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In several comments on the D & C article titled, "Brockport, Sweden and Clarkson feud over fire, ambulance services," the unidentified defendants allege that the officers committed a multitude of crimes. The alleged crimes include "breaking into" a home and "wrongly arresting the residents," and inflating the police department's documented calls for service.
Varrenti's order states that the relief sought is to "compel" the D & C to "cease and desist" posts and provide information on the unidentified defendants, and provide other relief as the court deems necessary. The other officers' lawsuit is deemed as a "related case" with the same cause of action.
State Supreme Court Justice David Barry ruled that the comments were clearly opinion and could not be considered defamatory, as the police officers and Varrenti contended in a lawsuit against the anonymous Web posters and Gannett Co. Inc., which owns the Democrat and Chronicle. Because opinion can not be the basis of a claim of defamation, “Gannett is not required to unmask the identities of the four anonymous internet commentators,” Barry wrote in an opinion filed today.
Barry ruled that the comments were obviously “sarcastic, hyperbolic, and based on rumors” and were not presented as factual statements