Judge Dismisses E-Mail Lawsuit Against Elizabeth Dole Campaign

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:29 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Rowan County, N.C. Magistrate Court Judge Fred Moore Monday dismissed a small claims court case filed by Durham computer consultant Ken Pugh against the Elizabeth Dole for Senate campaign.

A court spokesperson told CNSNews.com, "the case was dismissed with prejudice," by Moore. This means the case has been dismissed and cannot be brought back before the small claims court.

However, Moore, according to his spokesperson, believes Pugh will probably appeal Monday's ruling.

Pugh filed suit against Dole's campaign last summer after receiving eight unsolicited e-mails from the campaign. Pugh based his complaint on a relatively new North Carolina law, which allows people to "collect $10 for each unsolicited commercial item [spam] they receive by-email."

"To me, spam is an aggravation and a waste of my time. I am getting more spam mail than regular mail by a far percentage. I am testing the viability of the law to see if it really works and if I can get my money back," Pugh told a Durham television station last month.

The Dole campaign sent Pugh a letter last August, indicating its e-mails were not commercial and therefore did not fall under the state's anti-spam law.

Dole defeated Democrat Erskine Bowles in the November election to succeed longtime Republican Jesse Helms. She will take office on Jan. 7.

Neither Dole's office nor Pugh returned phone calls Monday seeking further comment on this story.

Meanwhile, a message filtering service called "MessageLabs" has released a report, stating that "spam" will exceed legitimate e-mail traffic by July. The group believes e-mail threats, including viruses and spam, are increasing at an "alarming rate."

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