On April 12, 2016, in Doe v. Village of Deerfield, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a denial of a motion to proceed anonymously is an immediately appealable order under the collateral order doctrine. The Seventh Circuit joined the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits in holding that this type of order, examined categorically, satisfies the rigorous requirements of the collateral order doctrine. Allowing immediate review of this type of order implements a practical construction of the traditional final judgment rule that the United States Courts of Appeals can only review orders upon entry of a final judgment on the merits of a case from a United States District Court. This Comment argues that the Seventh Circuit correctly decided to join the other circuits’ decisions to allow for the immediate appeal of a denial of a motion to proceed anonymously. To rule otherwise would result in a party’s loss of a right that would be irremediable upon final appellate review. Additionally, the decision is likely to have an effect on the proliferation of cases dealing with the First Amendment’s free speech protections and anonymous speech on the Internet.
Chloe Booth, Good Things Don't Come to Those Forced to Wait: Denial of a Litigant's Request to Proceed Anonymously Can be Appealed Prior to Final Judgment in the Wake of Doe v. Village of Deerfield, 58 B.C.L. Rev. E. Supp. 205 (2017), https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol58/iss6/15