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No Duty of Care Owed By MySpace Party Host, Plus Criminal Case Involving Online "Sting"

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By FindLaw Staff on April 05, 2010 11:14 AM

Melton v. Boustred, No. H033148 involved a plaintiffs' action against a defendant who hosted a party where plaintiff was attacked, beaten, and stabbed by a group of unknow individuals.  In rejecting plaintiffs' main contention that defendant owed them a duty of care not to actively creat an out-of-control and dangerous public MySpace party and that the unrestricted MySpace invitation was an active conduct of a property owner giving rise to liability for the criminal acts of a third party, the court held that no legal duty arose under the circumstances as the case presents neither misfeasance nor a special relationship.  Thus, the court affirmed the trial court's order sustaining defendant's demurrer.

People v. Nakai, No. E046559, dealt with a defendant's challenge to his conviction for attempting send harmful matter to a minor with the intent to seduce a minor.  In rejecting defendant's argument that the trial court erred by not instructing the jury on the lesser included offense of attempting to distribute harmful matter to a minor, the court held that the trial court did not err as there was no substantial evidence that defendant committed only the lesser offense and not the greater one.  Furthermore, because the critical element between the lesser offense and the greater offense was not disputed, it is not reasonably probable that the jury would have found the defendant guilty of only the lesser offense.  Lastly, the court held that it was not error to deny defendant's motion to suppress evidence related to Yahoo! chat dialogues as the communications were not confidential and thus, not protected by section 632. 

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