WISCONSIN ‘ A military academy filed a libel suit against a parent of a former student and a law firm, claiming their respective Web sites damaged the school’s reputation.
In the suit filed in May, St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy claims Gary Meyers, father of a former cadet, harmed the school’s reputation by posting police reports on the Internet. Along with Meyers, the lawsuit names Meyers’ lawyer, Terry Boesch, and Boesch’s law firm, Boesch & Istrabadi, as defendants.
Meyers’ Web site, sjnma.com, includes information regarding lawsuits former students have brought against the academy, as well as police reports from the Delafield Police Department detailing complaints of maltreated cadets.
The Web site for Boesch’s law firm provides a list of lawsuits filed against the academy. Several former cadets have filed lawsuits against St. John’s, claiming they were physically and mentally abused at the academy. Many of these cadets have retained legal council with Boesch’s firm.
A Waukesha County Circuit judge ordered a temporary injunction in August against Meyers, requiring him to remove the police reports. Meyers removed about 350 police reports, in which the academy was mentioned. Meyers contested the court order, claiming the records are public information.
Boesch said the lawsuit is merely a procedural diversion to prevent the law firm from filing more harassment complaints on behalf of other former cadets. The function of both Web sites is similar to that of ‘the old town crier,’ and should be immune from prosecution, he said.