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Judge dismisses New Times lawsuit

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  1. Newsgathering
A federal judge on Wednesday tossed a lawsuit brought by The Phoenix New Times against the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office over the…

A federal judge on Wednesday tossed a lawsuit brought by The Phoenix New Times against the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office over the arrests of two newspaper executives, according to The Associated Press.  

New Times Executive Editor Michael Lacey and Chief Executive Jim Larkin were arrested last year after they ran a story reporting that a grand jury had subpoenaed the paper and two of its reporters, seeking volumes of published stories and information about the paper’s Web readers. The paper acknowledged it might be illegal for it to publish information about the subpoenas but concluded, in defense of free press principles, that "there are moments when civil disobedience is merely the last option."

Charges against Lacey and Larkin were ultimately dropped. The executives followed up earlier this year with a lawsuit claiming negligence and conspiracy and that officials "abused their government authority by attacking the press."

The AP reports that the court found Lacey and Larkin’s First Amendment rights were not violated.