Every now and then, a court issues a decision that is as interesting for its facts as it is for the import of its legal holding. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued such a decision involving application of the respective statutes of limitation for private claims made under the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”).
The facts of Sewell v. Bernadin (decided August 4, 2015) are not complicated. In August 2011, the plaintiff discovered that her AOL email account password had been changed without her permission and she could not gain access to her account. She also discovered that malicious statements regarding her sexual activities had been emailed to some of her private contacts. Then, in February 2012, she found herself unable to log onto her Facebook account, and in March 2012, someone posted malicious statements on her Facebook page. She filed suit in the Eastern District of New York against her ex-boyfriend in January 2014, alleging violations of SCA and CFAA. The District Court dismissed the case in its entirety on statute of limitations grounds, but the Second Circuit recently revived the claims relating to her Facebook account.