Judge Bob Carroll of the 40th Judicial District Court ordered former Ellis County Observer publisher Joey Dauben during a hearing Friday, April 20 to forfeit his website to the state.
The muckraker said in a telephone interview he is consulting with an attorney and plans to continue fighting what he views as Ellis County prosecutors’ and theRed Oak Police Department’s efforts to silence him by keeping his Freedom of the Press LLC operation shut down.
“I have 30 days to request a new trial,” said Dauben, who represented himself during the hearing. “If that doesn’t happen — if the judge doesn’t allow it — then I’m going to file an appeal.”
Dauben accused Ellis County prosecutors of “criminalizing a civil case.” The Red Oak man should be suing him for libel rather than his being prosecuted on criminal charges, the publisher said.
“If this is allowed to happen, it will start a dangerous precedent,” Dauben said. “No newspaper or other media outlet will be safe from police action.”