The unknown person or people – whom the former executive director of the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce claims irreparably damaged her reputation – will fight a subpoena to reveal their identity.

A judge agreed to give the former director Claire Adams more time to serve the mystery defendants with her lawsuit because of the new legal challenge.

Papers filed in Knox County Superior Court note that the mystery person or people have hired attorney Jim Paterson. Paterson will work with an attorney from California to seek to quash the subpoena approved by Maine Superior Court Justice Jeffrey Hjelm on SurveyMonkey.com LLC. SurveyMonkey.com is based in California.

Adams wants SurveyMonkey to reveal the identity of the person or people who put together a survey in April 2008 that disparaged Adams’ performance for the chamber.

The court gave Adams until July 1 to serve the unknown defendant(s).

Adams served as executive director of the chamber from June 2006 until April 2008.

Adams, an Appleton resident, filed her lawsuit Feb. 3 against a Thomas Walters, acknowledging that the name Thomas Walters was an assumed name used to conceal the identity of one or more persons who held themselves out to be members of the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce.

The survey and other communications in 2008 went to more than 450 e-mail addresses belonging to people and businesses in Knox County.

The communications solicited and published false, disparaging statements about Adams, according to the lawsuit. Those statements included that Adams had requested more money from the chamber board in conjunction with her upcoming annual review, that Adams was the cause of falling membership in the chamber, that she was at fault for declining revenues, and that she poorly managed events, increased staff turnover, and was responsible for a disastrous chamber publication. She was also accused of being unprofessional and it was implied that other undisclosed defamatory information existed.

Adams states in the lawsuit that prior to the publication of these false statements, she had received high performance evaluations for her job and had a reasonable expectation of continued employment.

The lawsuit states that the communications were written to look like they were a chamber survey and that this influenced the members.

“Walters’ conduct constituted a witch hunt and exceeded all bounds of decency,” the lawsuit states.

Adams left the position on April 15, 2008. At the time, the chamber board did not comment on the reason for her departure, saying it was a confidential personnel matter.

She is suing for unspecified damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, defamation, libel, interference with a business relationship, and a civil conspiracy. She is also seeking punitive damages.