Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
California’s First District Court of Appeal on Tuesday held that a city is not liable for a minor’s access to Internet pornography simply because it offered unrestricted access to computers at a public library. The court pointed to federal law to conclude in Kathleen R. v. City of Livermore, A086349, that the library can’t be penalized for obscene content posted to the Internet by a third party. “There is a crucial distinction between providing minors with harmful matter on the one hand, and maintaining computers where minors may obtain such matter, however easily, on the other,” wrote retired Justice Daniel “Mike” Hanlon. Justices Timothy Reardon and Patricia Sepulveda concurred. The case stemmed from a 12-year-old Livermore boy’s use of his local library’s computer terminal to download hard-core pornography to a disk. He later printed out the images at a relative’s home. The boy’s mother, identified as Kathleen R., sued the city. Two years ago, Alameda County Judge George Hernandez Jr. dismissed the case on grounds that the parent could not state a cause of action under either state or federal law. At oral arguments in January, Michael Millen, an attorney affiliated with the Pacific Justice Institute, argued for Kathleen R. that libraries and other public agencies must do more to protect children from graphic Web sites, including requiring parental consent for minors to use the Internet at the library. But on Tuesday, the court sympathized with libraries, which the justices said are “in a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situation in deciding whether to restrict access to the Internet from its computers to prevent harm to minors.” The justices noted that in a Virginia case, a library was sued for blocking access to the Internet. Ultimately, Hanlon wrote, a public library “does not ‘affirmatively place’ minors in danger by allowing them unsupervised use of computers which are linked to the Internet.”

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.