Justia New Hampshire Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Internet Law
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Plaintiff Debbie Banaian appealed a superior court order granting motions to dismiss filed by defendants Aaron Bliss, Shannon Bossidy, Bryan Gagnon, Jacob D. MacDuffie, and Katie Moulton. The sole issue on appeal was whether defendants, who retweeted a defamatory tweet initiated by another individual, were “users” within the meaning of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. 230(c)(1) (2018) (CDA), and therefore entitled to immunity from plaintiff’s claims for defamation and reckless infliction of emotional distress. The New Hampshire Supreme Court held that the retweeter defendants were “user[s] of an interactive computer service” under section 230(c)(1) of the CDA, and thus plaintiff’s claims against them were barred. Accordingly, the Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s granting of the motions to dismiss because the facts pled in the plaintiff’s complaint did not constitute a basis for legal relief. View "Banaian v. Bascom et al." on Justia Law

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Teatotaller, LLC appealed a circuit court order dismissing its small claim complaint against the defendant Facebook, Inc. Teatotaller alleged that in June 2018, Facebook “deleted [Teatotaller’s] Instagram . . . account without notice.” Teatotaller further alleged that Facebook “sent two contradicting statements as to the reason for deletion and provided no appeal or contact to get more information.” Teatotaller alleged that Facebook “had a duty of care to protect [Teatotaller] from an algorithmic deletion as it hampers [Teatotaller’s] business” and that Teatotaller has “continue[d] to lose business and customers due to [Facebook’s] negligence.” In addition to seeking $9,999 in damages, Teatotaller sought restoration of its Instagram account. Facebook moved to dismiss, arguing Teatotaller's claims were barred under Section 230(C)(1) of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). Furthermore, Facebook argued Teatotaller's complaint failed to establish the New Hampshire trial court had personal jurisdiction over Facebook. Following a hearing, the trial court granted Facebook’s motion, determining that the Terms of Use gave the court personal jurisdiction over Facebook, but also precluded Teatotaller’s claims. The New Hampshire Supreme Court determined it was not clear on the face of Teatotaller’s complaint and objection whether prong two of the CDA immunity test was met, therefore the trial court erred by dismissing Teatotaller’s breach of contract claim on such grounds. The Court "simply cannot determine based upon the pleadings at this stage in the proceeding whether Facebook is immune from liability under section 230(c)(1) of the CDA on Teatotaller’s breach of contract claim." Though Teatotaller’s breach of contract claim could ultimately fail, either on the merits or under the CDA, the Supreme Court held that dismissal of the claim was not warranted at this time. View "Teatotaller, LLC v. Facebook, Inc." on Justia Law