Third Circuit Says Google Isn’t State Actor–Jayne v. Google Founders

By Eric Goldman

Jayne v. Google Internet Search Engine Founders, No. 07-4083 (3rd Cir. Feb. 7, 2008)

You may recall Jayne v. Google Founders, one of several wacky pro se lawsuits filed against Google last summer. When I first saw the lawsuit, I laughed out loud because the complaint was handwritten in a rather unpolished script and filled with some pretty crazy allegations about the availability of Jayne’s social security number–in scrambled format–via Google. The complaint didn’t get very far, as the district court dismissed the complaint sua sponte.

Jayne appealed to the Third Circuit, which dismissed his complaint in a terse 267 word per curiam opinion. The key line: “Google and its founders are not state actors, and Jayne‚Äôs allegation concerning his coded social security number does not constitute a violation of the Constitution or federal law.”

This isn’t the first time that Google has been declared not to be a state actor. See the district court KinderStart opinion. But it’s nice for Google to have a Third Circuit ruing validating it.

HT: Tom O’Toole