CLEVELAND, April 7 (UPI) -- An Ohio judge filed a $50 million lawsuit against a newspaper, claiming it conspired with Web site entities to discover private information, documents indicate.
A complaint was filed by Judge Shirley Strickland Saffold and her daughter, Sydney Saffold, Wednesday seeking damages from the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Advance Internet after the newspaper alleged the judge may have made anonymous comments on the newspaper's Web site about cases before the court, ABC News reported.
Shirley Saffold and her attorney, Brian Spitz, claim any comments from a user going by the name "lawmiss" connected to cases involving the judge were most likely left by the judge's 23-year-old daughter Sydney, an aspiring law student.
"(Judge Saffold) is judicially precluded from commenting on any case before her," Spitz said.
The Plain Dealer alleges the user name "lawmiss" is connected to an e-mail account registered to Judge Saffold. Spitz says it's a family e-mail account set up by the judge's Saffold's ex-husband, ABC said.
The newspaper says it investigated when the messages were posted.
"We filed a public records request and found that a computer in the judge's office was on the Web site at the time three of the comments were left."
"The only thing we did that the public couldn't do was figure out whose e-mail was associated with those comments in the first place," Plain Dealer Editor Susan Goldberg said.