Close X

Rhode Island Bar Journal Article

Wisconsin upholds the First Amendment and the Communications Decency Act

Posted by Keith G. Langer | May 02, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects a lawsuit against Armslist, and upholds the First Amendment in the process:
Daniel v. Armslist; Wisconsin Supreme Court Case No. 2017AP344
"¶51 Daniel's negligence claim is simply another way of claiming that Armslist is liable for publishing third-party firearm advertisements and for failing to properly screen who may access this content. The complaint alleges that Armslist breached its duty of care by designing a website that could be used to facilitate illegal sales, failing to provide proper legal guidance to users, and failing to adequately screen unlawful content. Restated, it alleges that Armslist provided an online forum for third-party content and failed to adequatelymonitor that content. The duty Armslist is alleged to have violated derives from its role as a publisher of firearm advertisements. This is precisely the type of claim that is prohibited by § 230(c)(1) [of the Communications Decency Act], no matter how artfully pled.....
Regardless of Armslist's knowledge or intent, the relevant question is whether Daniel's claim necessarily requires Armslist to be treated as the publisher or speaker of third-party content. Because it does, the negligence claim must be dismissed."
In short, one cannot blame a website for the criminal acts of third parties simply because they used the site.

About the Author

Keith G. Langer

Keith G. Langer, Attorney at Law SERVING NORFOLK COUNTY, MA, AND SURROUNDING AREAS Solo practitioner concentrating in civil litigation, collections, family law and administrative law, particularly firearms licensing.Professional Qualifications: One of the longest-serving member of the Firear...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Your Time May Be Limited!

If you are a defendant in a civil suit, you have a specific period of time in which to file an answer. Failure to do so can result in a default judgment being issued against you. Failure to timely submit responses to discovery requests can also negatively affect your case. Those named as defendants in criminal cases via clerk magistrate or “show cause” hearings must appear, or the complaint will issue against them. Those seeking to appeal a negative action, such as a firearms license denial or revocation, denial of a permit, or losing a case at trial, all have specific time periods in which to act. Do not lose your rights by inertia or delay.

Act Now!

The law is an area in which inertia can have very negative consequences: The loss of rights and remedies. It is unlikely that your problem will just “go away” - act now to protect yourself and preserve your options.