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Back to Court

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The Idaho Business Review announced last week that it's heading back to court over the right to print legal notices.

The paper will appeal the decison of Fourth District Court Judge Deborah Bail, who ruled in May that all public and private legal notices must be printed in a paper of general circulation, defined as the paper with the largest paid circulation.

IBR publisher Rick Carpenter said he expects the case will end up before the Idaho State Supreme Court. "We're in it for the long haul," he said.

The Idaho Statesman filed suit against IBR in October 2006 in an effort to stop the business-oriented paper from printing these small, but lucrative ads. Fighting the suit, IBR claimed that there are 130 state statutes that do not have the general circulation requirement, and therefore can be printed in any newspaper.

"We respect the judge's decision, but we feel that we didn't agree with a couple of the issues that were ruled on," Carpenter said. "We feel certain legal notices can run in newspapers that are not the largest circulation."

IBR is requesting that enforcement of the ruling be put on hold until the appeals process has finished. This request will the subject of a hearing scheduled for July 18.

According to a story published by IBR, Boise attorney Robert Aldridge has submitted an affidavit in support of IBR's case, stating that the ruling could throw probate code cases into question, since many have been based on the publication of legal notices in newspapers other than the Statesman.

While Carpenter said his paper has lost "hundreds of thousands of dollars" since the Statesman filed its initial suit, he said it's not only about revenue. "It's the right to be able to run the legal notices vs. having a monopoly," he said.

IBR filed the appeal on June 27, and Carpenter said it could take as long as a year before the case is heard in the state's highest court.