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Liu v. DeFelice

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Citation Edit

Liu v. DeFelice, 6 F.Supp.2d 106 (D. Mass. 1998) (full-text).

Factual BackgroundEdit

Gerard DeFelice, doing business as GAD Investigative Services Company, worked in New York. Using his computer, he asked TransUnion Corporation, a Credit reporting agency, also in New York, for information on Mary Liu, who lives in Massachusetts. When she learned of his inquiry, she sued under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. §1681(4) and the equivalent state act, Mass. Gen. L. ch. 93, § 51, for invasion of privacy.

Trial Court Proceedings Edit

DeFelice was never in Massachusetts; both he and TransUnion are in New York. DeFelice argued the court had no jurisdiction over him. Applying the Massachusetts long-arm statute, Mass. Gen. L. ch. 223A § 3, Judge Lasker ruled in that the court had jurisdiction:

Assuming the allegations of the complaint are true — and they are not contradicted by anything submitted by defendant — it is reasonable to conclude that DeFelice knew his actions would have specific impact in Massachusetts. Plaintiff represents that TransUnion Corporation requires a valid name, address, and social security number of a person in order to access that individual's credit report. The input of this information demonstrates DeFelice's understanding that he was acting in relation to a Massachusetts resident. DeFelice's actions are a statutorily-defined invasion of privacy.

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