Justia West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Communications Law
Yurish v. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
The Supreme Court held that the West Virginia Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act (West Virginia Act), W. Va. Code 62-1D-1 through 16, runs afoul of the First Amendment to the federal Constitution and W. Va. Const. art. III, 7 and is unconstitutional as appleid to the extent that it allows a civil action to be maintained against an innocent third party who publishes information of public concern that was obtained by the unlawful interception of wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of the statute but who did not participate in the unlawful interception of the communication.Petitioners, public school employees, alleged that the mother of A.P., a special education student in their classroom, violated both the West Virginia Act and its federal construct by placing a secret audio recording device in A.P.'s hair, purporting to show Petitioners physically and verbally abusing students. After Petitioners resigned, they brought this complaint alleging that Respondents, various media groups or outlets, violated the West Virginia Act by using and disclosing Petitioners' intercepted communications. The circuit court granted Respondents' motions to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in dismissing the case. View "Yurish v. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc." on Justia Law
Mey v. Pep Boys
Plaintiff Diana Mey filed a class action complaint alleging that Defendants, several companies, violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by leaving an automated voicemail message at her residence in response to a classified advertisement that Plaintiff's son placed on an internet website. The circuit court ruled that the automated call placed in response to the advertisement did not violate the TCPA and granted Defendants' motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court (1) applied the correct standard of review when assessing a W.V. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss; (2) properly ruled that the automated call was not a telephone solicitation and did not contain an unsolicited advertisement under the TCPA; (3) did not abuse its discretion by denying Plaintiff's motion for relief pursuant to W.V. R. Civ. P. 59(e) and 60(b) after being informed that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) issued a citation against Defendants; and (4) did not err in concluding that Defendants were not required to obtain Plaintiff's prior express consent before responding to the classified advertisement. View "Mey v. Pep Boys" on Justia Law