Articles Posted in Communications Law

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In 2012, the Attorney General (AG) filed a complaint resulting in a civil enforcement action by the AG, alleging that Sprint knowingly violated the New York Tax Law, engaged in fraudulent or illegal acts, and submitted false documents to the State pursuant to the New York False Claims Act (FCA). Sprint moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. Supreme Court denied the motion, and the Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the New York Tax Law imposes sales tax on interstate voice service sold by a mobile provider along with other services for a fixed monthly charge; (2) the statute is unambiguous; (3) the statute is not preempted by federal law; (4) the AG’s complaint sufficiently pleads a cause of action under the FCA; and (5) the damages recoverable under the FCA are not barred by the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution. View "People v. Sprint Nextel Corp." on Justia Law

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This case arose when defendants' daughter revealed to her parents that plaintiff had raped and molested her when she was 10 and 12 years old. Defendants notified plaintiff's wife about her husband's alleged actions and informed her that defendants would file a civil suit against plaintiff. Plaintiff was never charged with a crime in connection with these allegations. Plaintiff adamantly denied that he had sexual contact with defendants' daughter and responded to these charges by commencing this action for defamation. Defendants moved for summary judgment, contending that even if they made the statements that were attributed to them, those utterances were not actionable because they had truthfully relayed their daughter's accusations and merely expressed their belief in her veracity. Supreme Court denied defendants' motions, finding triable issues of fact based on the conflicting testimony of the parties. The Appellate Division reversed and granted summary judgment to defendants, concluding that the alleged statements were statements of opinion, not fact. The court held that defendants were not entitled to summary judgment because they failed to establish as a matter of law that they did not defame plaintiff where, based on the conflicting recollections in this case, it was impossible to decipher exactly what was said by whom and the precise context in which the statements were made. View "Thomas H. v Paul B." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff SPCA of Upstate New York is a New York corporation and plaintiff Cathy Cloutier is its executive director. Defendant AWCA is an Ohio not-for-profit corporation and its president, defendant Jean Levitt, was a Vermont resident. Plaintiffs commenced a defamation action after Levitt generated a series of writings addressing the conditions of collies and the treatment being provided by the SPCA. These writings were posted to the AWCA website periodically. At issue was whether plaintiffs established personal jurisdiction over defendants under CPR 302(a)(1), New York's long-arm statute. The court affirmed the order of the Appellate Division where that court determined that, given New York's "narrow approach" to long-arm jurisdiction where defamation cases were concerned, defendants' contacts with the state were insufficient to support a finding of personal jurisdiction. View "SPCA of Upstate N.Y., Inc. v American Working Collie Assn." on Justia Law