The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Tuesday gave a liberal interpretation to the two-year statute of limitations on computer hacking to allow a Queens woman's lawsuit against a former romantic partner from Floral Park to go forward.
The court said that Chantay Sewell's discovery in 2011 that her AOL email account had been hacked and used to send out sexually embarrassing messages did not start the two-year clock running on her discovery in February 2012 that her Facebook password was also compromised.
As a result, the three-judge appeals panel said could pursue the suit under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Stored Communications Act that she filed in January 2014 against ex-boyfriend Phil Bernardin, with whom she worked at a Queens school and was involved with for nine years.
The court said Central Islip U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt mistakenly believed that Sewell's discovery that one account was hacked put her on notice that all her passwords were at risk. "We do not think that is a reasonable inference," the court said.