Public records online provide convenience in finding court documents. They are easy to access, free, and you can even add-on to the database. Justia.com is one of these online resources, and it works great for finding digitalized documents, but it is just as susceptible as any other site. People who have bad intentions will do anything it takes to destroy someone’s reputation, even if it means posting fake information on a public records database and claiming it as true.
If you find yourself in the situation of trying to remove a post on Justia.com because someone has posted misleading or inaccurate information about you in an attempt to hurt your reputation, there is a solution. Although a court order is most likely going to be that solution, there is a way to ease the pain during the process and make things run more smoothly.
What is Justia.com?
Justia.com is a source for public litigation records from federal and state courts. You can view dockets and court filings if you sign up, and they are available to anyone. They get their information from official records, but they state that it is not in the entirety of what is in public records. Justia is an excellent resource for finding public records online, and it can save a lot of time you would normally spend searching for court information.
What is Online Defamation / Cyber Libel?
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, online defamation is the creation of false statements to ruin someone’s reputation. Online defamation, also called cyber libel, is a malicious act that can lead to a court order for the removal of web content. The situation gets a little trickier when dealing with a public records site like Justia.com, especially compared to regular websites, because it handles real court records and people’s personal information.
Justia.com also accepts submissions for entries in their records. If someone were to submit falsified information in an attempt to hurt someone’s reputation, that absolutely would count as online defamation. Hopefully, that does not happen to you, but it does happen. A court order can resolve that type of situation and make Justia.com remove the information from its website.
Why is it Difficult to Remove Content from Justia.com?
Besides using a court order, Justia does offer to remove the page from search engine listings. When they do this, the content will still exist on their website; it just will not show up on Google or other search engines when someone goes looking around for information. Keep in mind that they can only remove the Justia page from Google, any other sources of that information could still come up, and that is completely out of their control.
If you only wish to hide content, you will need a judge for that as well. A court order can mark a record to be under seal to where the public does not have access.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
Section 230 in the Communications Decency Act protects Justia.com; it protects the owner, host, and internet provider for all websites. But what is this section of the CDA protecting the hosts from? Well, pretty much any comment posted on a website platform by its users.
People can post almost anything on most websites. If the website host did not have some type of immunity, there would be too many lawsuit battles due to what people say online. In section 230, it states that the host is not liable at all for what people submit or post on the site.
On Justia.com, users can submit records to add to their database. There is still a chance of people submitting false information, so the website has no responsibility. Unfortunately, that means that the website is not as interested in intervening in posts since they cannot get punished for false information. Although, Justia does state that they will remove records under a court order.
Fair Use allows for the common use of already copyrighted content. When most people think of the Fair Use policy, they think about images that are free to use, but Fair Use applies to all types of content, including digitally written statements.
Unfortunately, some people feel the need to steal content and repost it as their own. That would not count as Fair Use because they discredit the real owner of the copyright. Fair Use only applies in certain situations and may even need to be determined by a judge.
If someone were to add information on Justia.com that they stole from you without your permission, you would need to take them to court. At that point, it will first be decided whether or not the content they used qualifies as Fair Use. If it does, they can keep the post up on the website. Otherwise, they will have to take it down.
How to Remove a Post on Justia.com
To fully remove a post from Justia.com, you will need a court order. Obtaining a court order is relatively easy unless the situation is complicated. These types of situations always depend on the circumstances, and every case is different. The length of time it takes to get the court order will also determine how long you have to wait for the information to come off of Justia, so make sure you use the right legal expert to get the court order.
Court orders can be obtained by going through a lawyer. The lawyer will contact a judge and put the proper course of action in place to get the fastest results. However, have some trust that your lawyer knows what they are doing, as long as you chose a good one.
Lawyers and legal experts are not always super expensive. After reading all of this, you may have some panicking thoughts wondering how in the world you are going to afford the consultation necessary for getting started with removing one piece of content. But do not worry, there is a better way to go about the entire situation.
Reputation Rhino is the best solution for removing damaging court records from Justia. Reputation Rhino is an online reputation management service that helps with every aspect of building a positive online reputation and protecting against damage to your reputation. Your reputation has a direct effect on the level of business coming through from the internet. Reputation Rhino will optimize your content, remove bad posts and reviews from search engines, rebuild your reputation, and provide help with ustia.com.
Any help you can find for this process is going to make things a lot easier. Some websites will try to get the upper hand and will make it exceedingly difficult to remove content. Find out as much as you can about the post that you want to remove and gain knowledge on anything that could stand in your ways, such as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act or Fair Use. The more you know, the more likely it will be to succeed.
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