U.S.A. v. Andrew Auernheimer

Opinion Vacating Conviction for Improper Venue


Third Circuit vacates conviction of Arkansas man found guilty of conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and identity fraud by a New Jersey federal court. On appeal, Judge Michael A. Chagares, writing for a unanimous panel, held that venue in New Jersey was improper, for either crime charged: "A defendant who has been convicted 'in a distant, remote, or unfriendly forum solely at the prosecutor's whim' has had his substantial rights compromised."

The court further noted in dicta that the substantial contacts test for determining venue has not been formally adopted by the Third Circuit, but went on to say that even if the substantial contacts test applied, venue was improper in New Jersey for charges that defendant conspired to violate Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in furtherance of a violation of New Jersey's computer crime statute, and that he committed identity fraud in connection with a violation of CFAA. The government argued that venue was proper because of the effect the criminal conduct had in New Jersey, but they made no showing as to the other factors of the test, namely the site of defendant's acts, the elements and nature of the crime, and the suitability of each district for accurate factfinding.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Reference Info:Decision | Federal, 3rd Circuit, New Jersey | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Joseph Bahgat, Bahgat + Bahgat LLC — Hub City Law Group | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Bahgat + Bahgat LLC — Hub City Law Group on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.