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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Privacy Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Privacy Legal News

Headline Privacy Legal News from LexisNexis®


New Jersey Woman Sues Spitzer's Call Girl For Identity Theft
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey woman who claims that her identity was stolen and used by the alleged prostitute hired by New York's former governor on July 11 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey sued the alleged prostitute, the founder of "Girls Gone Wild," MRA Holding LLC, Mantra Films Inc. and several unnamed people and corporations (Amber Arpaio v. Ashley Alexandra Dupre, et al., No. 08-3548, D. N.J.). Full story on

Government Officials Sued Over FISA Amendment
NEW YORK - The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) as amended by H.R. 6304 is constitutionally unsound, argues a group of attorneys, human rights, labor, legal and media organizations who sued several U.S. government officials on July 10, the day that the amendment was signed into law (Amnesty International USA, et al. v. John M. McConnell, et al., No. 08-6259, S.D. N.Y.). Full story on

Islamic Foundation's FISA Claim Dismissed By California Judge; Leave To Amend Granted
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 2 dismissed an Islamic foundation's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) claim against the government in connection with alleged warrantless surveillance, opining that the foundation can amend its complaint if it can prove that it is an "aggrieved person" under 50 U.S. Code Section 1801(k) (In re: National Security Agency Telecommunications Records Litigation, No. 06-1791, N.D. Calif.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51074; See April 2008, Page 6). Full story on

Split Michigan High Court Rules Union Has No Right To Employees' Home Contact Info
LANSING, Mich. - University employees' home addresses and telephone numbers are information that falls under the Freedom of Information Act's privacy exemption, a divided Michigan Supreme Court ruled July 16, reversing an appellate court ruling granting a union access to the contract information (Michigan Federation of Teachers and School Related Personnel, AFT, AFL-CIO v. University of Michigan, No. 133819, Mich. Sup.). Full story on

Government's Appeal Of Suit Seeking Visitor Logs Rejected For Lack Of Jurisdiction
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 11 dismissed the government's appeal of a case seeking disclosure of Secret Service visitor logs for lack of appellate jurisdiction (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, No. 07-5406, D.C. Cir.; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 14714; See February 2008, Page 19). Full story on

Order Directing Auto Accident Victim To Turn Over Mental Health Records Reversed
FORT WORTH, Texas - A claim that pre-existing conditions rather than an auto accident caused a Texas woman's alleged mental anguish is insufficient to convince the court to order her to turn over all her mental health care records, the Second Texas Court of Appeals ruled July 16 (In Re Krista Dancer Pennington, No. 2-08-233-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist.; 2008 Tex. App. LEXIS 5359). Full story on

Divided Ohio High Court Finds Attorney Liable For Releasing Medical Records To 3rd Party
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The waiver of privacy with regard to medical records when it comes to the purposes of litigation is limited only to a single case, a split Ohio Supreme Court ruled July 9, opining that an attorney can be held liable for releasing the records to a third party (Hageman v. Southwest General Health Center, et al., No. 2007-0376, Ohio Sup.; 2008 Ohio LEXIS 1773). Full story on

Ohio Coordinated Defendants Granted Leave To Videotape Plaintiff Medical Examination
CLEVELAND - Welding consumables manufacturers were granted a motion June 30 in the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas to videotape a medical examination of test trial plaintiff Richard Rector from the Ohio coordinated welding products liability litigation (Welding Rod Civil Actions Products Liability Litigation [Richard Rector, No. 546711], No. 531703, Ohio Comm. Pls., Cuyahoga Co.). Full story on

HHS, Health Care Provider Enter Into $100,000 Agreement As A Result Of HIPAA Violations
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced July 17 that it entered into an agreement with Providence Health & Services in Seattle to settle alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Full story on

Split 9th Circuit: Strip Search Of 13-Year-Old Student Was Improper
SAN FRANCISCO - Strip searching a 13-year-old student based on another student's claim that the 13-year-old had brought banned pills to school violated the student's constitutional rights, a divided en banc Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 11 (April Redding v. Safford Unified School District #1, et al., No. 05-15759, 9th Cir.; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 14756). Full story on

California Panel Upholds Border Search Of Laptop
VENTURA, Calif. - Conducting a border search of a person's computer is no more invasive than opening a locked briefcase, the Second District California Court of Appeal, Division Six, ruled July 16 (The People v. Drew Michael Endacott, No. B199122, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 6; 2008 Cal. App. LEXIS 1068). Full story on

Warrantless Search Of Cruise Passenger's Cabin Deemed Routine Border Activity
LOS ANGELES - The search of a cruise ship passenger's cabin at a customs border must be considered a routine border search wherein no suspicion of criminal activity is necessary, the Second District California Court of Appeal, Division Eight, ruled June 4 (The People v. Mark Stevens Laborde, No. B199726, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8; 2008 Cal. App. LEXIS 833). Full story on

Washington High Court Holds Smell Of Marijuana Alone Cannot Lead To Arrest
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Arresting a person simply based on the smell of marijuana violates the person's right to privacy, the Washington Supreme Court ruled July 17 (State of Washington v. Jeremy Grande, No. 81068-1, Wash. Sup.; 2008 Wash. LEXIS 749). Full story on

Louisiana Woman Granted Right To Bank Customers' Contact Info, But Not Their Credit Data
MONROE, La. - A Louisiana woman who alleges that credit data about people with similar identifiers were incorrectly merged with her credit information causing her credit problems must be given the names and contact information for the people with similar information by the banks she has sued, a Louisiana federal judge ruled July 7 (Melinda Jones v. CSC Credit Services, Inc., No. 07-1415, W.D. La.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53106). Full story on

6th Circuit Reverses Orders Requiring Forensic Imaging
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 26 reversed portions of a judge's orders requiring the forensic imaging of various state-owned and privately owned computers after it found that making copies of the computers' hard drives was unjustified because the record did not show that potentially relevant electronically stored information (ESI) was being destroyed and because the judge failed to properly account for significant confidentiality and privacy concerns (John B., et al. v. Nancy Menke, et al., No. 07-6373, 6th Cir.; 2008 U.S. App. 13459). Full story on

3rd Circuit Affirms Injunction Of Child Online Protection Act
PHILADELPHIA - In the latest courtroom battle regarding the 10-year-old Child Online Protection Act (COPA), a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 22 upheld a lower court's ruling that the act, though well-intentioned, is overbroad, vague and unconstitutional (American Civil Liberties Union, et al., v. Michael B. Mukasey, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States, No. 07-2539, 3rd Cir.; See March 2007, Page 12). Full story on

YouTube Permitted To Redact User Data Furnished To Viacom
NEW YORK - On the heels of a July 1 order in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York compelling video-sharing Web site YouTube Inc. to provide large quantities of user data to Viacom International Inc. and a public backlash over privacy concerns, the parties filed a stipulation on July 14 to allow YouTube to "substitute values" for certain user information values (Viacom International Inc. et al. v. YouTube Inc., YouTube LLC and Google Inc., No. 1:07-cv-2103, S.D. N.Y.). Full story on

E-mails Sent From Husband's Work Computer Are Privileged
ROANOKE, Va. - E-mails sent by a man to his wife from his work computer about her lawsuit against her former employer did not waive the marital communications privilege because the defendant failed to show that the man's employer made him aware of its electronic communications policy and whether the policy entitled him to a reasonable expectation of privacy, a federal magistrate judge ruled June 17 in granting the plaintiffs' motion to quash a subpoena served on the man's employer (Cristin L. Sprenger v. The Rector and Board of Visitors of Virginia Tech, et al., No. 07cv502, W.D. Va.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47115). Full story on

En Banc 6th Circuit Reverses Panel Ruling On Government's Right To Search E-mail Accounts
CINCINNATI - Government searches of individuals' e-mail accounts via an ex parte court order must be addressed on a case-by-case basis and cannot be ruled a privacy violation across the board, a split en banc Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 11, reversing a 2007 panel decision and remanding the appeal for being unripe (Steven Warshak v. United States of America, No. 06-4092, 6th Cir.; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 14717; See June 2007, Page 6). Full story on

Pennsylvania Judge Rejects Suit Over Photos Of DeadTeen Posted On Internet
PHILADELPHIA - A Northampton County, Pa., man's claims over the release of photos of his dead son fail in federal court, although he may have grounds to file a state suit, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled July 8 (James Werner, Sr. v. County of Northampton, et al., No. 07-1910, E.D. Pa.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52246; See September 2007, Page 23). Full story on

Secret Recording Of Conversations At Police Department's Front Desk Upheld
WHITE PLAINS, NY - A New York federal judge on June 25 dismissed a privacy lawsuit filed by police officers against the sergeant, chief and town board over alleged recording of conversations of people at the department's front desk (Ralph Tancredi, et al. v. Stephen Malfitano, et al., No. 07-9617, S.D. N.Y.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48755). Full story on

Oregon Appeals Court Finds Right To Privacy In Bathroom Surveillance Videos
SALEM, Ore. - A police officer had no right to view a video turned over by restaurant employees containing footage from the restaurant's bathroom without first securing a warrant, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled June 25 (State of Oregon v. John Frederick Luman, No. A132197, Ore. App.; 2008 Ore. App. LEXIS 880). Full story on

Suit Seeking Coverage Determination On TCPA Claims Was Not Filed 1st
DETROIT - A trial court did not err by dismissing an insurer's suit seeking a declaration on coverage for underlying claims alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) because another action involving the same claim was initiated between the same parties, the Michigan Court of Appeals said June 17 (Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. v. Graphics House Sports Promotions Inc., and Display South Inc., No. 277659, Mich. App.; 2008 Mich. App. LEXIS 1281). Full story on

Identity Theft Victim's Motion For Class Certification Denied Based On Dissimilar Injuries
PHOENIX - A proven victim may proceed with his identity theft suit against TriWest Healthcare Alliance resulting from the theft of computer servers; however, the suit cannot proceed as a class action, an Arizona judge ruled June 10 (Michael Stollenwerk, et al. v. TriWest Healthcare Alliance, No. 03-185, D. Ariz.; See December 2007, Page 4). Full story on

Credit Agency Seeks To Strike Expert Testimony In Identity Theft Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - Equifax Information Solutions Inc. filed a motion on June 13 seeking to strike expert testimony offered by the plaintiff in an identity theft suit filed against the major credit reporting agencies as well as the banks that issued the fraudulent credit cards (Eric Robert Drew v. Equifax Information Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 07-726, N.D. Calif.; See February 2008, Page 6). Full story on

JPMDL Consolidates Hannaford Data Breach Cases, Transfers MDL To Maine Federal Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on June 9 agreed to consolidate 17 data breach cases filed against grocery store chain Hannaford Bros. Co. and its parent company Delhaize America Inc. and centralize the litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine (In Re: Hannaford Bros. Co. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 1954, JPMDL; See May 2008, Page 4). Full story on

Privacy Claims Over Lost Data Rejected Without Proof Of Harm
NEW ORLEANS - Proof that lost or stolen personal data was actually compromised is necessary to prove negligence under Louisiana state law, a Louisiana federal judge ruled June 5 (Jason Melancon, et al. v. Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, et al., No. 07-7712, E.D. La.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44576). Full story on

9th Circuit Finds Right To Privacy In Text Messages
PASADENA, Calif. - The users of a California police department's text-messaging services, no matter who pays for those services, maintain a reasonable expectation of privacy in those messages that are stored on the service provider's network, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 18 (Jerilyn Quon, et al. v. Arch Wireless Operating Company, Incorporated, et al., No. 07-55282, 9th Cir.; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 12766). Full story on

Blockbuster Seeks To Change Venue Of VPPA Suit
MARSHALL, Texas - Blockbuster Inc. filed a motion June 17 to transfer a Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) suit to another Texas federal court, arguing that the venue where the case was filed was improper (Cathryn Elaine Harris, et al. v. Blockbuster Inc., No. 08-155, E.D. Texas; See April 2008, Page 9). Full story on

Doe Defendant's Motion To Quash Discovery Subpoena Denied
SAN FRANCISCO - An unnamed John Doe defendant's motion to quash a subpoena on his or her Internet service provider (ISP) in conjunction with a computer fraud complaint was denied June 2 by a California judge, who found that plaintiff Kimberlite Corp. had "adequately set forth a claim for relief" to merit a subpoena to discover Doe's identity (Kimberlite Corp. v. John Does 1-20, No. C08-2147, N.D. Calif.). Full story on

Wisconsin High Court Denies Suppression Of Tape Recording Of Threats Made By Bus Driver
MADISON, Wis. - Threats made by a school bus driver to one of his passengers were not protected oral communications under Wisconsin law, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled June 10, reversing suppression of a tape recording of the threats (State of Wisconsin v. Brian Harold Duchow, No. 2005AP2175-CR, Wis. Sup.; 2008 Wisc. LEXIS 308). Full story on

Split New York Appellate Panel Upholds Police Use Of GPS Device Without Warrant
ALBANY, NY - Police placing a global positioning system (GPS) device under the bumper of a suspect's car without a warrant does not violate the suspect's privacy rights, a split Third Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division panel ruled June 5 (The People of the State of New York v. Scott C. Weaver, No. 101104, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4811). Full story on

8th Circuit Rejects Arkansas Man's Claim To Right Of Privacy In SSN
PASADENA, Calif. - In a four-page per curiam opinion, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 13 upheld dismissal of an Arkansas man's privacy suit based on the release of his Social Security number (SSN) on an inmate intake sheet after his May 2004 arrest (Johnny Spurlock v. Ashley County Arkansas, et al., No. 07-1917, 8th Cir.; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 12592l; See June 2007, Page 24). Full story on

D.C. Judge Finds Office Of Administration Not Subject To FOIA
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On June 16, a federal judge granted a motion by the Office of Administration (OA) of the Executive Office of the President (EOP) to dismiss a lawsuit brought against it by a watchdog group under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), finding that the OA is not a government agency subject to the act (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. Office of Administration, No. 07-964, D. D.C.). Full story on

ACLU Complaint Seeks Records From Investigation Of Detainee Interrogations
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Civil Liberties Union sued the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI on June 12, seeking the release of all records related to the Office of the Inspector General's investigation of the FBI's involvement in interrogating Guant?namo Bay detainees (American Civil Liberties Union, et al. v. Department of Defense, et al., No. 08-1003, D. D.C.). Full story on

Trans Union Settles Privacy MDL For $75M
Case name: In re Trans Union Corp. Privacy Litigation Case number: 00-4729 Court: N.D. Ill. Judge: Robert W. Gettleman Full story on

FACTA Class Complaint Against Chicago Restaurant Dropped In Light Of New Amendment
CHICAGO - An Illinois man on June 3 filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action suit he filed against a Chicago restaurant for printing his credit card expiration date and the last four digits of his card number on his receipt, citing House Resolution 4008, the Credit and Debit Card Receipt Clarification Act of 2007, signed into law that same day (Steven Troy, et al. v. The Red Lantern Inn, Inc., d/b/a Balducci's and Does 1-10, No. 07-2418, N.D. Ill.; See May 2008, Page 5). Full story on

New Law Will Likely Eliminate Most FACTA Litigation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - President George W. Bush signed House Resolution 4008, the Credit and Debit Card Receipt Clarification Act of 2007, into law on June 3, rendering many of the lawsuits filed under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) moot. Full story on

Class Accusing Federal Marshals Of Unlawful Strip Searches Certified
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge on May 22 certified a class action lawsuit accusing the U.S. Marshals Service of conducting unlawful strip searches after arrests made during a series of mass protests in 2002 (Paul Bame, et al. v. Todd Walther Dillard, No. 05-1833, D. D.C.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40805). Full story on

Complaint Over Disclosure Of Expunged Records Rejected
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Disclosure of expunged criminal records does not violate U.S. constitutional privacy rights, a Tennessee federal judge ruled May 22 (Ralph Creel v. City of Cleveland, TN, et al., No. 07-61, E.D. Tenn.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41521). Full story on

Rent-A-Center Faces Privacy, Negligence Claims For Posting Bill On Customer's Door
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky woman who claims that a furniture rental company posted multiple copies of an account worksheet on her door containing her name, address, Social Security number and the amount she supposedly owed may proceed with her invasion of privacy and violation of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act claims, a Kentucky federal judge ruled June 3, granting a company's motion to dismiss only in part (Myra Parks, et al. v. Rainbow Rentals, Inc. d/b/a Rent-A-Center, Inc., No. 07-648, W.D. Ky.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43921). Full story on

Kansas Church, ACLU Argue Ruling Over Funeral Picketing Violated 1st Amendment
RICHMOND, Va. - A man who sued a church, its pastor and the pastor's daughters after they staged a protest during his son's funeral had no right to privacy in the funeral or his mourning and even if he did, that privacy right was not properly balanced with the protesters' First Amendment rights, the defendants argue in a June 20 brief filed with the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Albert Snyder v. Fred W. Phelps, Sr., et al., No. 08-1026, 4th Cir.; See May 2008, Page 14). Full story on

In New Opinion, 9th Circuit Reinstates Suit Over Invasive Nature Of NASA Questionnaire
PASADENA, Calif. - Vacating its January opinion but issuing a new opinion reaching essentially the same conclusion, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 20 ruled that National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) employees challenging the invasiveness of a mandatory questionnaire by their employer may proceed with their informational privacy claims (Robert M. Nelson, et al. v. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, et al., No. 07-56424, 9th Cir.; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 13205; See January 2008, Page 16). Full story on

10th Circuit Affirms Discovery Rulings, Summary Judgment Award
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 20 upheld a district court's rulings denying a woman access to a pharmacy employee's personnel file, manuals concerning the pharmacy's computer system and all e-mails from the employee's corporate account and its motion awarding summary judgment to the pharmacy, after it found that the discovery requests were overly broad and unlikely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence (Ashley Regan-Touhy v. Walgreen Company, No. 06-6242, 10th Cir.; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 10704). Full story on

Texas Federal Judge Upholds Surveillance Of Employee Claiming Medical Limitations
SAN ANTONIO - A U.S. Air Force employee's privacy rights were not violated when a private investigator filmed the employee and his wife performing work in their yard, a Texas federal judge ruled June 3 (Raymond H. Ryan, et al. v. Richard P. Whitehurst, et al., No. 07-723, W.D. Texas; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43690). Full story on

Maryland Law Firm Seeks Declaration On 4th Amendment Protection For Docs Sent Overseas
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Bethesda, Md., law firm recently filed a complaint for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against President George W. Bush, an Indian outsourcing service and other unnamed attorneys, seeking to determine whether documents electronically transmitted to the Indian firm would be protected under the Fourth Amendment (Newman, McIntosh & Hennessey, LLP v. The Honorable George W. Bush, et al., No. 08-787, D. D.C.). Full story on

Minnesota Appellate Panel Suppresses Seizure Of Woman's Medical Records
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Oral consent given police to check her blood-alcohol level was insufficient to overcome an emergency room patient's physician-patient privilege under Minnesota law, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled June 10, reversing a state resident's drunken driving conviction (State of Minnesota v. Denise M. Poetschke, No. A07-1323, Minn. App.; 2008 Minn. App. LEXIS 310). Full story on

USPS Seeks Dismissal Of Unions' Suit Over Obtaining Employees' Medical Records
NEW YORK - The unions that represent postal carriers have no standing to sue the U.S. Postal Service for allegedly obtaining employees' protected medical records without their consent, the USPS argues in a June 6 motion to dismiss (National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO, et al. v. United States Postal Service, et al., No. 08-458, S.D. N.Y.; See January 2008, Page 13). Full story on

Release Of Records, Medical Exam Ordered In Suit Seeking Damages For Mental Anguish
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Export-Import Bank of the United States has a right to review the medical records of a former employee suing for compensatory damages for emotional pain allegedly as a result of the employer's actions and to request that the employee undergo an independent medical examination, a District of Columbia judge ruled June 10 (Sharon L. Nuskey v. James H. Lambright, No. 06-1573, D. D.C.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44672). Full story on

Both Plaintiffs And Defendants Ask JPMDL To Consolidate Hannaford Data Breach Cases
WASHINGTON, D.C. - While denying any wrongdoing when it came to an alleged breach of its customer information, grocery store chain Hannaford Bros. Co. and its parent company Delhaize America Inc. filed a response with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on April 30 supporting an April 8 motion filed by plaintiffs in two of the numerous class action complaints filed since March seeking to consolidate the complaints (In re Hannaford Bros. Co. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1954, JPMDL; See March 2008, Page 5). Full story on

Motion To Dismiss FACTA Class Action Against Hooters Denied By Texas Federal Judge
AMARILLO, Texas - Proof of identity theft is not required to prove a violation of the Fair Credit and Reporting Act, as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA), a Texas federal judge ruled May 13, denying a motion to dismiss a class action complaint against Hooters of Houston (Michael Hedlund, et al. v. Hooters of Houston a/k/a Texas Wings, Inc., and Hooters of America, Inc., No. 08-45, N.D. Texas; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38926). Full story on

Chicago Restaurant Seeks Dismissal Of FACTA Class Complaint Over Receipts
CHICAGO - The plaintiff in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action suit who accuses a Chicago restaurant of printing his credit card expiration date and the last four digits of his card number on his receipt lied, the restaurant alleges in a May 2 motion for summary judgment (Steven Troy, et al. v. The Red Lantern Inn, Inc., d/b/a Balducci's and Does 1-10, No. 07-2418, N.D. Ill.; See January 2008, Page 8). Full story on

FTC Settles Complaints Against TJX, Seisint
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Trade Commission recently announced settlements of two complaints against discount retailer TJX Cos. Inc. and data broker Seisint Inc. and its parent company, Reed Elsevier Inc., for failing to properly protect their customers' data (In the Matter of The TJX Companies, Inc., No. 072 3055, In the Matter of Reed Elsevier Inc. and Seisint, Inc., No. 0523094, FTC). Full story on

Kansas High Court Orders Trial Court To Apply Balancing Test To Case Over Abortion Records
TOPEKA, Kan. - A Kansas trial court must apply the balancing test in Alpha Med. Clinic v. Anderson (280 Kan. 903, 128 P.3d 364 [2006]) to determine whether the privacy right of patients of a health clinic supersede the state's right to review redacted records related to the patients' abortions, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled May 6 (George R. Tiller, M.D., et al. v. Hon. Michael Corrigan, et al., Jane Doe, et al. v. Hon. Michael Corrigan, et al., Stephen N. Six, et al. v. The Honorable Michael Corrigan, et al., Nos. 99,951; 99,972; 100,042, Kan. Sup.; 2008 Kan. LEXIS 92). Full story on

Discovery Of Medical Experts' Earlier Testimony Permitted
ROCKFORD, Ill. - Neither Illinois' medical provider-patient privilege nor the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) bars a defendant from conducting discovery that includes a plaintiff's experts' previous testimony, an Illinois federal judge ruled April 29 (Richard L. Brown, et al. v. Overhead Door Corporation, No. 06-50107, N.D. Ill.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34879). Full story on

Man Says Test Results Wrongfully Released; Case Removed
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey man sued his insurance and a diagnostic company in state court for allegedly wrongfully disclosing results from a blood test and denying coverage based on those results; the insurance company removed the case to federal court (Arthur M. O'Leary v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 08-2231, D. N.J.). Full story on

Invasion Of Privacy Award Against Husband In Divorce Proceedings Upheld
DES MOINES, Iowa - A trial court, as part of divorce proceedings, properly awarded an Iowa woman $22,500 on her claims that her ex-husband had placed motion-sensitive cameras in their bedroom to record her activities while they were still married, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled May 14 (In Re the Marriage of Jeffrey E. Tigges and Cathy J. Tigges, No. 7-922/07-1103, Iowa App.; 2008 Iowa App. LEXIS 299). Full story on

$5,000 Offers Made To Settle Suit Against Principal Over Hidden Cameras
DETROIT - A Michigan school district on May 1 offered three of its teachers $5,000 each plus reasonable attorney fees seeking to end the teachers' invasion of privacy suit against their school principal, who installed two video cameras in the staff office (Michael Helisek, et al. v. Dearborn Public Schools, et al., No. 06-12369, E.D. Mich.; See April 2008, Page 5). Full story on

9th Circuit Bars Release Of Forest Service Employees Who Fought Deadly Wildfire
PORTLAND, Ore. - The public has no right to the names of U.S. Forest Service personnel who responded to an Idaho wildfire in 2003 that resulted in the death of two men, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 1 (Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics v. United States Forest Service, No. 05-36221, 9th Cir.; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 9404). Full story on

Florida Court Denies Privacy In Conversation In Police Interrogation Room
MIAMI - A man being questioned by police regarding his connection to a murder case has no right to privacy in a conversation he held with another man, who ultimately became a co-defendant, in the police interrogation room, the Third District Florida Court of Appeal ruled April 30 (Victor Pestano v. The State of Florida, No. 3D07-260, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2008 Fla. App. LEXIS 6163). Full story on

4th Circuit Denies Motion To Stay By 2 Members Of Kansas Church In Suit Over Funeral Picketing
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 19 denied a motion for stay of execution of judgment against two members of a controversial Kansas fundamentalist church without comment (Albert Snyder v. Fred W. Phelps, Sr., et al., No. 08-1026, 4th Cir.; See February 2008, Page 9). Full story on

Court Denies Privacy Right In Government- Issued Computer
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A member of the U.S. Air Force had no right to privacy in his computer issued to him by the government, the Armed Forces U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 25, rejecting the man's reliance on United States v. Long (64 M.J. 57 [C.A.A.F. 2006]) in arguing for his privacy rights (United States v. John E. Larson, No. 07-0263, Armed Forces App.; 2008 CAAF LEXIS 532). Full story on

Split Vermont High Court Rules For DNA Collection From Nonviolent Felons
MONTPELIER, Vt. - Requiring nonviolent felons to provide DNA samples for inclusion in state and federal DNA databases does not violate the Vermont Constitution or the federal one, a split Vermont Supreme Court ruled May 2 (State of Vermont v. George Dean Martin, State of Vermont v. Mark Watkins, et al., Nos. 2006-119 & 2006-205, Vt. Sup.; 2008 Vt. LEXIS 56). Full story on

11th Circuit Rejects DPPA Suit Over Firm's Purchase Of Driver Records
ATLANTA - Because the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) is silent with regards to which party carries the proof, the burden must be placed on the plaintiff, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 24, dismissing a suit filed against a law firm that purchased records from Miami-Dade County, Fla. (Colin Thomas, et al. v. George, Hartz, Lundeen, Fulmer, Johnstone, King, and Stevens, P.A., Charles Michel Hartz, No. 06-16158, 11th Cir.; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 8844). Full story on

Judge Quashes Subpoena To AOL, Finds Witnesses' E-mails Protected
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Citing the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a Virginia federal judge on April 18 upheld a magistrate judge's decision to quash a subpoena served by State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. on AOL LLC to obtain e-mail records of the witnesses in a fraud case related to Hurricane Katrina insurance claims (In re Subpoena Duces Tecum to AOL LLC, No. 1:07mc34, E.D. Va.). Full story on

FBI Withdraws National Security Request To Internet Archive
SAN FRANCISCO - On May 9, pursuant to a settlement agreement between the parties, U.S. Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California granted a joint motion to dismiss a complaint by the Internet Archive (IA) in which it sought relief from a national security letter (NSL) from the FBI that requested information about a particular IA user (Internet Archive, et al. v. Michael B. Mukasey in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States, et al., No. CV-07-6346-CW, N.D. Calif.). Full story on

California Appellate Panel Upholds Police Entry Into Home Based On Believed Danger
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Police did not violate a California woman's privacy rights when they entered her home without a warrant after finding her 2-year-old son wandering the streets unattended and saw through the window her 6-month-old son in her home with an unresponsive man, a California appeals court ruled May 6 (The People v. Dawn Amber Gemmill, No. C055464, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2008 Cal. App. LEXIS 676). Full story on

11th Circuit Rejects Cab Passenger's Challenge To Police Search
ATLANTA - A taxicab passenger had no right to challenge a driver's consent to search the vehicle after the fact, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 8 (United States of America v. Ulysses Antwan Harris a.k.a. Antoine Harris, No. 07-13473, 11th Cir.; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 9814). Full story on

Trooper's Warrantless Search Of Arrested Man's Cellular Telephone Upheld
TOPEKA, Kan. - A man arrested at a Kansas turnpike plaza after failing to pay the toll and the discovery of methamphetamine in his car had no right to privacy in his cell phone, a Kansas federal judge ruled April 23 (United States of America v. Manuel De Jesus Fierros-Alavarez, No. 07-40153-01-SAC, D. Kan.; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33630). Full story on