Doe v. MySpace

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

06/19/2006

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Texas, New York

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
A female minor registered with MySpace and contacted a nineteen-year-old male through the site. They agreed to meet, and he sexually assaulted her. The minor and her mother sued MySpace and its parent, News Corp., for negligence, fraud, and negligent... read full description
Parties

Party Issuing Legal Threat: 

Julie Doe; Jane Doe

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

MySpace, Inc.; News Corporation

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Large Organization
Intermediary

Location of Party: 

  • Texas

Location of Party: 

  • California
  • New York
  • Delaware

Legal Counsel: 

Christopher Popov, Clifford Thau, Hilary Preston, Michael Marin, Ronald Oran, Susan Gusky
Description

A female minor registered with MySpace and contacted a nineteen-year-old male through the site. They agreed to meet, and he sexually assaulted her. The minor and her mother sued MySpace and its parent, News Corp., for negligence, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation. The plaintiffs first filed a lawsuit in Texas state court. They voluntarily dismissed that action and refiled in New York state court. The defendants removed the action to federal court in New York, and that court transferred the action to federal court in Texas.

The defendants moved to dismiss, and the federal court in Texas dismissed the claims on CDA 230 grounds. This is interesting, because the plaintiffs had characterized the lawsuit as a safety issue, alleging that MySpace did not provide proper protection for minors. Since the CDA applies primarily to publication torts, it was not clear how it would apply here. The court ultimately determined that, regardless of how well the plaintiffs disguised the issues in their complaint, the dispute was over content published on MySpace and a lack of filtering or screening on the part of the site -- which are prime CDA issues. See Doe v. MySpace, 474 F.Supp.2d 843 (W.D. Tex. 2007).

Plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which affirmed the trial court's decision on May 16, 2008.  Plaintiffs then appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which declined to consider the case.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Social Network

Subject Area: 

  • Third-Party Content
  • Section 230
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Texas
  • New York

Source of Law: 

  • United States
  • Texas

Court Name: 

261st District Court, Travis County Texas; Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Bronx; United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; United States District Court for the Western District of Texas; United States Cour

Court Type: 

Federal
State

Case Number: 

D-1-GN-06-002209 (Texas, State); No. 21278/06 (New York, State); 06-cv-7880 (New York, Federal); 1:06-cv-00983-SS (Texas, Federal); 07-50345 (Fifth Circuit)

Relevant Documents: 

CMLP Information (Private)

CMLP Notes: 

Similar Case- Doe II v. MySpace