Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4



Contact: Oscar Michelen July 15, 2014
Email: omichelen@cuomollc.com For Immediate Release
Phone: (212) 448-9933


In an unexpected twist in the ongoing Georgia website censorship case of Matthew Chan, anti-
troll website owner of ExtortionLetterInfo.com ("ELI") and Linda Ellis, poet and author of "The
Dash", the Georgia Court of Appeals ordered the case be transferred to the Georgia Supreme

The order by the Court of Appeals stated that "the entire record and the briefs of the parties
raised significant and novel constitutional issues addressing the First Amendment". Further,
"the briefs make clear, the appeal raises issues of first impression in Georgia" and there was
"very little if any applicable law in other jurisdictions."

In February 2013, Chan lost a case against Ellis where she charged him with allegedly stalking
her, and posting her home address, family information, and death threats on ELI. However, many
of those posts were made by third-party visitors to ELI, not Chan himself and neither Chan nor
the website was ever requested to take down any of the allegedly offensive posts. Nevertheless,
Ellis was awarded a sweeping Permanent Protective Order by the local court. That order,
required among other things, a wholesale removal from ELI of all 2,000 posts by anyone that
ever mentioned Ellis, her poem, or her business practices in any way.

In August 2013, Chan appealed the lower courts permanent protective order. Oscar Michelen
and William J. McKenney, who are representing Chan on this appeal, filed a motion to have the
case transferred to the Supreme Court on the grounds that Chans rights under the First
Amendment were being "improperly restricted and violated." The Court of Appeals denied that
motion on the basis that the appeal did not "challenge the constitutionality of a law, ordinance, or
constitutional provision." It did not appear to the Court at that time "that subject-matter
jurisdiction" was "proper for the Supreme Court."

With the denial for his motion to transfer his case to the Supreme Court, Chan filed his briefs
with the Court of Appeals as scheduled. A series of briefs submitted by both Chan and Ellis
concluded in November 2013 and the parties were awaiting a decision from the Court.

Instead, the Court of Appeals has now agreed that jurisdiction properly lies with the Supreme
Court and has transferred the appeal there. Oscar Michelen states, "I am glad the Court of
Appeals recognizes that these issues are ones which need to be addressed by the States highest

court as they touch upon issues of first impression and of Constitutional significance. I look
forward to the Georgia Supreme Courts determination of the merits of our appeal."

Chans reaction to the legal twist, "I am gratified that the Court of Appeals agreed with us that
the issues raised in my appeal needed to be reviewed by the Georgia Supreme Court. The scope
and potential impact of the outcome of this case goes far beyond me and the ELI website. It goes
to all website owners and forum administrators in Georgia and possibly outside the state."
Court of Appeals
of the State of Georgia
The Court of Appeals hereby passes the following order:
A14A0014. CHAN v. ELLIS.
After this appeal was docketed, but before the parties filed their briefs,
appellant Matthew Chan filed a motion to transfer the appeal to the Supreme Court
of Georgia, asserting that the appeal raised constitutional issues under that courts
exclusive jurisdiction. This court denied that motion on the ground that the appeal did
not challenge the constitutionality of a law, ordinance, or constitutional provision.
Accordingly, it does not appear at this juncture that subject-matter jurisdiction is
proper in the Supreme Court. (Emphasis supplied.)
The entire record and the briefs of the parties and of amicus curiae, however,
have raised significant and novel constitutional issues addressing the interplay of the
First Amendment and the wide dissemination of information made possible by the
internet, particularly with respect to the issuance of a permanent protective order and
the trial courts broad discretion to bring about the cessation of conduct constituting
stalking. As the briefs also make clear, the appeal raises issues of first impression in
Georgia, and there is very little if any directly applicable law in other jurisdictions.
Therefore, while the appeal does not draw in question the constitutionality of any
statute within the meaning of Ga. Const. of 1983, Art VI, Sec. VI, Para. II (1), it is a
case involving the construction of . . . the Constitution of the State of Georgia or of
the United States within the meaning of that provision.
Accordingly, this appeal is hereby TRANSFERRED to the Supreme Court.
July 02, 2014
Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia
Clerks Office, Atlanta,__________________
I certify that the above is a true extract from
the minutes of the Court of Appeals of Georgia.
Witness my signature and the seal of said court
hereto affixed the day and year last above written.
, Clerk.