Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery is asking a court to preemptively prohibit the Philadelphia Inquirer from publishing personal information about him and his wife, the Legal Intelligencer reports.
The request comes as part of McCaffery’s lawsuit against the paper; the courts, however, generally frown on “prior restraint” of publication — they’d rather punish a newspaper after the fact for getting something wrong rather than order a newspaper entirely not to publish.
The request stems from a July 27th report in the Inquirer about the Traffic Court scandal; that report included a copy of a ticket issued to McCaffery’s wife, Lise Rapaport. As depicted in Tuesday’s court filing, the ticket appeared with her street address blocked out, but with city, zip code, date of birth, and other identifying information still visible.
The Intelligencer reports:
“What is even more troubling about the traffic citation however, is the fact that, despite knowing that plaintiff Rapaport is married to plaintiff McCaffery and that plaintiff McCaffery is a justice on the Supreme Court and is a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, the defendants recklessly published personal information sufficient to enable any crafty miscreant to figure out plaintiff McCaffery’s home address,” the couple said in the motion.
The couple has asked the court to restrain and enjoin the papers from publishing any personal information about the plaintiffs, “including, but not limited to, their automobiles and home addresses.”
The Intelligencer notes: “The filing was made as part of the couple’s defamation and false-light lawsuit against The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, Rapaport v. Interstate General Media. That suit raises claims that the newspapers portrayed McCaffery and Rapaport in a false light through articles about referral fees Rapaport received from law firms that had cases before the state Supreme Court.”