Internet blogger Gordon Warren will have to be careful about what he says or writes about businessmen brothers Sandy and Robert Shindleman.
Chief Justice Glenn Joyal agreed this morning with the Shindlemans’ application to impose an injunction on Warren, stopping him from communicating about the brothers or their company, Shindico Realty, until their defamation suit against Warren is settled.
But Joyal did not spell out exactly what Warren is prohibited from saying or writing about the Shindlemans, adding he would do that after conferring with their lawyer, Robert Tapper.
Joyal made his ruling following a 90-minute hearing and then spent 35 minutes pondering on the case.
Warren failed to submit any evidence or affidavits to counter the Shindlemans’ case against him, a point which Joyal repeatedly pointed out to Warren.
Warren is the author of an online blog and admitted writing three posters placed throughout the downtown that linked the Shindlemans to a criminal conspiracy with Mayor Sam Katz and several other local business people.
It was the wording of those posters, repeated on the blog and in emails circulated through the community, that angered the Shindlemans, alleging Warren is anti-Semitic and advocating hatred against Jews.
In his ruling, Joyal said it’s important great care be taken before any restrictions are placed on the freedom speech.
However, Joyal concluded Warren’s writing constituted hate speech and that there is no likelihood that they could ever be defended in the defamation suit against him
"Hate speech... is not subject to the protections afforded by freedom of expression," Joyal said.
Warren, who has a Master’s degree in theology but no formal training in law, stumbled through the hearing.
Warren said he was offended anyone would accuse him of being a racist, adding he was never charged with a hate crime and that one of the works cited as being anti-Semitic was the English translation from a Jewish holy book, the Talmud.
Tapper said Warren had improperly linked the Shindleman brothers with corruption and racist and anti-Semitic statements.
"I have every suspicion that Mr. Warren is a proud member of the Nazi party," Tapper told the court.
Tapper said Warren’s writing are deeply offensive, adding the injunction is needed to "shut him up."
During the break before Joyal brought down his ruling, Warren said he expected to lose the fight against the injunction but added he would comply with whatever prohibitions Joyal imposes on him.
Tapper told the court Warren had basically conceded the defamation suit against him because he had not submitted a statement of defence within the required time period.