Petition supporting Smolinski family after unfair civil judgement

This petition was created in August 2012 to request the reversal of a civil judgement against the family of William ‘Billy’ Smolinski, after being successfully sued by their missing son’s girlfriend for hanging fliers on public property. Details of the petition can be found below. This petition is now closed, and its efforts to reverse the judgement against the Smolinski family were unsuccessful.

Petition to Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers Connecticut Supreme Court – Appellate Division

The family of a missing Connecticut man continues to fight a decision issued in August 2012, penalizing them for hanging fliers on public property. The ruling awarded $52,666 in damages to the missing man’s former girlfriend, who admitted her friend(s) vandalized — and removed — the fliers, claiming they caused her “extreme emotional distress”. 

Recently, the CT Appellate Court allowed the lower court’s ruling to stand, even after reading the pleas of more than 2,000 families of missing people who count on these fliers to generate tips and leads regarding their loved ones. Now, we are petitioning the CT Supreme Court — in conjunction with their newest appeal — to hear this case & overturn the lower court’s ruling.  If allowed to stand, this decision will set precedent for all families of missing people, opening them up to frivilous lawsuits & additional victimization for merely posting a flyer asking for information. 

Posting “missing” fliers on public property and asking questions about a person’s disappearance is the right of every family, and is protected by the First Amendment. More than 10,000,000 fliers are printed & distributed annually in the U.S.; we ask that you overturn this ruling, protecting the rights of every family with a missing loved one to seek answers and justice.

Help preserve the rights of all missing persons — and their families — by honoring their right to seek information from the public when a loved one disappears.

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