SPCA granted limited injunction
The Montreal SPCA is claiming a small victory after a judge granted a limited injunction, but issues regarding who owns the domain name, spca.com, will be decided at a later trial.
The organization requested the injunction because it alleges Pierre Barnoti, its former Executive Director, illegally took over the spca.com website for his personal benefit.
But Barnoti claims he legally registered the disputed domain name with the full consent of his former board of directors. Barnoti was dismissed from the SPCA last year.
A judgment rendered Tuesday says that Barnotti can continue to use the domain name, spca.com, but records of all the donations, revenues and income generated from the domain name and website, have to be handed over to the Montreal SPCA.
The court also ordered that all "present and future" donations, revenues and income generated be kept in a separate trust fund.
Finally, as previously offered by Barnoti's lawyer, $50 000 dollars is to be deposited in trust. The money will serve to pay 15 percent or part of that or any other funds that may be granted to the SPCA.
Both the SPCA and Barnoti's lawyers say they are satisfied with the decision.
"What the court did say is that it appeared likely they did transfer the right to use the name and therefore may have a rather weak case at first sight," said Julius Grey, Barnoti's lawyer.
The SPCA's lawyer, Marc-Andre Blain, said he is awaiting a later court date.
"The understanding of the decision on our part is that we'll have to go to trial to decide [...] if the transfer of the use of spca.com was done properly and legally," Blain said.
Meanwhile, Barnoti is suing the SPCA for wrongful dismissal, and is also suing CTV for defamation after a series of investigative reports on the animal shelter.