Defamation lawsuit against unknown ‘Does’ filed by California Northstate University

A defamation lawsuit was filed by Elk Grove-based California Northstate University (CNU) in Sacramento County Superior Court. What makes the March 28, 2018 filing unusual, the defendants accused of defaming the for-profit school are unknown.

The lawsuit, which was filed by CNU’s in-house counsel Paul Wagstaffe, asserts that between February and March 2018, the 30 unknown “Does” made “written and oral statements regarding Plaintiff California Northstate University and its leadership. CNUS claims that “facts and circumstances know to the readers and listeners of the statements, the statements injured California Northstate University and its leadership exposing them to hatred, ridicule, contempt, and shame, and discouraged others from associating or dealing with them.”

The complaint does not specify what was written or spoke, or on what platform the commentary appeared. The filing also states the statements were false.

The true names of the defendants, the filing states, are unknown. Wagstaffe declined an opportunity to comment on the litigation. 

Along with defamation, the lawsuit asserts the unknown defendants knowingly attempted to interfere with “prospective, applicant, admitted, and enrolled students, or knew or should have known that disruption of said relationship was likely to occur.” Consequently, CNU “suffered and continues to suffer damages from the loss of students and prospective students.”

According to information posted by Revision Legal, a Traverse City-Michigan based law firm specializing in intellectual property rights, there are several steps a plaintiff can take to address anonymous online comments. The court documents do not indicate what steps, if any, CNU has taken as suggested by Revision Legal.

Case no. 34-2018-00229956

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Eye on Elk Grove said...

Is CNU using scare tactics here to intimidate their opposition? Didn't Dr. Alvin Cheung say at Darren Suen's town hall meeting he wanted to work with the community?

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