According to a FloridaToday.com story today by Keyonna Summer and Wayne T. Price:
"A Brevard County judge on Thursday refused to shut down a Palm Bay appraiser's Web site that contained comments critical of the California-based appraisal management company First American eAppraiseIT."
"The company was seeking a temporary injunction to prevent appraiser Pamela Crowley from making any comments, or posting comments from others, about it on her Web site, www.mortgagefraudwatchlist.org."
"They want to put duct tape on her mouth," he said.
After Moxley's decision, about a half-dozen Crowley's supporters -- all area real estate appraisers -- rallied around her with hugs and words of encouragement.
"Yes!" Crowley shouted, when she heard the ruling, her fists raised and tears in her eyes. "This is just the beginning. This was just an emergency hearing to shut me up, but the. . . suit is still there."
Circuit Court Judge John Dean Moxley Jr. dismissed eAppraiseIT's request, because the company had not proved defamation or any financial harm based on the postings.
"If it's not defamation at this point, there's no need for an injunction," Moxley said. "What you asked for is not permissible under the law in the state. Therefore, I deny it."
The case revolves around Crowley's disclosure about eAppraiseIt's former practice -- the company says it stopped doing it in April -- of opening electronic reports compiled by appraisers for lenders.
Crowley and others contend that, when those secure files are open, there is an opportunity to manipulate data -- typically to the benefit of the lender -- and for a property owner's private information to be released to unauthorized parties.