Facebook troll hit with new bill on top of $100k fine
A woman who was ordered to pay $100,000 to a wedding planner, for making negative Facebook posts about her, has failed to have the decision set aside and now has to pay an extra $9900.
Melbourne hair and beauty salon owner Stacey Lee Isaac, was sued over four online comments she made in 2017 and 2018 about Bali wedding planner Tristan Moy.
She now will have to pay the $100,000 damages for hurt and humiliation caused to former Brisbane woman Ms Moy, after losing a court application on Friday.
Ms Isaac was sued for both her online posts and because she was the owner and administrator of a bridal Facebook page, where most of the defamatory posts were made.
Queensland woman Kellie Maree Smith was ordered to pay Ms Moy $50,000, plus $9750 interest, for seven posts attributed to her.
Ms Isaac's damages of $100,000, plus interest, were higher, because, even after she was sued in 2017, she made another defamatory post online.
The court heard Ms Isaac uploaded to her Facebook group the post: "I know I for sure wouldn't hire someone to plan my wedding day who would sabotage another brides wedding day.''
Ms Isaac did not attend Brisbane Magistrates Court for the November 9 trial of the defamation case.
After learning of the judgment against her, Ms Isaac applied to the court for it to be set aside, because it was made in her absence.
The court heard Ms Isaac had attended a November 3 mention of the case, by phone, when the trial date was set.
Her barrister David Topp told the court Ms Isaac did not attend the trial because she thought the dates of 9 to 11 of November were just prospective and not fixed dates.
Mr Topp said while a court representative said a law firm that previously represented Ms Isaac had been later notified of the trial date, the firm said it had not received the notice.
He said Ms Isaac also was not notified of Ms Moy's application to give evidence by phone, which would have alerted her to the set hearing dates.
Barrister Alex Nelson, for Ms Moy, said Ms Isaac had offered no explanation for why she did not turn up at the hearing and she had no prospects of success in defending the claim.
Magistrate John Smith said Ms Isaac had confirmed that she attended the November 3 mention when the trial dates were mooted and she did not object to them.
Mr Smith said court records showed the matter was listed that day for a three-day trial from November 9 and there was no reason for Ms Isaac's non attendance.
He dismissed the application and ordered Ms Isaac to pay Ms Moy's court costs of $9900.
Ms Moy's solicitor, Duke Myrteza, said outside court Ms Isaac had given no excuse for her non-attendance and it was always thought that her application would not succeed.
"It added to the hurt and distress of my client, Ms Moy,'' Mr Myrteza said.
"An apology from Ms Isaac would be nice.''
Originally published as Facebook troll hit with new bill on top of $100k fine