P asked D to stop sending spam; D responded by sending more spam to P.
P tried to modify its software to keep spam out; D responded by changing their methodology (spoofing, etc.).
P claims that it has received threats from customers to discontinue their services because of the spam. Customers pay P in time increments, so the spam costs them money.
P also claims the emails place significant burdens on its equipment.
P seeks a preliminary injunction.
SDOH District Court grants injunction for P.
Can the sending of spam messages through a company's email system constitute trespass to chattels?
The sending of spam messages through a company's email system can constitute trespass to chattels.
The restatement 217(b) states that a trespass to chattel may be committed by intentionally intermeddling with the chattel of another. The comments state that electronic signals are tangible enough to physically intermeddle with equipment.
Trespass to chattel according to 218(b) includes the situation where the chattel is impaired as to its condition, quality, and value.
D's spam drained P's disk space and computing power. P's equipment has been diminished though it has not been damages.
There is additional harm to reputation and goodwill, which is definitely actionable, since many subscribers discontinued their service with P.