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TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: bbs_suit.txt

A sysop gets sued for changing a message




                     UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
                 FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
                            CIVIL DIVISION

Linda Thompson,                   )   Civil Action NoŽ IP-88 93C
                                  )                   -----------
    Petitioner,                   )
                                  )
    v.                            )
                                  ) 
Bob Predaina,                     )
d/b/a Professional's Choice       )
Bulletin Board                    )
                                  )
    Respondent.                   )

                              COMPLAINT


     Comes now the Petitioner, Linda Thompson, and complains of the 

Respondent, Bob Predaina, doing business as the Professional's Choice 

Bulletin Board, and in support thereof would show the court:

     1.   That Petitioner Linda Thompson is a citizen of the United 

States and resident of the State of Indiana, County of Marion.

     2.   That this action arises under U.S.C., Title 18, Chapter 119, 

entitled Wire and Electronic Communications Interception of Oral 

Communications, ss 2520;  U.S.C., Title 18, Chapter 121 entitled 

Stored Wire and Electronic Communications and Transactional Records 

Access, ss 2707;  U.S.C., Title 47, Chapter 5, entitled Wire or Radio 

Communication, ss 605(d)(3)(a) and the laws of the State of Indiana.  

The matter in controversey exceeds, exclusive of interest and costs, 

the sum of ten thousand dollars.

     3.   That the respondent, Bob Predaina, at all times material was 

the owner of a Computer Communications System, as defined in U.S.C., 

Title 18, ss 2510 (14) located in Marion County, Indiana.

     4.   That the Respondent, Bob Predaina, at all times material was 

the owner and operator (hereinafter "System Operator") of an 

electronic communication service, as defined in U.S.C., Title 18, ss 

2510 (15) and or remote electronic communication service, as 

applicable, operated from, attached to or part of the Respondent's 

Computer Communications System.

     5.   That at all times material the computer service of the  

Respondent was operated under the name of The Professional's Choice 

Bulletin Board (hereinafter by name or "the BBS") in the county of 

Marion, state of Indiana.

     6.   That the BBS at all times material provided electronic 

communication, as defined in U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2510 (12), between 

"users" as defined in U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2510 (13).

     7.   That at all times material, the BBS provided electronic 

storage, as defined in U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2510 (17) of the 

electronic communications of users.

     8.   That at all times material certain electronic storage and 

communication on the BBS was configured so that electronic 

communications designated by the user as "Receiver Only" were private 

electronic communications to a designated recipient and not readily 

accessible to the general public.

     9.   That at all times material, all electronic storage and 

communication on the BBS was configured so that electronic 

communications transmitted by a user could be deleted only by the 

sending user, the system operator or the designated recipient of a 

"Receiver Only" communication, and once deleted, said communication 

could not be transmitted, read or readily accessed by anyone, 

including the system operator.

     10.  That at all times material, the respondent was a person, as 

defined in U.S.C., Title 47, ss 153 (i) engaged in receiving, 

assisting in receiving, transmitting, or assisting in transmitting 

interstate communication by wire, as defined in U.S.C., Title 47, ss 

153 (a) and (e), by means of the electronic communications service.

     11.  That at all times material, the Petitioner was an authorized 

user of the electronic communications service of the Respondent, and 

had paid the sum of $35.00 as a subscription fee for a one year 

service in October, 1987 to the Respondent.

                               COUNT I:

     12.  The Petitioner incorporates and realleges paragraphs 1 

through 11 above and further alleges that on an undeterminable date in 

January, 1988, without the permission or knowledge of the petitioner, 

that the Respondent, Bob Predaina, through the use of an electronic, 

mechanical, or other device, as defined in U.S.C., Title 18, 2510 (5), 

intentionally or recklessly intercepted, caused to be restored, and 

thereby altered the authorized access to a private electronic 

communication to which there was no intended recipient, which 

communication had been transmitted to and immediately deleted from the 

electronic storage of the BBS by the Petitioner on January 2, 1988, 

and that said actions of the Respondent are contrary to U.S.C., Title 

18, ss 2511 (1)(a);  U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2511 (1)(d);  U.S.C., Title 

18, ss 2511 (3)(a);  U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2701 (a) and U.S.C., Title 

47, ss 605 (a);

                               COUNT II:

     13.  Petitioner incorporates and realleges paragraphs 1 through 

11 and further alleges that the respondent, through the use of said 

device, caused said restored private electronic communication to be 

converted to a publicly visible electronic communication, readily 

accessible by members of the public, contrary to U.S.C., Title 18, ss 

2511 (1)(c);  U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2511 (1)(d);  U.S.C., Title 18, ss 

2511 (3)(a);  U.S.C., Title 18, 2702 (a) and U.S.C., Title 47, ss 605 

(a);
 
                              COUNT III:

     14.  Petitioner incorporates and realleges paragraphs 1 through 

11 and further alleges that on an undeterminable date in December, 

1987 the Respondent through use of an electronic, mechanical, or other 

device, intentionally or recklessly caused to be made public a private 

electronic communication addressed to the Petitioner, Linda Thompson, 

without the permission or the knowledge of the sender or of the 

Petitioner contrary to U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2511 (1)(a);  U.S.C., 

Title 18, ss 2511 (1)(c);  U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2511 (3)(a);  U.S.C., 

Title 18, ss 2701 (a) and U.S.C., Title 47, ss 605 (a).

                               COUNT IV:

     15.  Petitioner incorporates and realleges paragraphs 1 through 

11 and paragraph 13 and further alleges that the Respondent replied in 

a public electronic communicaiton on the BBS to a private electronic 

communication  addressed to the Petitioner, Linda Thompson, thereby 

disclosing certain contents of said electronic communication to 

members of the public, without the permission of the sender or the 

recipient, contrary to U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2511 (1)(c);  U.S.C., 

Title 18, 2511 (1)(d);  U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2511 (3)(a);  U.S.C., 

Title 18, ss 2701 (a);  U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2702 (a) and U.S.C., 

Title 47, ss 605 (a).

                               COUNT V:

     16.  Petitioner incorporates and realleges paragraphs 1 through 

11 and further alleges that during the month of December, the 

respondent allowed a person and/or persons unknown to access and view 

the contents of all electronic communications, both public and private 

in portions of the electronic storage not readily accessible by 

members of the general public without the knowledge or permission of 

the petitioner and to this end, that the Respondent restored certain 

previously deleted electronic communications of the petitioner and 

allowed such other person, not the intended recipient of any of such 

communications, to read such communications, contrary to U.S.C., Title 

18, ss 2511 (1)(a);  U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2511 (1)(c);  U.S.C., Title 

18, ss 2511 (1)(d);  U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2511 (3)(a);  U.S.C., Title 

18, ss 2701 (a);  U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2702 (a) and U.S.C., Title 47, 

ss 605 (a).

                               COUNT VI:

     17.  Petitioner realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 

11 and further states that on January 3, 1988, the respondent 

intentionally altered the access of the petitioner to the electronic 

communication service, contrary to U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2701 (a);

                              COUNT VII:

     18.  Petitioner realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 

11 and further states that the respondent intentionally prevented the 

petitioner from authorized access to the electronic communication 

service from January 3, 1988 to January 6, 1988, contrary to U.S.C., 

Title 18, ss 2701 (a);

                             COUNT VIII:

     19.  Petitioner realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 

18 and further states that on January 6, 1988, the Petitioner 

requested that the Respondent agree to refrain from any further such 

actions contrary to law and the Respondent refused;

                              COUNT IX:

     20.  Petitioner realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 

11 and paragraph 19 and further alleges that on January 6, the 

respondent intentionally, maliciously or with reckless disregard for 

the truth, made statements which on their face are damaging to the 

professional and personal reputation of the Petitioner in public and 

to another person, subjecting the Petitioner to humiliation, personal 

anguish and ridicule, and that said conduct of the Respondent was 

contrary to Statutory and common law of the State of Indiana;

                               COUNT X:

     21.  Petitioner realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 

11 and paragraph 19 and further alleges that on January 8, the 

Respondent intentionally, maliciously, or with reckless disregard for 

the truth, made written statements in the form of electronic 

communications about the Petitioner which on their face are damaging 

to the professional and personal reputation of the Petitioner to 

members of the legal profession, subjecting the Petitioner to 

humiliation, personal anguish, and ridicule, and that said conduct of 

the Respondent was contrary to Statutory and common law of the State 

of Indiana;

     22.  Petitioner realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 

21 and further alleges that all of the facts alleged of the Respondent 

were committed willfully, knowingly, intentionally or recklessly, 

and/or for the purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage of 

the Respondent.


     WHEREFORE, the Petitioner respectfully prays this Court for a 

statutory award of damages persuant to U.S.C., Title 18, ss 2520 

(c)(2)(b) of ten-thousand dollars ($10,000.00) for each of counts I 

through V, totalling fifty-thousand dollars ($50,000.00); for a 

statutory award of damages persuant to U.S.C. Title 18, ss 2707 (c) of 

one-thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for each of counts VI and VII, 

totalling two-thousand dollars ($2,000.00);  for a statutory award of 

damages persuant to U.S.C., Title 47, ss 605 (d)(3)(C)(i)(II) of 

$250.00 for each of Counts I through V, totalling one-thousand-two-

hundred-fifty dollars ($1,250.00);  punitive damages persuant to 

U.S.C., Title 47, ss 605 (d)(3)(C)(ii), U.S.C., Title 2520, ss (b)(2) 

in the amount of fifty-thousand ($50,000);  for an award of nine-

thousand ($9,000.00) for the damage to Petitioner's personal and 

professional reputation alleged in Counts IX and X;  all to the total 

amount of one-hundred-twelve-thousand-two-hundred-fifty dollars 

($112,250.00) plus interest; and for attorneys fees and costs persuant 

to U.S.C. Title 18, ss 2520 (b)(3);  U.S.C., Title 18 ss 2707 (b)(3); 

and U.S.C., Title 47, ss 605 (d)(3)(B)(iii);  and for any and all 

other relief just or equitable under the circumstances.


                                        Respectfully submitted,


               
                                        Linda Thompson, pro se
                                        Petitioner
                                        P.O. Box 83
                                        Beech Grove, Indiana  46107
                                        Telephone:  (317) 787-9787
               

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