Federal judge allows Missouri Backpage investigation

November 29, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by Backpage.com that was aimed at blocking Missouri Attorney General’s Office from investigating it.

Attorney General Josh Hawley on Wednesday praised the decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Cohen.

Hawley’s office in May had demanded documents and other information from Backpage to investigate whether the company violated the state’s consumer-protection laws.

Backpage sued Hawley’s office in response, saying it doesn’t have control over sex-related ads posted on the website and has immunity from potential lawsuits over such ads.

But Cohen in her order wrote that more information is needed to weigh those legal questions, and those concerns shouldn’t stop Hawley’s investigation.

A Backpage.com attorney didn’t immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment Wednesday.

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