Subpoena-ville: Blogger Jaquith served in publicist's case

Waldo Jaquith ran for City Council in 2002.

Waldo Jaquith, the creator of Charlottesville's longstanding news blog,, was subpoenaed last week by the man suing the Hook.

Publicist and chicken farmer Tommy Garrett demands that Jaquith provide any communications that mention Garrett, a person Jaquith says he never heard of until Garrett filed $10.7 million defamation suit against the Hook for its coverage of 15 forgery counts filed against Garrett in Buckingham County.

In a plea agreement in April, the publicist was found guilty of one misdemeanor count of entering the property of another with the intention of damaging it and ordered to pay $3,500 in restitution. Through attorneys, Garrett has maintained his innocence, and the 15 felony counts were dismissed.

In what Jaquith calls "an incredibly overbroad" subpoena, Garrett demands the IP addresses of those who commented on Jaquith's December 23 account of the lawsuit against the Hook, as well as the IP addresses of viewers of the blog post, which drew 81 comments.

According to, Jaquith will act as his own attorney.

"The requested information appears to be variously irrelevant, unnecessary to the case, confidential, and privileged," says Jaquith on his blog.

This isn't the first time Jaquith has been involved in constitutional issues. As a high school student in the 1990s, Jaquith, with help from the American Civil Liberties Union, sued Charlottesville for its curfew, in a case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ACLU represented him more successfully in 2000 in quashing a subpoena from Mattel.

Jaquith's history of defending freedoms also includes serving on a board at the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression that installed the Free Speech monument on the Downtown Mall.

In the mid-1990s, Jaquith co-created the award-winning Dave Matthews Band fan website, More recently, he built Richmond Sunlight, which tracks all General Assembly legislation. And in 2002 at age 23, he ran for City Council–- and came within four votes of getting nominated.

Garrett's Daleville attorney James Creekmore did not return a phone call seeking comment, but instead sent a letter to the Hook's attorney warning the newsroom to cease all contact with him and his client.

"We will be sure that when we amend our suit," Creekmore writes, "all articles and authors subsequent to the ones on which we have sued will be incorporated when and where possible."

Creekmore has already subpoenaed Hook editor Hawes Spencer and this reporter for information surrounding two articles about the lawsuit, as well as the IP addresses of those posting comments or even reading–- yes, reading!–- "Senior's Star: Buckingham publicist sues Hook" on December 22 and a January 6 story about Garrett threatening to sue an Australian blogger, "Slap happy? After Hook suit, man rattles another saber".

"I’d chalked up Garrett as a harmless kook," writes Jaquith on "But my perspective is now considerably less charitable."

Read more on: defamationtommy garrett


What's a guy gotta due to get subpoenaed in this town? I read the post in question. And I'm commenting on this one. When can I get mine?

Hey Lawyer "up the " Creekmore with every threat you really do this case an enormous service in the court of public opinion.

maybe grisham can write a book about a chicken farmer gone hollywood who sues a local paper and ends up a laughing stock

PLEASE, on my subpoena, don't spell my name with an 'e.'

This whole story seems a waste of time. Why is the hook and this blogger spending so much time on it? Let the court sort it out. If it's a truly frivolous case, then the hook would have a legal case of its own. By constantly slamming this person that is suing, the hook looks like it has a chip on its shoulder, like it's not confident of its case and seems a little childish. All just IMO.

Saying that we should "let the court sort it out" is just goofy, "Billy Bob." The court isn't in the business of sorting things out. Lawyers are. The court makes a ruling based on their sorting. Thing is, I don't have a lawyer. So I have to--yes--"spend so much time on it." That's what happens when you're dragged into a legal case. Now that you've commented on this blog entry, you may well find yourself subpoenaed, too. Let's see how much time you spend on it.

Goofy? Pardon me, sir. I did not communicate very well. Thank you for your refreshing rejoinder.

This is a non-story and it does not serve the public for this to be mentioned in a newspaper. Most papers and businesses will NOT comment on pending litigation as a matter of policy. It seems odd to me that this paper to be posting detail after detail about this non-story. I can understand that a blogger being subpoenaed would find it newsworthy, but I don't think the public at large does.

It seems to me, however, that if the litigant in this case wished to raise his public profile by filing this case, the blogger and the hook are playing into his hands by posting these details.

I posted two stories�one about the lawsuit against The Hook, and one to notify my readers that their private information was the subject of a subpoena. That, I believe, is about the bare minimum that I could responsibly write.

Jeez, what a mess. It's ridiculous that you would have to go through anything like that. I guess I'm reacting to what I perceive to be the tone of the articles in the hook. I guess it's an easy reaction to have, not being the subject of the litigation. However, as you point out, these posts may end up being my ticket to the courthouse.

While I understand Mr. Jacquith's point, I agree with Billy Bob's questioning the continued reportage of this situation. Quite frankly, this situation appeals to my sense of irony (I seem to recall someone in the media claiming all publicity is good publicity, but I forget the exact quote). While I understand the chilling effect of having to reveal bloggers' web addresses, that discussion could continue without reference to the details of this particular case. Continuing to report a civil case of this type gives the case more credit than The Hook's counsel probably believes it deserves.

OOPS! I looked... and read... oh my! Filing and having subpoenas issued is pricy, filing cost could be as high as $100 and at least $10 a pop to have them served. Every one should read all the publicly available material and comment so they can go broke, while they humiliate themselves, in a very public way. Maybe a lesson will be learned by the ignorant. Get 'em Waldo!

"Publicist and chicken farmer...." Gotta love it. Still drooling over the fact that this guy has allegedly represented ---- Tab Hunter!

Go After Creekmore

The only thing more pathetic about this case than Tommy Garrett's entire sock puppet existence is the role of his lawyer James Creekmore.

The Hook should get back not only attorneys fees but some nice sanctions against Creekmore himself for this ridiculous lawsuit. Wasting judicial resources is something most judges don't like. And, the facts appear to suggest that Creekmore is a buffoon who doesn't check the facts behind his legal allegations. That makes him the kind of shyster who oughta slapped down by the state bar for making knowingly false allegations and filing frivolous complaints.

(Oh please please please subpoena me you idiot)

LOL!!! Hey Nick! You are so right! But then Tommy/"Chloe" has a knack for finding lawyers to suit his needs. Just look at who he had for his criminal trial -- a lawyer with a criminal record (embezzlement)!

Takes one to know one they say!