A politically active Schiller Park woman wants to target the blogger she claims defamed her, and to do so has taken action in Cook County Circuit Court to force Facebook and two other online companies to identify the blogger.
This month, Irene Moskal DelGiudice filed a petition for discovery, asking a judge to order Facebook, Inc., Automattic, Inc, – which does business as blogging platform website Wordpress – and 1 & 1 Mail & Media, Inc. to give her information identifying the person she claimed has maligned her on the Internet. With the information in hand, she could then lodge a lawsuit against the person for allegedly defaming, libeling and putting her under a false light.
In her court papers, DelGiudice, who referred to herself as “Moskal,” described herself as “elderly” and a retired inspector for the Illinois Secretary of State. Moskal further said she has been a trustee for the Village of Schiller Park, a member of the board of education for Schiller Park School District 81 and, since 1989, a Triton College trustee. Moskal is also president of the Polish-American Congress’ Illinois Division, which addresses issues affecting Polish-Americans.
According to Moskal, the first instance of defamation occurred July 1, when an anonymous blogger with the screen name “James J. Tompson,” posted on “The Healing of Schiller Park” website, located at jamesjtompson.wordpress.org. Moskal said the post apparently referred to a Freedom of Information Act request she submitted for documents from Schiller Park School District 81.
“Not a political movement happens in this town without this fabulous young lady weighing in with her vastly one sided and heavily inflated opinion. In fact I am not completely convinced that she actually has her own opinion at all and she simply just parrots the thoughts of others. (Moskal is the) type that will talk about how terrible something is without actually knowing any facts about the subject she is talking about,” the blogger wrote.
On July 10, the blogger spoke again, calling Moskal “nothing more than a political pawn.” Moskal noted this post was later modified to include the message, “This goes out to the only Irene I know,” with the sheet music to the song “Goodnight Irene.” Moskal added the sheet music was presumably posted without permission from the song’s owner.
Another post on July 18 was satirical, saying Moskal was circulating a petition to “stop the harassment” of her. Moskal said this post “disturbingly and offensively makes light of elder abuse.”
According to Moskal, many of the blogger’s posts on the Wordpress site are mirrored on the blogger’s Facebook page. She believes the blogger’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, which is maintained by 1 & 1 Mail & Media.
Moskal is maintaining these posts were false and malicious, done with the intent of harming her reputation and interfering with her “volunteer and political efforts and with her established relationships with others in her community” and “the statements impute that she does not know what she is doing and lacks an ability to perform or think for herself when that is not true.”
Moskal said she has suffered damages, including “out-of-pocket” costs to investigate the postings and in “repairing her relationships with others.” Further, she said because of the blogger, her hopes may be dashed for future community involvement. Moskal added that stress from the blogger’s statements has injured her health.
Moskal said that before she can proceed with a lawsuit against the blogger, she needs a judge to order Facebook, Wordpress and 1&1 to release any names and IP and MAC addresses associated with the blogger’s accounts, as well as dates and time stamps for each post and any other information that will identify the author of the posts.
Moskal is represented by attorney Mark G. Grzymala, of Skokie. The first hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8.