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US appeals court keeps lawsuit alive over Facebook parody

Posted at 9:02 PM, Jul 30, 2019

CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court has kept alive a man’s lawsuit against a suburban Cleveland city and police over a fake Facebook page that led to his arrest.

A three-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel agreed Monday with U.S. District Judge Dan Polster’s ruling that the lawsuit can proceed.

Anthony Novak sued the city of Parma and police officers seeking compensation and legal fees after his acquittal of a felony count of disrupting public services. He had created a Facebook page in 2016 that resembled the Parma police department’s page.

Judge Amul (AH’-mool) Thapar (thuh-PAHR’) wrote that the case is about whether Novak’s page was “a protected parody in the great American tradition of ridiculing the government.”

The court dismissed some claims, and didn’t rule on municipal liability.

RELATED: Resident files claim alleging Parma police wrongly charged him for parody Facebook account