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Miller v. Skumanick

United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
605 F. Supp. 2d 634 (M.D. Pa. 2009)


Facts

School district officials confiscated several juvenile male students' cell phones and found they contained sexually suggestive photographs of juvenile female students. The officials informed the county district attorney, George Skumanick, Jr. (defendant), that the boys had "sexted" the photographs to each other. Skumanick warned the students' parents that the boys would be charged with child pornography and the girls would be charged as accomplices unless the parents and students agreed to an "informal adjustment" consisting of a year's pre-judgment probation and mandatory counseling. Most of the parents and students accepted Skumanick's terms but three girls and Mary Jo Miller and other parents (plaintiffs) did not. Miller and the other plaintiffs filed a civil suit against Skumanick in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, seeking to enjoin him from bringing charges against the girls, and they asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order. Miller said that accepting the informal adjustment amounted to pleading guilty in juvenile court. She contended that the girls could not be guilty of being accomplices to child pornography because none of the photographs depicted prohibited sexual acts, and because the girls had neither sexted nor otherwise disseminated the photographs to the boys.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Munley, J.)

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