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Ga. Supreme Court rules crude online comments not stalking

Georgia high court also rules in case involving Atlanta rapper "Lil Phat"

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SUMMARIES OF OPINIONS

Published Friday, March 27, 2015

 

Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Public Information Office for the general public and news media. Summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the Court, but only for those cases considered of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official opinions of the Court. The full opinions are available on the Supreme Court website at www.gasupreme.us .

 

CHAN V. ELLIS (S14A1652)

            Under an opinion today by the state Supreme Court, a man with a website has won his appeal of a Muscogee County court ruling that granted a Permanent Stalking Protective Order to a woman who sued him over negative postings about her that appeared on his website.

            In today’s opinion, written by Justice Keith Blackwell, the high court has reversed the lower court’s ruling, finding that although the postings may have been “distasteful and crude,” they did not constitute stalking under the law.

According to the facts of the case, Matthew Chan runs a website called ExtortionLetterInfo.com, which posts commentary he and others write criticizing people he believes go overboard in their enforcement of copyright laws. Linda Ellis is a poet, and she has been the subject of nearly 2,000 posts on Chan’s website.

Gov. Deal instructs agencies to prepare for medical cannabis law

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From the Office of the Governor

Gov. Nathan Deal today signed an executive order directing state agencies to begin preparations for enactment of H.B. 1, legislation that will allow the use of cannabis oil for eight medical conditions. Deal will sign the bill after the session to ensure that no conflicts arise with other pieces of legislation.

 

“This executive order is the first step in bringing home families who’ve sought relief elsewhere and for providing new medical solutions for Georgians suffering from debilitating conditions,” Deal said. “I’ve instructed the Georgia Composite Medical Board and the Department of Public Health to begin taking immediate steps ahead of this law’s enactment. At the same time, law enforcement, health care providers and other stakeholders should make appropriate preparations.

GBI report confirms deputies’ accounts of deadly Christmas Eve shooting

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       A report from the GBI confirms the accounts given by Pickens deputies of the deadly shooting of a Bethany area man Christmas Eve. The evidence and video from the officers showed that Ned Womack fired first at deputies who had identified themselves and ordered him to show his hands.

The report presented by the GBI investigators to District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee last week filled five CDs, and when printed with all attachments would total more than 1,000 pages. A portion of the report was released by the district attorney to the Progress.

      See the rest of this story in this week's print or online editions.

Farmers' Market opens for the year

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Herbalist Crystal Merrell will be one of many vendors at the Saturday, March 28 Farmers' Market at Lee Newton Park. 

By Darla Huffman 

 

The oldest continuous farmers’ market (as well as the friendliest) in the county will open for its 16th season this Saturday, March 28. The hours are from 7:30 to noon and the location is in the Park and Ride lot next to Lee Newton Park on Church Street in Jasper.  If you have never

Dunkin' Donuts could come to Jasper

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This old log cabin and adjacent service station on Highway 53 could become the new location of a Dunkin' Donuts after Jasper's zoning board approved annexation of this parcel into the city limits. Final annexation awaits council approval. 

 

        The Jasper Planning and Zoning board has approved a plan than could bring a Dunkin’ Donuts to the corner of Highway 53 and Highway 515.

         At their Tuesday, March 24 meeting, the board heard a request from Mountain Express Oil