SCOTT v. GOOGLE INC
COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 350 receipt number 1129-2472199.), filed by Brent Matthew Scott. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet) (KENNEDY, CAMERON)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Brent Matthew Scott, individually,
behalf of all similarly situated persons,
CIVIL ACTION NO.
(JURY TRIAL DEMANDED)
CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
Plaintiff, Brent Matthew Scott, individually,
and on behalf
brings this state-wide
class action suit against Defendant,
and would respectfully
of the class described below,
show unto the Coutt the following:
Google, Inc. (hereinafter
Plaintiff is a citizen of the State of Florida, and resides in Leon County, Florida,
which is within the Tallahassee Division
Google is a corporation
Delaware, with its principal place
and existing under the laws
of business at 1600 Amphitheatre
of the State of
Parkway, Mountain View,
At all time relevant herein Google was acting individually
in the course
and by and through its
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
The Court has original jurisdiction
inter alia, under the Class
Action Fairness Act ("CAFA"), 29 U.S.C. $ 1332(d)(2). Plaintiff and Defendant are citizens of
different states, the amount in controversy
than one hundred
in this action exceeds $ 5,000,000.00, there are more
(100) members of the putative class
and all class members
The Court has general
Google due to its sufficient minimum
and specific personal
over the Defendant
contacts within the State of Florida and because the
material acts upon which Plaintiffs'laims
are based occurred within the Northern
Venue is proper in the United States Northern District Court, District of Florida,
Tallahassee Division, pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. $ 1391(b) in that Defendant
Google resides in the
District of Florida under 28 U.S.C. $ 1391(c)(2) and a substantial
giving rise to the claims occuired within the State
NATURE OF SUIT
Plaintiff brings this state-wide
class action lawsuit against Google pursuant
F.R.C.P. 23 for violation of the Florida Wiretap Act, codified at Florida Statute
Specifically, Plaintiff alleges the Defendant
$ 934.03. et seq.
has violated the Florida Wiretap Act tlirough
of electronic commuiiications
sent by Plaintiffs and members
the Putative Class in Florida to Google's "Gmail" account holders within Florida.
Google operates an e-mail service known as "Gmail". Gmail account holders are
a Gmail e-mail address
by Google through
which they can send and/or
intercepts and scans all electronic communications
sent to Gmail account holders
prior to their receipt and review by the Gmail account holder/recipient.
The actions complained of herein involve the interception and use
and Class Member's
Florida electronic communications
sent to a Florida Gmail account holder,
(e-mail) whose e-mails are
of content fiom
to the Gmail user, a response or reply to an electronic communication
Gmail user, or any subsequent
new electronic corrununication
by Plaintiff and/or
Class Members to a Gmail user.
Google's systematic interception and use of electronic communications
Plaintiff and other non-Gmail account holders/users
violates Florida Statute $ 934.03 et seq.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Google owns and operates one of the world's
Google offers many services, including e-mail address and internet usage, for free to attract large
of customers or users. Google generates
aimed at its customers/users
or charge higher advertising
revenue by selling on-line advertising
utilizing its free services.
Google is able to attract more advertisers
prices by virtue of attracting
or usage of
Google services than other internet search engines or service providers.
"Gmail" is an electronic communication
service operated by Google.
for the purposes of sending and receiving electronic commuI+cations
through the electronic communication
service operated by Google (i.e. Gmail).
holders can receive electronic communications
from other Gmail account holders and from non-
@gmail.corn account holders.
Plaintiff has sent and continues to send electronic communications
in Florida to
@gmail.corn account holders in Florida.
mail, Google intercepts
and belief, prior to Gmail users ever receiving
of Plaintiffs confidential e-
consent or permission
is in violation
Florida Statute $ 934.03-934.09, et seq.
Google is not an intended
recipient of or a party to Plaintiffs
e-mails sent to
Gmail users in Florida.
The devices used by Google are not a telephone or telegraph instrument,
not telephone or telegraph. equipment,
not any component thereof.
they are not a telephone or telegraph facility, and they are
Therefore, any exception set out in Florida Statute $ 934.03-934.09,
et seq. do not apply.
of content of electronic communications
Plaintiff and the Class Members is not witlun the ordinary course
of business of an electronic
service such as an email provider, is not a necessary incident to providing email
services and does not functionally
enhance providing email service to Gmail account holders.
Within the Class Period, Plaintiff has sent and continues to send e-mails to Gmail
account holders in Florida from various locations within Florida.
Plaintiff s e-mails are electronic communications.
At the time Plaintiff sent the e-mails to @gmail.corn account holders, Plaintiff did
so from his Hotmail
and used the
of Plaintiff's e-mails to @gmail.corn account holders.
Google did not compensate Plaintiff for the interception and use of the content of
Plaintiff s e-mail or the use of the content of Plaintiff s e-mail, did not have his permission or,
indeed, even advise Plaintiff that his emails to @gmail.corn account holders within Florida were
being intercepted and used by Google for its own purposes.
Plaintiff hereby repleads and incorporates by reference each and every allegation
set for above, and further states as follows:
Plaintiff brings this class action, pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules
and on behalf
of all members of the following Class. The Class consists
All natural persons located within the State of Florida who sent e-mails
from a firstname.lastname@example.org account e-mail address to an @gmail.corn
account e-mail address the owner of which was also located within Florida
from within the longest period of time allowed by statute before the filing
of this action up through and including the date of the judgment in this
Excluded from the class are the following individuals
Any and all federal, state, or local governments, including but not
limited to their department, agencies, divisions, bureaus, boards,
sections, groups, counsels, and/or subdivisions;
who timely opt out
of this proceeding
correct protocol for opting out;
Current or former employees
Individuals, if any, who have previously settled or compromised
claims(s) as identified herein for the class; and
Any ciuTently sitting federal judge and/or person within the third
degree of consanguinity to any federal judge.
The Class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable.
who sent e-mails from a email@example.com
account e-mail addresses to a @gmail.corn account e-mail address from within the longest period
of time allowed by statute before the filing of this action is excess of 100 persons.
and belief, the munber
of Gmail account holders
more than two hundred and fifty thousand users. Correspondingly,
in Florida is
Plaintiff alleges the numbers
for the Class are some multiple of that number.
There are questions
of law or fact common to the class. These
but are not limited to, the following:
Whether Google intentionally intercepted, endeavored to intercept, or
procured any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept Plaintiff s
and Class Members'lectronic
communications to @gmail.corn account
recipients. Inclusive in this common question are the common questions
regarding the elements of Florida statutes based upon the statutory
Whether or not Google acted intentionally;
Whether or not Google acquired
Class members e-mail;
or not Plaintiff's and Class Members'-mails
@gmail.corn account recipients were electronic communications;
Whether or not statutory
Whether or not injunctive
should be issued.
relief against Google
Plaintiff s claims are typical of the claims of the Class in that Plaintiff and the
Class sent e-mails to @gmail.corn account holders, Google intercepted and acquired the
Google used or endeavored
to use the contents
of the Plaintiff's
did not consent to the interception
and the Class
and uses made the basis
of this suit, neither Plaintiff nor the Class consented to Google's interception and uses of content
made the basis
suit, Plaintiff and the Class Members
are entitled to declaratory
statutory damages, and injunctive relief due to Google's conduct.
Adequacy of Representation
Plaintiff will fairly and adequately
do not conflict with the interests
retained competent counsel experienced
the Class members.
in class action litigation.
and adequately protect and represent the interests
protect the interests
of the Class. Plaintiff's
Plaintiff's counsel will fairly
of the Class.
Plaintiff asseits that pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3), questions of law or fact
to the Class Members
over any questions
members, and that a class action is superior to other available methods for fairly and efficiently
adjudicating the controversy.
CAUSE OF ACTION
VIOLATIONS OF FLORIDA STATUTE 5934.03 ET SE0.
Plaintiff hereby repleads and incorporates by reference each and every allegation
set forth above, and fisher states as follows:
Google, as a corporation, is a "person" pursuant to Florida Statute $ 934.02 (5).
of the conduct upon which this suit is brought, Google's
actions were/are willful.
to intercept the electronic conununications
of Plaintiff's e-mail
Google acquired(s) the content of Plaintiff's and Class Members'-mail;
Plaintiff's and Class Members'-mails
are electronic communications;
Google utilized(s) one or more devices composing of an electronic,
mechanical or other device or apparatus to intercept Plaintiff s and Class
Google's intercepting devices are not a telephone or telegraph instriunent,
are not telephone or telegraph equipment, are not a telephone or telegraph
facility, or are not any component thereof;
Google does not furnish the devices used to intercept the emails to Gmail
users and users do not use the devices for connection to the facilities;
The devices are not used by Google, operating as an electronic
communication service, in the ordinary course of its business as a provider
of an electronic communication service, are not a necessary incident of the
rendition of email services and do not functionally enhance providing
email service to Gmail account holders;
of Plaintiff's and Class Members'lectronic
for purposes beyond the Service of Gmail, in
violation of its user agreements, in violation of its contracts with third
paries, and in violation of its statements to users are not within the
ordinary course of business of a provider of an electronic communication
used, uses, or endeavored or endeavors to use the contents
Plaintiff's and Class Members'lectronic
that the information
was obtained through the interception
of Florida Statute
$ 934.03, et
or having reason to know
of the electronic communication
Google's interception of and use of the contents of Plaintiff's and Class
were not subject to any of the exceptions set out in Florida Statute $ (
As a result
and, upon information
and belief, either did any
$ 934.10, Plaintiff and the Class are entitled
of the Class Members.
of Florida Statute
et seq, pursuant to
injunctive relief to halt Google's violations;
For Plaintiff and each Class members, the greater of $ 100 a day for each
day of violation or $ 1,000 whichever is higher;
Punitive damages; and
and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.
to the Seventh Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution
Procedure 38, Plaintiff demands a jury on any issue triable
and Federal Rule
of right by a jury.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, on behalf of himself and all Class members, requests judgment
be entered against Defendant and that the Coutt grant the following:
An order certifying the Class and appointing
represent the Class;
Plaintiff and his counsel to
Judgment against the Defendant
cause of action;
declaratory relief against Defendant;
injunctive relief against Defendant;
An award of statutory damages to the Plaintiff and the Class, for each, the
greater of $ 100 a day for each day of violation or $ 1,000, whichever is
An award of reasonable
reasonably incuned; and
Any and all other relief to which the Plaintiff and the Class may be
M~+20 1 2.
CAMERON M. KENNEDY
Florida Bar No.: 0020548
Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart
Towle House, 517 N. Calhoun St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301-1231
Tel. No. (850) 224-7600
DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY
The Plaintiff demands a trial by struck jury
of all the issues
in this ca e.
CAMERON M. KEIgkEDY
FOR THE PLA
REOUEST FOR SERVICE OF PROCESS
The Plaintiff requests that the Summons and Complaint in this case be served upon
Defendant by Process Server, as follows:
c/o Registered Agent:
CSC Lawyers Incorporatin
11 East Chase Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
ATTORNEY FOR THE PLA