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Czech v. Wall Street on Demand, Inc. (N.D. Minn.)

Czech v. Wall Street on Demand, Inc. (N.D. Minn.)

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Plaintiffs bring claims against WSOD based on the transmission of unsolicited text messages. The court finds that plaintiffs have not alleged violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and dismisses the complaint.
Plaintiffs bring claims against WSOD based on the transmission of unsolicited text messages. The court finds that plaintiffs have not alleged violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and dismisses the complaint.

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Categories:Business/Law, Finance
Published by: Venkat Balasubramani on Dec 11, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/22/2010

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTDISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Brenda Czech, individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situatedindividuals,Plaintiff,v.Wall Street on Demand, Inc., a DelawareCorporation, and John Does,Defendants.Civil No. 09-180 (DWF/RLE)
MEMORANDUMOPINION AND ORDER
Matthew R. Salzwedel, Esq., and Robert K. Shelquist, Esq., Lockridge Grindal NauenPLLP, and Myles McGuire, Esq., KamberEdelson, LLC, counsel for Plaintiff.Glenn M. Salvo, Esq., J.D. Jackson, Esq., and Lola Velazquez-Aguilu, Esq., Dorsey &Whitney, LLP, counsel for Defendant Wall Street on Demand.
INTRODUCTION
This matter is before the Court on Defendant Wall Street on Demand, Inc.’smotion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (Doc. No. 24). For the reasons stated below,this Court grants in part and denies in part the motion and dismisses Plaintiff BrendaCzech’s federal claims with prejudice, but dismisses her state-law claims withoutprejudice.
Case 0:09-cv-00180-DWF-RLE Document 40 Filed 12/08/09 Page 1 of 39
 
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FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Czech commenced this action on behalf of herself and a proposed class afterreceiving unwanted text messages on her cell phone that were sent by Defendant WallStreet on Demand (“WSOD”). As alleged in Czech’s Second Amended Complaint,WSOD provides custom websites, reports, and tools for financial services industrycustomers, who in turn use WSOD’s products to provide their clients or end-users withthe ability to request and receive financial information. One service WSOD provides itscustomers is financial information sent via electronic text messaging to wireless devicesowned by the customers’ end-users. Specifically, WSOD allows customers to subscribeto a Watch List Alert, such that WSOD can forward text messages to the customers’end-users’ wireless devices, such as cell phones. WSOD allegedly does not track recycled or cancelled wireless telephone numbers and, as a result, text messages aresometimes sent to persons who have not subscribed to receive Watch List Alerts.Czech alleges that she began receiving unwanted text messages from WSOD onher cell phone after she purchased a new cell phone service plan from an establishednational carrier. Czech asserts that she has received unwanted text messages from WSODas recently as February 2008. As a result, Czech alleges that she incurred fees andcharges related to her receipt of those messages, although she does not allege the amountof those charges or attach a bill for those charges. Czech asserts that she did not stopreceiving the messages from WSOD until she contacted a lawyer, who in turn contactedWSOD.
Case 0:09-cv-00180-DWF-RLE Document 40 Filed 12/08/09 Page 2 of 39
 
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In January 2009, Czech, on behalf of herself and a proposed class, commenced thisaction against WSOD and other unnamed defendants, alleging (1) claims for violations of three provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1030;(2) a claim for trespass to chattels; and (3) a claim for unjust enrichment. After Czechfiled an Amended Complaint and WSOD filed its Answer, WSOD moved for judgmenton the pleadings. This Court denied that motion without prejudice and granted Czechthirty days to amend her Complaint. (Doc. No. 21.) After she filed her Second AmendedComplaint, WSOD filed the present motion to dismiss–with prejudice–for failure to statea claim.
DISCUSSION
The present civil action raises the interesting question of whether the ComputerFraud and Abuse Act–which was originally enacted as a criminal law prohibiting suchactions as damaging another’s computer system or stealing information from it, 18 U.S.C.§ 1030 (Supp. II 1984)–presently extends to permit a claim for damages and injunctiverelief, now that it also authorizes civil actions under certain conditions, against one whohas sent unwanted text messages to another’s cell phone. An annoyance? Quite possibly.The basis for a civil action under either subsection 1030(a)(2)(C),subsection 1030(a)(5)(A), or subsection 1030(a)(5)(C) of the CFAA? The Court thinksnot.
Case 0:09-cv-00180-DWF-RLE Document 40 Filed 12/08/09 Page 3 of 39

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