A company trying to learn the identity of a person who posted allegedly damaging remarks in an Internet forum using a fictitious name must first make a prima facie showing that it actually suffered damages, Allegheny County, Pa., Court of Common Pleas Judge Stanton Wettick Jr. has ruled.

Writing in Reunion Industries Inc. v. Doe, PICS Case No. 07-0419 (C.P. Allegheny March 5, 2007) Wettick, J. (7 pages), Wettick applied the summary judgment standard he first annunciated in his decision allowing Pa. Superior Court Judge Joan Orie Melvin to discover the identities of online critics.