Western Wind Energy Corp. has filed another petition in the Supreme Court of British Columbia looking to identify the Stockhouse user known as "patheticnews." The company says that patheticnews authored a forum message which stated that Western Wind had "ripped [its] shareholders" with a deal to buy land in California. The company previously obtained the user's IP address from Stockhouse, and is now asking that the courts order Telus Corp. to provide the user's name.
While Western Wind has not yet sued patheticnews, it is actively looking to identify him as well as another Stockhouse user called "j_mart." The company claims that the two users were responsible for many defamatory posts earlier this year, some of which called Western Wind's chief executive officer, Jeff Ciachurski, a crook and a stock manipulator. The company petitioned Stockhouse to provide identifying information for the users on May 17, 2012, and won a court order two weeks later compelling Stockhouse to provide user records.
In a brief petition filed on Friday, Western Wind says that it has no practical way to identify patheticnews without the assistance of Telus. Besides an e-mail address, the only identifying information the company received from Stockhouse was an IP address that belongs to a Telus customer. (The petition lists the e-mail address as email@example.com.) According to the petition, Telus is not opposed to identifying the user, but requires a court order before it will do so. Western Wind asks that a judge enter such an order.
The posts that j_mart and patheticnews wrote were detailed in affidavits that Mr. Ciachurski filed in May, in support of the Stockhouse petitions. The post by patheticnews, dated April 30, 2012, read: "Anybody realize yet that the principles of the company have ripped their shareholders in buying the Techachapi California land from the company executives who owned it. Talk about a breach of trust. It is all public record for anyone who wants to know just how all these people paid themselves and their tax arrears by having you and Grennbrier buy their land from them. Where is the SEC, TSX, etc. etc. ?" The company complained that the post contained language that would "tend to diminish the reputation of the Petitioners in the minds of right thinking members of society."
The j_mart posts appeared around the same time. One, dated April 24, 2012, read, "Maybe cardinal was right when he said jeffy was trying to steal the company ... ." That post came five weeks after another j_mart post, which read, "when he was on BNN he said he wanted a listing on NASDAQ and said he would get the share price up shortly to get listed, you cant believe a friggin thing that comes out of this guys mouth ... ."
An earlier j_mart post, on Jan. 7, 2012, referred to management manipulating the company. It read: "Hey jeffy! Why don't you enlighten us on that big acquisition, some decisions must have been made by now, and have you heard anything about who might have been manipulating the share price! (I'm starting to wonder if its not WND management, they sure don't seem to be promoting this thing) and what's going on with the SIB, was that true, is it going to happen? Or more B.S?"
Western Wind complained that the j_mart posts were clearly defamatory. They implied that Mr. Ciachurski is "dishonest, trying to steal the company, a crook, incompetent and intentionally manipulating [the] stock price."
Stockhouse has since removed the posts.
Western Wind closed at $1.25 on Friday, up six cents.