By Tiffany Kary - 2012-09-11T14:56:12Z
Twitter Inc. has to turn over information about an Occupy Wall Street protester’s posts or face a fine, a judge ruled, giving the company three days to show it isn’t in contempt of court.
New York State Supreme Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. in Manhattan today said Twitter must produce the information by Sept. 14 or provide its earnings statements from the last two quarters so he can decide on a fine.
The judge had asked Twitter to show why it wasn’t in contempt of court after refusing to produce information about tweets by protester Malcolm Harris in response to a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
“I can’t put Twitter or the little blue bird in jail, so the only way to punish is monetarily,” Sciarrino said.
Sciarrino ruled June 30 that Twitter must turn over posts from Sept. 15 to Dec. 30 and user information linked to the “@destructuremal” account of Harris, who was arrested on Oct. 1 with about 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge, denying the company’s request to quash the subpoena. Twitter then asked for a stay that would block enforcement of the order while it appealed Sciarrino’s decision. That request was denied Sept. 7, according to court records.
Twitter “is interested in having a fair hearing on this issue, it’s a novel issue,” the company’s lawyer told Sciarrino, saying it wanted more time to appeal his June 30 ruling. Sciarrino said his hearing was a fair one, and the company has already had 73 days to comply with his order.
The case is People of the State of New York v. Harris, 11- 80152, Supreme Court of the State of New York (Manhattan).
To contact the reporter on this story: Tiffany Kary in New York at email@example.com