Does It Count as Being Dooced if You Get Sued Over Your Blog?

So I put up Part IV of the Truth series a little earlier than planned. I can’t stand having posts back up, and this one needed to be written, because it concerns the others. (If you aren’t up on what I mean, go read Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV of my ‘Truth Shall Set You Free’ posts.)

I was out running errands earlier when I got a call from the ex. He informed me that someone had forwarded him copies of my recent posts, and that he felt he needed to make me aware that posting his personal medical information in a public forum is a federal offense, and that he has already sent the copies straight to his lawyer.

It seems he is planning to take legal action against me for ‘revealing his private medical information’ on my blog.

Did I miss something here?

I don’t claim to be a lawyer, nor do I play one on the internet. I admit to not having the HIPPA laws memorized, and truthfully I don’t know if I even spelled HIPPA right.

HOWEVER…doesn’t common sense dictate that the second HE goes to court and files legal documents claiming that he has herpes and that I gave it to him, that this ceases to become ‘personal medical information’?  I have always been under the impression that once papers are filed with the court, they become public record, and are searchable by anyone.

I do not have copies of his medical records, nor have I seen them. (My lawyer has copies that were obtained when he first made this claim, but I assume due to those privacy laws, they were never shown to me.) All I know and have shared here regurding the herpes case is on public record with the Mobile County Courthouse for anyone who has the time and inclination to go look it up. The fact that he charged me with this, and the fact that the lawsuit has not been dropped are both, as far as I am aware, open and free for anyone to look up.

The only truly personal health information I have shared here that is NOT currently on public records are my own test results, which are mine to do with as I please. If I want to shout to the rooftops and take out a billboard saying that I do not have herpes, I am legally allowed to do so.

In short, I was initially sued for giving him an STD that not one but two blood tests show I don’t have, and now it looks like I may be getting sued for writing about it on my blog.

I’ve always said handcuffs were my idea of a great Friday night.

31 thoughts on “Does It Count as Being Dooced if You Get Sued Over Your Blog?

  1. Oh that’s just rich!! First of all, you’re not a medical professional, and therefore are not bound by HIPPA. Second, I’m pretty sure it’s now a matter of public record, which as you said was his own doing. Tell him to grow up, let go, get over himself, and get on with his life. I swear, if it didn’t cause you so much grief, his actions would be amusing. He is a silly, silly man.

    Nikki’s last blog post..To smash or not to smash?


  2. OMG good luck girl! As you stated it is public knowledge and since it involves you why can’t you blog about it?! He sounds like a real tool and not the useful kind.


  3. How sad.

    As far as I can tell, there is nothing linking these posts to his real life identity – nothing, in fact, that convinces me (as a relatively new reader) that his first name is really the ex, much less any details on his last name or how to find him. That plus the public records argment means that – in terms of common sense – you are in the clear.

    Unfortunately, our court system has never operated on common sense, so legally… If the STD lawsuit didn’t go away after proving you never had the disease, I have little hope that this will go away either.

    I am so sorry that he is choosing to go the “jerk” route in this. As odd as it sounds, I hope that he meets someone new soon. My husband’s ex went the “jerk” route for all of a week after he left. Once she started dating herself, things rapidly improved, and all of the silly rules and complaints magically disappeared…

    Rini’s last blog post..Conflicting Financial Goals


  4. I have been reading this series with interest, but at the same time I was cringing, kind of like watching a train wreck. While I can understand feeling stifled by the gag, unfortunately, I think your lawyer was right. It would have been best to stay mum until all was said and done. As much as I want to know how things turn out and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some reality based version of Happily Ever After, please for your sake and your kids, don’t finish this until all IS said and done. Don’t give him any more fuel for his fire.
    Best of luck to you.


  5. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. But please be careful – others have had vindictive spouses use their blogs against them and it hasn’t always turned out well.

    As for the herpes thing – I’m wondering why YOU haven’t countersued for adultery, because if you’re negative for herpes, where’d HE get it from? Contrary to urban legend, herpes doesn’t come from toilet seats, so me thinks he’s been less than faithful, too.

    Christina’s last blog post..Grumpy


  6. Please let me preface this with saying I only know what’s been presented here and am not a HIPPA lawyer nor is the lawyer that I asked – although we do know a thing or two about it as it applies to our field…

    BUT that said, HIPPA is for health care providers and insurance companies. Individuals have no responsibilities under HIPPA. If we did, the general public would have to be versed in what

    There are possibly other grounds to sue you on for publishing it in the blog, (libel, slander, defamation of character to name a few) but he made it public knowledge first by suing you so there is a decent chance it won’t stand up anyway.

    Also, while herpes can lie dormant in a human’s system for years upon years, I would imagine that in 10 years, you would have contracted it from him. (Unless you have a super human immune system…) My question is, “Where’d he get it from?”

    CourtneyRyan’s last blog post..Clearly I’m Going a Round with PMS


  7. Oh man Sara… I’ve just been reading all these parts and holy moly!

    Sounds like a piece of work! Are you sure he has it and he’s just not “faking” the STD to drag you through the mud? If not, I’d be wondering where he got them from!

    mimi/pz5wjj’s last blog post..Good News All Around


  8. Wow….thats a new one. Hopefully you have a good point about the minute it goes to court, it’s all public record anyway. But, I have no idea.
    Good luck with this and I have to admit, in a rubber necker world, I’m interested in seeing the outcome of all this~

    Rebecca’s last blog post..Winning is…


  9. Wow. Just wow.

    Frankly, I’m just as surprised as you are that the herpes issue is still being pursued. Herpes can lay dormant for years, 10, 15, or longer. It can surface as cold sores on the mouth and be transferred from oral herpes to genital herpes. Herpes is especially brutal when immune systems are compromised, such as what happens to bodies under stress during a separation or divorce.

    I guess a lawyer isn’t a doctor, so they’ll go after whatever stigma seems to stick in the legal system. Just be aware of the facts behind herpes. Some kid on the playground could have given it to him when he was little. It’s not your fault that you have a better immune system than he does.

    Yeesh. I hope this gets better for all parties involved. I’m pulling for ya.

    A sista of the same name (but I gots the ‘h’ in Sarah).

    imaginary binky’s last blog post..Still alive and kicking


  10. @imaginarybinky -Unfortunately that’s not quite the case. Oral herpes is caused by Type 1, genital herpes is caused by Type 2. You can get Type 1 on your genitals via oral sex, but Type 2 usually only appears in the genital region. Either way, the blood tests that are done these days are type-specific, which means there is no longer the chance of mistaking one strain for the other.

    Yes, both types can lay dormant, but when it was presented to the court by him and his lawyer as a recent infection…Well, why am I still being sued?

    Either way I’ve gotten FAR more of an education on the topic in the last year than I’d ever hoped for. LOL.



  11. I agree with the others that ask where he got the herpes from…where? I’d counter sue his ass.

    And, although I’d love to hear the end of this, I think you might be best off not share until everything is settled. Although I agree with everyone that legally you’re probably cool, but vindictive spouses will do anything possible to make you miserable.

    And again…counter sue for something, adultery,defamation of character, whatever, just do it. The truth does set you free, you’ve been honest about the affair and everything else so you’ve got nothing to fear…he’s the one that’s hiding something.

    Good Luck!

    Bella’s last blog post..Expand Your Senses: Less is More


  12. I agree with Bella, I think he’s hiding something. Where did he get herpes from? My dad, who specializes in abuse, always says that a man will get violent or more possesive and controling when he is doing the exact behavior he suspects his spouse to be doing. I also had my blogging brought up in court during a custody case against my fiance’s ex-wife. Her lawyer tried to call it libel or slander because she revoked her consent to our custody but backed off real quick when I countered with “what part of it isn’t true or on public record, how do you know from my blog that I’m talking about her (name was changed), and my blogs are from before she revoked custody.” I also informed him that the blog he was talking about was set to private so I had no idea how she got copies of it unless she was hacking my server. Yeah, he dropped it real quick.

    Christine’s last blog post..Can I inspire you?


  13. Yeah. That’s good. Seeing as how he got it elsewhere, failed to give it to you, and it was probably someone very angry that she was going to catch it from him because he didn’t tell her…

    …nah, you didn’t say it. You didn’t have to say it. As with any divorce (I was there at 23), both sides do something that leads to the end of a marriage. However, it’s going to have to come out at some point what he was doing.

    Vengeful little chickenlivered, honorless man that wants to bully someone to prove otherwise. He’s going to lose as long as you’re on the high road. Yes, everything attached to the divorce, including the suit that has no grounds (and because he’s LYING to his lawyer, or hired a complete scumbag of a lawyer), it’s already public record. He’s just bothered because now people know what to look for.


  14. I’d be all over that whole “Where DID he get it from” issue like crazy. He must’ve picked it up somewhere! Maybe he doesn’t have it and he is attempting to scare you and screw up thing with Paul.

    Being the kid of divorced parents-divorce sucks.Your kids will understand one day even if it is hard now.


    Jamie E’s last blog post..Money Stuff


  15. While I agree counter-suing wouldn’t be the most productive thing, I have to snort at the notion of ‘because of the kids’. That sure didn’t stop him from suing me for it to begin with did it?

    Being the bigger person gets exhausting, but I continue to do it.


  16. Ummm…damn. the ex needs to put his big boy pants on and go away. I’m not sure of the legalities of such a situation, either, but yeah…if it’s public record, it hardly seems like he’d be able to do anything about it.

    I hope you get your divorce and are able to put this nightmare behind you soon!


  17. Sometimes the only way to make someone drop a lawsuit is to sue them back for filing a frivolous lawsuit.
    Plus you have not violated the Hippa oath, you never took it!
    the ex is an ass, a little boy ass that had his own affair.

    Celeste’s last blog post..Hope


  18. Two adults, are there really two adults. One sure doesn’t appear to be acting as one.

    While I don’t agree with what you did, I do admire your honesty and the way you are handling a bad situation. People make mistakes all the time. How you handle the results of that mistake shows more about the person you are than the mistake itself.

    I’m sure it also shows you who your real friends are.

    You have to do what will help you in your custody suit. If that is counter suing, then I’m sure you and your lawyer have or will discuss it. That is what you pay him the big bucks for, right??

    Counter sue or not, I bet it’s pretty good to dream about him getting his in court.


  19. Well I guess if in crazy land he can sue you for giving him an STD that you don’t have he can also sue you for violating an oath you never took. LOL


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