JERSEY CITY -- The Liberty Humane Society, which runs Jersey City's animal shelter, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the principal moderators of the Facebook page “Liberty Humane Society Uncensored.”
The 30-page lawsuit, filed in State Superior Court in Jersey City, accuses the moderators of using Facebook to “defame” Liberty Humane by spreading “misinformation and lies” about them, and accusing Liberty Humane of “illegal acts and unethical conduct.”
The moderators named in the lawsuit are: Donna Lerner, referred to as the creator and moderator of the Facebook page; Lisa Coons; Joseph Paladino; Lori McRee Hoffman, and people using the aliases to post on the page, “John Wolf,” “Biff Schwartz” and “Alex Lazur” as well as other Jane and John Does involved with the page.
Liberty Humane was already striking back at the Facebook page, which posted comments by critics of the euthanasia policy they were undertaking. Board member John Hanussak filed a police report last week after death threats against shelter workers were posted on the page.
The Liberty Humane Society issued a statement Tuesday about the lawsuit:
“Over the past few weeks, the defendants in this lawsuit have subjected the board members, their families, our staff and other volunteers to a constant barage of threats, slanderous insults, and blatantly false information designed to intimidate us into relinquishing control of the Liberty Humane Society. We support and defend everyone's right to freedom of speech, but issuing death threats and smearing our reputations with vulgar lies and distortions is not speech -- it is harassment. We filed this suit to protect ourselves and restore the good name and reputation of the Liberty Humane Society.”
Donna Lerner, a Randolph resident, declined to comment when reached on her cell phone for comment on the lawsuit. - RK