The Lawyers at Parker Waichman LLC Are Filing Lawsuits on Behalf of Victims Who Were Victims of Human Trafficking Pursuant to H.R. 1865
The United States Congress recently passed an Act that gives victims of sexual violence the right to file civil lawsuits against online services pages that facilitated their prostitution or human trafficking. On the heels of the Act’s passing, Parker Waichman LLP is helping victims and their families seek the justice they have long needed.
If you were or a family member was sexually exploited through use of an interactive computer services page, contact our firm today. Our compassionate and skilled trial attorneys will help you understand the terms of the new Act and how you can achieve deserved compensation.
H.R. 1865 Background: The Communications Act of 1934
One of the purposes of the new Act, called the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (H.R. 1865), was to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to clarify that it did not insulate owners and users of interactive computer services from federal and state criminal and civil liabilities. Specifically, the Act sought to address Section 230 of the Communications Act, which reads in relevant part: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
The term “interactive computer service” within the Communications Act means “any information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides access to the internet and such systems operated or services offered by libraries or educations institutions.”
Examples of interactive computer services within the meaning of the Act would include pages like Craigslist, Reddit, and Backpage. In court cases since the passage of Section 230 in 1996, judges have interpreted the above particular language as broadly shielding computer services pages from criminal and civil liability when their pages or servers were used to facilitate acts of sexual violence or exploitation. The new Act passed by Congress in March 2018 sheds light on the intent of Section 230.
New Act Allows for Civil Damages
Congress’s new Act, H.R. 1865, passed the Senate on March 21, 2018, by a vote of 97 to 2. In the text of the Act, Congress states that its sense is that “websites that promote and facilitate prostitution have been reckless in allowing the sale of sex trafficking victims and have done nothing to prevent the trafficking of children and victims of force, fraud, and coercion.”
The Act clarifies that “Section 230 … was never intended to provide legal protection to websites that unlawfully promote and facilitate prostitution and websites that facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful acts with sex trafficking victims.” The Act goes on to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to create criminal liability for persons who knowingly use interactive computer services to promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person.
In addition, the Act expressly creates a civil right of recovery for victims of “aggravated” violations, which include intentional facilitation or promotion of the prostitution of five or more persons and acts in reckless disregard of the fact that such conduct contributed to sex trafficking.
Victims of these types of aggravated violations of the Act will be able to sue owners, operators, managers, and/or users of the relevant interactive computer services in federal court for civil damages and reasonable attorneys’ fees. In other words, if you were sexually exploited on an online page, you now have the potential right to file a civil lawsuit against people connected to the online page. Parker Waichman’s attorneys are now investigating and managing civil cases that will help victims of these heinous acts pursue rightful legal recourse.
If you were a victim of sexual violence, exploitation, prostitution, or human trafficking that was facilitated wholly or in part by online services pages, contact Parker Waichman today. Our attorneys will provide you with a confidential consultation at absolutely no cost to you.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?
We understand that the thought of hiring a lawyer is likely intimidating, but we want to assure you that we will guide you through the entire process and provide you peace of mind about your potential lawsuit. When you work with a personal injury attorney, your case information is 100 percent confidential. We value your privacy as much as you do, and we want to help you pursue new protections that the law has granted.
When you work with Parker Waichman, an experienced attorney will do all of the following:
- Schedule a time to meet with you or talk to you over the phone (depending on your location in proximity to our offices) for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation regarding your potential case;
- Listen to your story with compassion and strict confidentiality;
- Identify all potential defendants in your federal lawsuit;
- Immediately work to obtain copies of the ads or postings in question and send letters to the defendants directing them to not destroy evidence of the ads or postings;
- Identify and (if possible) meet with witnesses;
- Gather records from any medical treatment you received following the incidents in question, including any treatment for depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress;
- Help you understand the language of the new Act and how it applies to your case;
- Present you with your legal options moving forward and help you make the best decisions for you and your family.
Our firm recognizes you have been through a traumatic experience, and we know we cannot recover anything that will completely take away your pain and suffering. But we strongly believe we can help you take a stand against some of the people who placed you in harm’s way.
If you have read about the new law and are wondering whether you might have a case, we encourage you to contact our offices. Parker Waichman’s skilled staff will connect you with an attorney who is right for your case and set up your free case consultation to learn more about how we can help.
Parker Waichman: A Firm Committed to Clients
For decades, the attorneys at Parker Waichman have been representing victims and families during some of the most difficult moments of their lives. We come to work every day committed to serving our clients with kindness, attention, and dedication to their causes. Our firm has become nationally recognized for zealous advocacy that results in significant outcomes for our clients.
We are one of only a few firms to have secured more than $2 billion in recovery for clients, and we have no plans to let up on the fight for justice. Let Parker Waichman handle your legal battle so you can place your energy into taking care of yourself and your family. Contact us today to ask about our tremendous case results and the ways we can assist you with your potential case.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP for Your Free, Confidential Case Review
The new Act passed by Congress pertaining to websites and human trafficking, H.R. 1865, allows victims to seek long-awaited legal recourse. If you were sexually exploited using an online ad or post, contact Parker Waichman LLP. You can speak to an attorney today by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or by filling out the online form on our website.
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