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Mr. Monkey San Mateo court filing

with 17 comments

Scores of defamation allegations

This is the court document filed in the 9th District San Mateo court in California on behalf of South Tyneside plaintiffs Cllr. Iain Malcolm, Cllr. Anne Walsh, Cllr. David Potts, and Rick O’Farrell.  This was the filing used to encourage Twitter to release details including IP addresses attached to the Twitter accounts held by Cllr. Ahmed Khan and others.

Local readers in South Shields and Jarrow may find some of the language offensive as it was taken verbatim from the website under investigation.

View this document on Scribd

A tip of the hat to Brian Paget, I’ve already told him I’ll buy a T-shirt once he has them printed.

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Written by curly

June 1, 2011 at 10:50 am

17 Responses

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  1. At this point in time, 11:30am 1st. June, the Gazette website will not let you comment on items relating to this issue.
    Costs not to exceed £75K – I doubt it!
    Iain Malcolm told the Gazette the costs of the BT building would be covered by BT’s 14 year lease, when BT only has a ten year contract and we’re a couple of years into that. No one at the council seems to have any restraint regarding the spending of our hard earned cash.

    Steve G

    June 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

  2. Reflect on two quotes from USA Supreme Court Judge Alito; “In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated, it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims…” “Our profound national commitment to fre and open debate is not a licence for the vicious verbal assault that occured…”


    June 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm

  3. At no stage have I read anywhere that South Tyneside Council has any intent on pursuing a libel action, and I am confident that their officers and legal counsel have NOT advised such. The council is exercising its authority as a “duty of care” in respect of one of its officers.
    IF the plaintiffs are successful with any self funded civil action/s there is a suggestion that the expenditure made on our behalf to identify the author of the blog/s will be reimbursed to the council, thus ensuring that the local tax payer is not out of pocket.
    All of this is dependent upon a successful claim for damages and the ability of the defendant/s to meet the financial demands that a court may place upon them.


    June 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm

  4. For relevant UK case law see Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd 1993 and the 2003 case of R(Comninos) v Bedford Borough Council.


    June 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

  5. Thanks for that, here are the links to help others

    Link 1
    Link 2

    However, still worth repeating that we have seen NO evidence that South Tyneside Council, as yet, intends to fund a libel action. So far they have only funded a legal investigation and an order to disclose to aid such an investigation.


    June 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    • I wish those writing critical letters to the “Gazette” appreciated this point, Curly; I find it so extraordinary that criticism is not directed at the blogger(s) who have created the situation and whose comments and allegations go way way beyond what a “thick skinned public official or councillor” should have to turn a blind eye to or tolerate. How much in legal costs does the council expend upon prosecuting nuise nuisances, fake goods sellers, fly tippers etc,quite rightly no criticism of that. We are talking about 75K OVER 3 YEARS, that is a very small amount of money relative to the legal budget let alone the total STC budget. For all we know the blog, like “Geordie Shore” could have cost the area dear because of the alleged damage to our reputation. 30,000 signed up to criticise a TV programme that is perceived to hurt Tyneside’s image; a programme that bears no resembleance to TOWIE, which has allegedly boosted visitors to and spending in Essex, and, which to be fair is pretty tame and sanitised in comparison.Celebrate the fact that “Take That” generated millions of pounds of income with little or no trouble apart from the alleged unauthorised “Popper” sellers reported by some twitterati, and whose activities should have been reported to the Police not David Miliband, who has no responsibility whatsoever for such alleged activities as a non Executive Director of SAFC.


      June 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  6. Jesus curly I’ve never seen the Mr..Monkey blog until tonight and I shocked, now I come here and see some more damage. do they realise that selling South Shields this way will never work. How many people looking to start a factory or a business in the town will come here if they read all that shit? Peoples job are at risk if this lunatic carries on writing filth.
    I support the council so long as this money will be paid back, cannot be faire than that can I.

    P. Wilson

    June 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm

  7. Let’s cut this matter to the bone.
    The “themonkeyhouse” blog was tawdry, scurrilous, juvenile and badly written. Using anonymity, its authors (assuming the plural applies) unfearless of being held to account, traduced in the crudest terms possible local Council Members and one, perhaps more than one, Council Officer. They awarded themselves license without restraint, entering statements on that site they knew they would be unable to repeat in person, publicly and openly.
    Morally, it was a spineless thing to do and I give full support to the Council’s attempts to uncloak those responsible.
    Arguably, while the Council’s legal action has important distinguishing features, for example, instituting proceedings in a US jurisdiction, there was a similar experience a few years ago in Sunderland with a blogging site “Dadsplace”, the enforced shut down of which followed legal proceedings mounted by several individuals. It, too, made serious allegations against Council Members and public figures.
    In all of this there is something to be drawn by all, though especially by self-indulgent, bloggers, tweeters and twitterers: don’t submit entries that you would be unwilling to put your real name to.
    Most Council members inhabit the world of hard knocks, as is frequently evidenced by critical letters to the Gazette concerning this or that Council department, or about Council spending. Where there is such openness and freedom to criticise there is no need for the clandestine vituperation of such sites as the ‘themonkeyhouse’.
    Even those of us sympathetic to Samizdat would be hard pressed to make the case for a UK equivalent.

    Sorry posted this under wrong thread.

    M. Peel

    June 2, 2011 at 9:15 am

  8. When the attention falls on Khan you just KNOW hes going to bounce it back on someone else, thats his way of dealing with things.

    Sandra D

    June 2, 2011 at 10:24 am

  9. I quite agree, but we also need to understand that many of those writing to the Gazette have not followed the crazy writings of this blogger over the history of his/her different guises, nor do they realise the potential damage to the borough’s best interests.
    I see many parallels to the Dad’s Place episode in Sunderland which eventually ended in some very expensive tears for the writers. Peter Walls and the Sunderland Housing Group (now Gentoo) were determined to succeed in unmasking the anonymous writers, and after three years got their justice. I just hope that South Tyneside Council make rapid progress to enable the plaintiffs to achieve similar justice.


    June 2, 2011 at 7:58 pm

  10. Graham, the fall-out from the Council’s legal sorties in pursuance of this matter has, as you know, attracted national media attention.

    If, in the wake of the Giggs affair,it contributes to curbing malicious blogging and tweeting then all to the good.

    The virulence of ‘themonkeyhouse’ blog attacked more than the four plaintiffs. You, the Gazette, its Editor and several hardworking Councillors that I worked with/for over many years were also targeted. That blog was almost wholly indiscriminate in its defamatory assaults.

    I’ve the strong feeling that the media has not fully gorged itself yet. If, as many of us suspect, a Council Member is identified as carrying direct responsibility for the many libellous statements set out in ‘themonkeyhouse’ blog, a media feeding frenzy will follow, with bad and unwanted publicity for the borough.

    That, should it happen, will be a great pity- especially, when there is an exemplary blog such as yours – and one that promotes what is best in the borough.

    If such forebodings become a reality and the media have more to feast on, let us hope the Borough can recover quickly and be able to claim credit and lay claim to being the second North Eastern borough to have ‘hung’ a monkey.

    Michael Peel

    June 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    • Well put; I wonder if the supporting tweeters, bloggers, media people and lawyers offering free services have reflected upon how they would react if they, their employer or family were being blogged/tweeted about in such a manner. Read the USA case of Snyder v Phelps recently decided in their Supreme Court and ask yourselves the question, do we want so called freedom of speech to embrace conduct such as described in the facts of that case.


      June 3, 2011 at 8:53 am

      • I think, for the benefit of other readers, it might be useful to know how to add a link into your comment, so we can go straight to the reference that you wish us to see.
        It is fairly simple and I’m sure you will find it very useful.


        June 3, 2011 at 9:40 am

      • When are all of these silly people going to see through the fog and realise that our council are trying to protect OUR reputation, unmask this rogue author, and ensure that business partnerships, jobs, and regeneration are NOT jeopardised?
        Whoever the author is must realise that their statements could be seen as extremely damaging to our economic prospects and put off those who wish to invest in South Tyneside. If I were a businessman reading these comments and believing them, I would be extremely reluctant to do business with our council and its members.

        One can only hope that the number who have fallen into this category is small, otherwise we will never drag ourselves out of the economic doldrums.

        If it is indeed proved sometime in the future that one of our elected representatives has been responsible in any way for these writings, then the people should should be notified of all of the relevant facts, and the individual concerned should be barred from office.

        £75000 expended to save potentially £millions and hundreds of jobs is a small price to pay, they have my backing.

        Fred Clarke

        June 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm

      • Just search Snyder v Phelps; Wikipedia article and references good source of info, also “Yale Law Journal”; facts are disturbing enough, legal argument takes some following.


        June 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm

  11. Looking the gazette tonight I’d think that Khan has a bit on his mind and a heap of worries is that why hes fed so many stories to the press this week.

    Sandra D

    June 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm

  12. Whilst this is not a criminal matter, he would be well advised to keep quiet, or at least restrict himself to denying that he is the blogger. This exceptional incident is being extrapolated into an alleged attack on human and civil rights, noone seems to be giving any consideration to the rights of STC or those on the receiving end of these allegedly defamatory blogs. If he is getting legal advice, hopefully they will reign him in. Ironically, despite his childish, insulting remarks about JS, he now has a daily platform in the “Gazette”. Wish the headlines were about a U turn by CamClegg, such as a reprieve for One North East and more money to preserve frontline Police, Fire Service and public sector jobs, and not about this very unfortunate blogger hunt.


    June 4, 2011 at 8:25 am

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