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The legal beagles at AOL will need to alter their attack against some Florida computer technicians charged with delivering spam after a U.S. federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought against the alleged mass mailers.

Judge Claude Hilton who works out of the U.S. District Court in eastern Virginia last week tossed out AOL's case against the Florida techies, according to a report from Reuters. The judge decided that AOL could not pursue spammers in Florida from its home base in Virginia. This ruling has opened the way for AOL to either resubmit the lawsuit in Virginia with some added information or to pursue the supposed spam syndicate in Florida, AOL said.

December has been prime spam fighting season in Virginia with AOL receiving some help from the state's attorney general. Earlier this month. AG Jerry Kilgore filed criminal charges against two alleged spam kings based in North Carolina. Jeremy Jaynes was slapped with four felony counts of sending unsolicited bulk e-mail via servers in Virginia, and Richard Rutowski was charged as a conspirator.

Trying to follow a similar path, AOL had claimed that its case against the Florida spammers was valid in a Virginia court because the company does business in the state and the e-mails were directed to that locale.

AOL's CEO Jon Miller recently gave the President a pat on the back for signing new spam legislation aimed at putting the clamp on overly aggressive e-mailers. ®

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