People v. Ellis, No. 54 (N.Y. 2019)
Nature of Case: Appellant was indicted for failing to register an internet identifier, to wit, his Facebook account, despite having disclosed his e-mail address that was associated with the account and the fact that the account was under his real name. Appellant filed motion to dismiss in trial court on grounds that state statute requiring internet identifiers did not encompass Facebook accounts. Trial court denied the motion, and a negotiated guilty plea was entered for failing to comply with the registration law. Appellant appealed the denial of motion to dismiss.
New York Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court in denying Appellant’s motion to dismiss the indictment. State then sought review from the New York Court of Appeals.
Holding: New York Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Supreme Court. The trial court erred in failing to dismiss the indictment against Appellant because a Facebook account that was being operated under Appellant’s full, real name did not constitute an “internet identifier” under New York’s e-stop legislation.