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Doe v. Great Expectations

Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County
809 N.Y.S.2d 819 (2005)


Facts

Doe and Roe (Does) (plaintiffs) entered into contracts with Great Expectations (Expectations) (defendants). The services to be provided by Expectations under the contracts included posting clients' video and profile on an internet web site where other clients of Expectations would have the opportunity to look at them.  A client could then contact another client on the site for the purposes of social interaction and dating. The Does paid Expectations $1,000 and $3,790, respectively, received no social referrals from Expectations and met only one person through the information on the website. The Does commenced this action in the New York City Civil Court for New York County (Civil Court) pursuant to New York's Dating Services Law. Under the Dating Services Law, a dating service that did not guarantee a minimum number of social referrals per month could charge a maximum fee of $25.By the time the Does sought relief, one of the contracts had  expired, but the other remained in effect. The questions before the court were whether the statute applied to Expectations’ internet-based dating service and if so, whether violation of the statute entitled the Does to cancelation of the unexpired contract and full restitution of the amounts they paid to Expectations, including the $25 that could have been lawfully charged under the statute.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Lebedeff, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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