Subject matter jurisdiction was lacking in a suit concerning the government’s Web posting of a news release that falsely claimed plaintiffs had been indicted for mail fraud and money laundering, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas held Feb. 9 in granting the government’s motion for summary judgment (Doe v. United States, S.D. Tex., No. G-99-689, 2/9/00).

On March 21, 1997, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas posted a news release on its Web site indicating that some of the plaintiffs had been charged with 10 counts of mail fraud and with aiding and abetting each other in committing mail fraud. The release also stated that one of the plaintiffs had been indicted on one count of money laundering. The plaintiffs were identified by name and referred to as “Houston area residents.”

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