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Texas judge tosses request for restraining order on blogger

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  1. Libel and Privacy
A Dallas judge denied Monday a request to place an ex parte temporary restraining order on a local blogger. Judge…

A Dallas judge denied Monday a request to place an ex parte temporary restraining order on a local blogger. Judge Mark Greenberg of Dallas County Court at Law #5 ruled that the plaintiff had not met the burden necessary to warrant the restraining order.

Had it been granted, the restraining order would have functioned as a prior restraint preventing blogger Avi Adelman from writing about Dallas bar Lost Society on his blog, BarkingDogs.org.

In his affidavit requesting the restraining order, plaintiff Fernando Rosales alleged Adelman made false statements about the bar on the blog and claimed that the statements have resulted in “damages and loss of business dealings.”

Greenberg summarily dismissed the request in a one paragraph ruling. "The court, after review of the record, finds that the petitioner has not sustained his burden of establishing entitlement to extraordinary, ex parte relief," Greenberg said.

Lost Society is owned by Rosales’ company Initiative Partners and is located near Adelman’s home in the lower Greenville Avenue neighborhood in east Dallas.

The request for the restraining order is related to a defamation lawsuit Rosales filed against Adelman regarding the alleged false statements. Rosales argued that the restraining order should have been issued because “[Adelman] will not be able to satisfy judgment that will probably be rendered in [Rosales’] favor in this suit,” according to court documents.

Adelman said he believes the request for a restraining order was an attempt to strong-arm him into removing the alleged defamatory content immediately, noting that Rosales’ attorney, Armando Miranda, informed him of the restraining order request by e-mail Dec. 11 even though an ex parte hearing only requires the presence of the filing party.

“The plaintiff’s attorney notified me that he was going for this ex parte hearing, which I thought was kind of funny because I’ve been understanding that the term ex parte is ‘surprise,’” Adelman said.

Miranda said in the e-mail that Adelman could resolve the matter “by deleting and removing any and all untrue and/or unverified defamatory statements” from the blog.

Adelman said he plans to fight the defamation suit.

Earlier this year, Rosales subpoenaed Adelman for his anonymous sources cited in a blog post about a shooting near Lost Society last summer. Adelman refused to give up his sources, invoking the Texas shield law.