Manhattan Superior Court Justice Lottie Wilkins permanently enjoined MonsterHut from falsely representing that it had obtained permission to send e-mail to consumers. The company wasby New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in May. Spitzer lauded the ruling this week.
"New Yorkers are being overwhelmed with unsolicited commercial e-mail," he said in a release. "This decision is another victory in our continuing battle against online fraud and will help consumers maintain control of their e-mail in-boxes."
MonsterHut could not be reached for comment.
The suit charged that MonsterHut had sent more than more than 500 million commercial e-mails since March 2001, claiming that the recipients had opted in to receive them. More than 750,000 people asked to be removed from the e-mail lists.
The suit is the latest court case that has gone against spammers. In December, America Online was$7 million in damages in a suit against a junk e-mail company. And free-speech group Peacefire.org won $1,000 in a small-claims suit against a company that was accused of using deceptive information such as a forged return e-mail address or misleading subject line.
The court in the MonsterHut case also rejected MonsterHut's argument that it was not liable for the misrepresentation since it purchased the e-mail addresses from third parties that it believed had acquired the names through an opt-in process. A hearing will be held Feb. 11 to settle issues of civil penalties, damages and restitution to consumers.