2002 John Marshall National Moot Court Competition in Information Technology and Privacy Law

Bench Memorandum


Jeffrey M. Brown, Matthew Knorr, Pat Magierski, Charles Lee Mudd, Jr. & Elizabeth A. Walsh


VOL. XXI • Fall 2002 • NO. 1 (table of contents)

Order this issue


In this moot court competition bench memo, the Supreme Court the state of Marshall has three issues to decide: (1) whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the Plaintiff failed to established the requisite elements to evidence a theory of intrusion upon seclusion as defined by the Restatement of Torts; (2) whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the Defendant’s statements to third parties were not defamatory but rather opinions or fair comment; and (3) whether the Court of Appeals erred in applying a strict breach of contract analysis to Plaintiff’s claim for deceptive business practices, pursuant to the State of Marshall’s Deceptive Business Practices statute, Marshall Revised Code, 505 MRC 815/2, and holding that the Defendant had no contractual obligation to inform Plaintiff that it employed GPS technology to track its vehicles.

Plaintiff was a 21-year-old college sophomore in Capitol City who contacted the defendant in order to rent a rental truck for three days as a local move. He was a student who is receiving an academic scholarship in this college. He was asked to provide information such as name and address when he rented the truck. The rental agreement stated that he would depart with the truck on August 20 and return August 23. The move took longer than anticipated and, as a result, plaintiff parked the rental truck on the night of August 23 in a parking lot in a mall which has a convenience store, a cleaner and an adult bookstore. He attempted to return the truck on August 24 after the closing, so he left the key in the after-hour box before returning to school. In the meantime, defendant received a notice from its corporate office that there is a possible terrorist threat where its rental trucks might be used to carry explosive to Capitol City. Defendant immediately turned on the GPS system tracking the trucks and found plaintiff's rented one parked in front of an adult bookstore. Defendant then contacted plaintiff's reference, who happened to evaluate plaintiff's scholarship eligibility, informing the connection of possible terrorist threat and the location of the truck. Consequently, upon plaintiff's arrival on campus, plaintiff was informed that his scholarship was revoked and he needed to pay more for his rental truck. As a result, plaintiff filed this three count complaint against defendant.

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