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Miller v. Meyers, 09-Cv-06103 (W.D. Ark.; Jan. 21, 2011)

Miller v. Meyers, 09-Cv-06103 (W.D. Ark.; Jan. 21, 2011)

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Ex-spouse gets summary judgment on her Stored Communications Act claim based on ex-husband's use of keylogger software and access of her emails and online accounts.
Ex-spouse gets summary judgment on her Stored Communications Act claim based on ex-husband's use of keylogger software and access of her emails and online accounts.

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Published by: Venkat Balasubramani on Feb 03, 2011
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02/03/2011

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTWESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSASHOT SPRINGS DIVISIONANNA MILLER PLAINTIFFv. CASE NO. 06:09-CV-6103DARIN MEYERS DEFENDANT
 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 
Currently before the Court are Plaintiff’s Motion for SummaryJudgment and supporting documents (docs. 18-19), Defendant’s Motionfor Summary Judgment and supporting documents (docs. 20-21),Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment with Respect to Defendant’sCounterclaim and supporting documents (docs. 22-23), Defendant’svarious Responses and Replies (docs. 28-29,32), and Plaintiff’svarious Responses and Replies (docs. 25, 33-34).Plaintiff Anna Miller’s Amended Complaint alleges privatecauses of action for violations of certain federal criminalstatutes, specifically:
18 U.S.C. § 1030, et seq.
for Fraud inConnection with Computers;
18 U.S.C. § 2701, et seq.
for UnlawfulAccess to Stored Communications; and
18 U.S.C. § 2511, et seq.
forInterception and Disclosure of Electronic Communications.Plaintiff also asserts claims for Unlawful Use or Access toComputers, Computer Trespass, Unlawful Act Regarding a Computer,Breach of Contract and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distressunder Arkansas law. Defendant Darin Meyers brings a Counterclaimalleging that, by bringing her claims, Plaintiff breached an
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Case 6:09-cv-06103-RTD Document 40 Filed 01/21/11 Page 1 of 13
 
agreement between the parties which included a clause acknowledgingthat any and all claims between the parties were settled.As reflected herein, Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment(doc. 18) is
GRANTED in part and DENIED in part
, Defendant’s Motionfor Summary Judgment (doc. 20) is
GRANTED
 
in part and DENIED in part
, and Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. 22) as toDefendant’s Counterclaim is
GRANTED
.
I. Background 
The claims currently before the Court stem from Defendant’salleged access to, and use and disclosure of, certain informationobtained from Plaintiff’s personal on-line accounts. Defendantadmittedly obtained such information and monitored his then-wife’sactivity prior to the commencement of divorce proceedings.Defendant was able to access password-protected information byinstalling a key-logger program onto the computer primarily used byPlaintiff. During the divorce proceedings and again during a latercustody proceeding, Defendant used certain information he obtainedfrom Plaintiff’s accounts. Both proceedings were initiated byPlaintiff. The parties signed a Property Settlement Agreement asa part of the divorce proceeding and share custody of their twochildren.Defendant contends that the parties’ divorce decree preventsPlaintiff from bringing her claims, citing to the followingprovision:
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Case 6:09-cv-06103-RTD Document 40 Filed 01/21/11 Page 2 of 13
 
The parties have entered into a Property SettlementAgreement which forever settles the respective rights andclaims of each party in and to property and othermatters, which agreement is filed herein and made a partof this decree by reference.(Doc. 3 Ex. C at ¶ 4). Defendant then cites to paragraph eleven ofthe Property Settlement Agreement which states the following:It is the purpose of the parties to this agreement thatit fully and finally settle, resolve and terminate anyand all claims, demands and rights whatever kind ornature between the parties.(Doc. 3 Ex. B at ¶ 11).
 
Plaintiff contends that the divorce decree and settlementagreement do not extend to bar all types of claims, but rather barsonly those claims heard in the divorce proceeding. Plaintifffurther contends she was unaware of the conduct that is the subjectof these claims at the time the divorce and settlement agreementwere finalized.
II. Summary Judgment Standard 
In determining whether summary judgment is appropriate, theburden is placed on the moving party to establish both the absenceof a genuine issue of material fact and that it is entitled tojudgment as a matter of law.
See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c);
MatsushitaElec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 586-87(1986);
Nat’l. Bank of Commerce of El Dorado, Ark. v. Dow Chem.
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Case 6:09-cv-06103-RTD Document 40 Filed 01/21/11 Page 3 of 13

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