It is being reported that Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is going after Skytel for the release of the text messages that led to the settlement of the police whistleblower lawsuit against him.
(source: The Detroit News)
It appears that the grounds for this action is the Stored Communications Act. As a non-attorney I am guessing that this will boil down to a few factors:
- Was the police department involved in the production of the text messages (4th amendment),
- Was the contract with Skytel to provide messaging services, or storage/retrieval and reporting?
The Stored Communication Act does differentiate between a provider of services, and a provider of storage, so the Skytel contract wording will likely make a difference.
With all of the Kwame Drama aside, this could actually be interesting for providers, contract attorneys, e-discovery and forensics folks as well.
Here is a reference to another case with similar characteristics: