Instant message suit dismissed by courts

PENNSYLVANIA — A student’s claim that his AOL Instant Messenger transcript was obtained through a violation of the federal wiretap law has been dismissed in federal trial and appellate courts.


\n The student was expelled in December 1999 from Friends Central School in Wynnewood for an online conversation in which he said, ”stupid people should be banished or killed.” A print-out of the conversation was confiscated from another student on a class trip.


\n The expelled student and his parents filed a lawsuit against school, arguing that the student’s privacy had been infringed through an illegal wire-intercept. Those grounds were found faulty in April 2000 by a federal district court and again in July 2001 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

case: S.L. ex rel. P.L. v. Friends Central School, 265 F.3d 1056 (3rd Cir. 2001) (table)