Justia Internet Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in New Hampshire Supreme Court
New Hampshire v. Lamontagne
Defendant Justin Lamontagne was convicted by jury on four counts of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images. Defendant and the victim were in a three-year romantic relationship. The relationship ended, but defendant and the victim stayed in contact. During the summer of 2019, defendant learned that the victim was in a relationship with another man. Defendant saw an image on the internet of a naked woman tied in ropes and hanging from a tree (the “bondage image”). The woman’s face was blurred and the image contained no information identifying her. Defendant believed the bondage image depicted the victim. Defendant sent the image to the victim through Facebook Messenger. This interaction led to a discussion of possible sexual activity in which defendant and the victim could engage, including making a video of them having sex. According to defendant, he and the victim formed an agreement whereby if the victim did not break up with her new boyfriend, defendant could send the video to whomever he wished. Defendant and the victim created the video, after this alleged agreement. According to the State, the sexual encounter and the filming of the video were consensual, but there was no agreement for the video’s release. Rather, the State contended that after making the video, defendant indicated that, amongst other things, the victim must see him once a week and end her relationship with her new boyfriend or defendant would release the video. The State contended that every time the victim tried to offer an excuse for why she could not see defendant, he would become angry and threaten to release the video. On August 4, 2019, defendant sent a video to four individuals. On appeal, defendant argued the trial court erred in excluding his proffered testimony that he believed the bondage image depicted the victim. The trial court held, and the New Hampshire Supreme Court concurred, the proffered evidence was irrelevant and therefore inadmissible. Judgment was affirmed. View "New Hampshire v. Lamontagne" on Justia Law
Banaian v. Bascom et al.
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
Teatotaller, LLC v. Facebook, Inc.