Global Freedom of Expression

Grillo v. Auler

In Progress Contracts Expression

Key Details

  • Mode of Expression
    Electronic / Internet-based Communication, Press / Newspapers
  • Date of Decision
    May 5, 2016
  • Outcome
    Injunction or Order Granted
  • Case Number
    0016778-07.2016.8.16.0182
  • Region & Country
    Brazil, Latin-America and Caribbean
  • Judicial Body
    First Instance Court
  • Type of Law
    Civil Law, Constitutional Law
  • Themes
    Content Regulation / Censorship, Defamation / Reputation, Protection of Sources
  • Tags
    Honor and Reputation, False News, Censorship

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Case Analysis

Case Summary and Outcome

The Curitiba Civil Court granted an injunction to a Federal Marshall, Marcelo Moscardi Grillo, ordering the immediate removal of a blog by a journalist who accused him of engaging in illegal acts.


Facts

On February 11, 2016, the journalist Marcelo Auler published a blog accusing a Federal Marshall, Marcelo Moscardi Grillo, of ordering individuals in the Federal Police Headquarters in Curitiba to commit acts of questionable legality. Mr. Auler claimed that these acts were paid for by “secret” third parties and strongly implied that the “secret” third party was, in fact, Mr. Grillo.

In April 2016, Auler reported that Grillo was transferred to the police department responsible for overseeing “Operação Lava-Jato”, a major corruption investigation. Auler stated that Grillo’s replacement at Curitiba Federal Police Headquarters was seen by his previous colleagues in a much more favorable light. Auler also publicly queried Grillo about his actions.

In response, Grillo filed a lawsuit claiming indemnity and demanding the immediate removal of the blog. Grillo claimed that Auler lied and harmed his reputation.


Decision Overview

On May 5, 2016, the Curitiba Civil Court granted Grillo a provisional injunction pending Auler’s defense.

The Court found that Auler’s blog contained serious accusations that harmed Grillo’s reputation. The Court emphasized that Auler had made the accusations on multiple occasions without providing evidence. The Court found that the blog was particularly damaging in light of Grillo’s position on the investigative committee on “Operação Lava-Jato.” The Court ordered the removal of the blog and also ordered Auler to refrain from republishing the allegations on pain of a penalty.


Decision Direction

Quick Info

Decision Direction indicates whether the decision expands or contracts expression based on an analysis of the case.

Contracts Expression

The Court did not hear evidence from the journalist and silenced debate on an issue of public importance – the functioning of a high profile public official.

Global Perspective

Quick Info

Global Perspective demonstrates how the court’s decision was influenced by standards from one or many regions.

Table of Authorities

National standards, law or jurisprudence

  • Braz., Civil Procedure Code art 300 (2015)

Case Significance

Quick Info

Case significance refers to how influential the case is and how its significance changes over time.

The decision establishes a binding or persuasive precedent within its jurisdiction.

Although not binding, this decision could set a dangerous precedent against the freedom of the press. The Court did not hear from the journalist, and assumed that the allegations made by the journalist were false.

A similar complaint was filed by another Federal Marshall, Érika Mialik Marena, who is also a member of the investigative committee on “Operação Lava-Jato.”

 

Official Case Documents

Reports, Analysis, and News Articles:


Attachments:

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