The new owner of a small Marin County, Calif., newspaper has won a preliminary injunction blocking the paper's Pulitzer-prize-winning former publisher from writing a column for a Web site that covers news in neighboring Sonoma County, according to a report in the Marin Independent Journal.
Robert Plotkin, who bought the 4,000-circulation Point Reyes Light in November, obtained the injunction blocking Dave Mitchell from posting his column on the site of the Bodega Bay Navigator. Plotkin, a lawyer who formerly worked as a Monterey County prosecutor, claimed that Mitchell's column violated his non-competition agreement. But Mitchell says the ban is an unconstitutional violation of his free speech and that his agreement barred him only from writing for another newspaper within Marin County. The IJ report says that Plotkin and Mitchell have been feuding since a falling-out in February over a news story.