Court Teaches Cook County Sheriff About Section 230, Dismisses Case Against Craigslist
from the but,-boy-those-headlines... dept
Earlier this year, we noted that Cook County (Illinois) sheriff Thomas Dart appeared to be totally unfamiliar with the law when he sued Craigslist for prostitution. As was pretty clear at the time, Craigslist is the service provider and is quite obviously protected by Section 230 immunity. Besides, law enforcement officials who actually care about dealing with prostitution, rather than just generating headlines have figured out that it makes sense to use Craigslist as a tool to help track and combat prostitution.
Even after all of this was clearly explained to Sheriff Dart, he still insisted that his lawsuit made sense. It looks like the court system, however, does not agree. As expected, the case has been dismissed on Section 230 grounds. The decision (pdf) goes through a lengthy discussion on various cases on Section 230, but concludes reasonably:
Sheriff Dart may continue to use Craigslist’s website to identify and pursue individuals who post allegedly unlawful content… But he cannot sue Craigslist for their conduct.