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April 14, 2024

Watchdogs Subpoenaed; Demands For Records Of Alleged St. Clair County Source –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 14, 2023

Paris, Ill. (ECWd) –

Attorney Douglas Stewart, attorney for Plaintiff Gerard Scott Jr., thought it was a good idea to issue a subpoena to the Edgar County Watchdogs, reporters and news medium organization, for records related to an alleged source located in St. Clair County, Illinois.

Read about the lawsuit here.

After learning of a subpoena being issued, I emailed the attorney and asked him to voluntarily withdraw it, but he refused.

The Illinois Reporter’s Privilege Act was designed to protect the sources and records of reporters and news media from being discovered during litigation.

We will soon file a Motion to Quash under this Act, and we should prevail in the motion as we have in every other motion to quash subpoenas issued to us in the past 13 years when we were not a party in the litigation.

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6 Comments
  • EP
    Posted at 15:31h, 14 December

    Who said it? Is it true? Then who cares!

  • Sherry Brianza
    Posted at 16:07h, 14 December

    Wow, nothing like thinking reporters give up their sources?! Wouldn’t want him as my attorney???

  • Jack Tarleton
    Posted at 18:49h, 14 December

    I hope you ask for attorney fees and document your request that he withdraw his subpoena. Issuing was dumb. Refusing to withdraw it when presented with that statute is textbook vexatious litigation.

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 03:14h, 15 December

    The judge that signed this motion should be held accountable for the obvious and deliberate infringement of a reporters rights, as should the attorney that wrote it,. Our rights as Illinois citizens are being undermined by a legal system and its players that either refuse to educate themselves on our laws or that are hell bent on rewriting them for lack of personal fortitude or moral compass..

    • Jack Tarleton
      Posted at 15:50h, 15 December

      What motion and what Judge? Mr. Kraft is talking about a subpoena issued by the attorney for Mr. Vanhoose. I think when the judge sees the Motion to Quash that Kraft’s attorney is about to file the subpoena will go away. The question will then be who gets to pay for Mr. Kraft having to file to quash a subpoena that never should have been issued.

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 19:19h, 15 December

    Jack T. I stand corrected and after some research understand subpoenas are requested by an attorney, in a specific case and those requests are typically process either by a clerk of the court, notary public or justice of the peace. in accordance with Illinois law.
    It does not appear as though the clerk or a judge has any discretion on the matter at this point. However, a motion to quash could be later filed with the court and favorably ruled upon by a judge for several reasons, Including unreasonable, irrelevant or immaterial.
    It still seems to me, this attorney made subpoena requests that were clearly outside reasonable limits and that as a consequence a citizen and not our judicial system is left to deal with the aftermath,
    There should be a penalty for an attorney, abusing subpoena powers, should this be the case. Thanks for setting me straight. .

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