Petitioners Obtain Pre-Litigation Disclosure into the Owners of Twitter Accounts Used to Publish Defamatory Statements

Pre-action discovery is a specialized tool available in New York courts that can be used to preserve evidence or identify potential defendants.  This tool was effectively used in DarkPulse, Inc. v. Twitter, Inc., Index No. 159015/2022, in New York Supreme Court, New York County.

In DarkPulse, the petitioners, DarkPulse, Inc. (“DarkPulse”) and its CEO, sought pre-litigation disclosure concerning two Twitter accounts that were used to publish tweets calling the CEO a criminal and to assert that DarkPulse and its CEO were engaged in securities fraud and money laundering.  Petitioners argued that these tweets were designed to cause DarkPulse shareholders to sell their stock, and they sought the identity of the two Twitter users so that a defamation suit could be brought against them.  The court granted this disclosure, concluding that petitioners established their right to a “meritorious cause of action” – i.e., the defamation claim – and that the information sought – i.e., information concerning two Twitter accounts – was material and necessary to bring a viable lawsuit.

Whereas pre-action discovery cannot be used to determine whether a cause of action exists, it can be used in the right instances to facilitate the commencement of a future action.

If you have any questions about how to obtain pre-litigation disclosure, please contact Michael C. Rakower or Melissa Yang.



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