Court Dismisses Defamation Lawsuit Over “Woman Accused of Defaming Dozens Online Is Arrested”
From Atas v. New York Times Co., decided Tuesday by Judge Laura Taylor Swain (S.D.N.Y.):
Plaintiff, [Nadire Atas,] who is a Canadian national residing in Ontario, Canada, brings this pro se action alleging that The New York Times … published two articles with false and defamatory information about her, which were then discussed on The Daily, a podcast produced by the Times….
The following information is taken from the complaint and the Times’ articles, which Plaintiff quotes liberally in the complaint. In “A Vast Web of Vengeance,” published on January 30, 2021, the Times wrote that Plaintiff had put up on various websites thousands of online posts against dozens of people she perceived as her enemies, accusing them of being scammers, fraudsters, thieves, sexual deviants, and pedophiles. The article detailed how the hands-off policy of tech companies like Google have allowed Plaintiff—who had previously been deemed a vexatious litigant by the Canadian courts for filing numerous lawsuits—to conduct an online campaign of harassment and defamation for several years. According to the article, Plaintiff’s alleged victims, who live in Canada, Britain, and the United States, included a family that had employed her over 30 years ago; a bank that had foreclosed on properties she owned and employees of the bank; lawyers who represented the bank and lawyers representing those lawyers; and the family members, colleagues, and employers of those people. Many of the people whom Plaintiff had attacked online sued her for defamation in Ontario.
Following the publication of the first article, on February 9, 2021, Plaintiff was arrested by the Toronto Police and charged with defamation, false statements, and harassment, which are crimes under Canada Criminal Code. On February 10, 2021, the Times published the second article, “Woman Accused of Defaming Doze
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