Catherine Crier Takes a Dallas "John Doe" to Court Over ... Her Wikipedia Page

Former Dallas County judge and prosecutor Catherine Crier left her hometown long, long ago -- exactly 20 years ago, matter of fact, when she swapped the bench for the bright lights of CNN, then ABC, then Fox News Channel, then Court TV and a series of books. Says her bio on Crier Communications Inc.'s Web site, Crier now lives in Westchester County, New York, and "in her free time, she raises and trains Arabian Horses and enjoys playing golf and exploring the world." But she's not quite quits with Dallas after all.

Yesterday in Dallas County District Court, Crier and her attorney -- Joe Kendall, himself a former federal judge -- filed this lawsuit against a thus-far unknown John Doe who, they allege, has been using a Richardson-based ISP to post nasty things about Crier on her Wikipedia page. Among the things this man or woman has posted, according to the lawsuit: Crier's been a murder suspect, a shoplifter, she's served jail time, she's been disbarred -- none of which are true. Turns out, Crier knows where these scurrilous factoids came from: a 2007 Dallas Morning News story about ... attorney Catherine Shelton, about whom we've written plenty.

Crier says the John Doe knowingly changed the names, and, as a result, she's suffered "public hatred, contempt, and ridicule," and that the Wiki entry "impeached [her] honesty, integrity, virtue, and reputation." Hence, her demand for damages including "lost wages, emotional distress and mental anguish." I filed a similar suit after seeing the 2006 Robin Williams movie Man of the Year, in which Crier has a small role.

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