Lawsuit against dating service will continue
ELKHORN A motion to dismiss an Elkhorn woman’s lawsuit against a California dating service has been dismissed, and the case will move forward in the Walworth County court system.
According to a lawsuit filed July 2011 by Beverly Stayart, 66, N5577 Cobblestone Road, AdultFriendFinder used her name for its Internet advertising without her permission. Gregory Stayart, Beverly’s attorney and husband, said his client is not a member of the dating service and is not affiliated with it in any way.
“My wife is married, obviously, and in no need of a dating service,” Gregory Stayart said. “There is no way she agreed to have her name used by this company.”
The adult dating service is using Beverly Stayart’s name to attract new members, according to the lawsuit.
“My wife is very active on the Internet in the area of animal rights,” Gregory Stayart said. “She also has copyrighted poems on the Internet. We assume that’s how they got her name.”
The dating service used Stayart’s name without her permission in pop-up ads soliciting new members for its business, according to the lawsuit.
The dating service, identified as Various Inc. in the lawsuit, asked that the case be dismissed on grounds Wisconsin privacy law regarding the publication of one’s name or likeness does not apply to the Internet. The law was written in 1978 before widespread use of the Internet.
The company also asked for a change of venue to federal court. The federal court in Milwaukee denied the change of venue motion and sent the case back to Walworth County.
Walworth County Judge James Carlson ruled that Wisconsin privacy law and common law apply to the Internet, according to court records. Carlson denied a motion to dismiss on April 17. His formal order was issued May 16.
Carlson has set a schedule for filings and depositions. The case will continue with a status hearing. No date for that hearing has been scheduled.