responsible for their words and make them shut up. I believe he can succeed. The problem with the Internet is that it is anonymous, like a bathroom wall. But bathroom walls don't travel around the world at the speed of light. Blogs and message boards do. Here's hoping that Phil can win one for decency here.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:38 pm

Mickelson sues to quash on-line Canucklehead

Raider, "Freedom of Speech" is one of the most misunderstood legal concepts in the USA. It was never intended to, and doesn't, convey to anyone the right to say anything they want to at any time no matter the consequences. It specifically protects things like a person's right to share his religious and political views without fear of government persecution.

It does not legitimize libel or slander, incitement to violence, or any other manner of bad behavior which people try to shield under the blanket of Freedom of Speech.

I don't know about Canadian law, but if Phil institutes a libel case in the USA, it's a slam dunk. Slander and libel law in the USA both require the individual who made allegedly improper statements to prove that what he(she) communicated publicly is in fact true. If they cannot do that, they will lose the case, and there's no question about it.

While it is true that some protection is afforded in the case of opinion concerning public figures (the concept of Fair Comment), that protection does not extend to the acts of libel and slander. You can express the opinion that "Star A" is a bad dresser, but if you state that "Star A" enslaves children to make his garments, you'd better have facts to back up that claim. Otherwise, if "Star A" chooses to sue you, you will lose. The question then is only how a judge or jury will view the amount of the award of damages, not whether "Star A" will prevail.    

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or