This case is becoming a busy one, probably more than Prenda Law/John Steele would have wished for. It appears many of the non-party Does in this case don’t want the ISPs to release their personal information to the Trolls. Attorney John Herman has filed over 10 motions for these Does and the court took notice of it. On 30 Jan 13, Judge Gershwin Darin, issued an order in an attempt to manage the case effectively. Order_StopSubp_14442(MI)
…The Court granted the parties’ joint motion upon the representations made that granting the parties’ request would be “in the Court’s interest” and “lead to a just and speedy final resolution of this matter.” See Dkt. No. 10 at 2. Unfortunately, the intended result has not materialized, rather the Court has been bombarded with motions filed on behalf of the alleged participants seeking to quash the Rule 45 subpoenas, to intervene and/or for protective orders. See Dkt. Nos. 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 33, 39, 41, 45, and 46. On January 24, 2013, this Court set oral argument on twelve of these motions. See Dkt. No. 36. Since the Court noticed oral argument for these motions, four more motions to quash and/or to intervene have been filed.
The number of pending motions to quash and/or to intervene has rendered this matter unnecessarily time consuming for the Court, especially in light of the fact that eleven out of the sixteen pending motions were filed by the same attorney, John Hermann, and contain identical arguments…
The court then struck all Herman motions except for Document #12, and included these people with #12. He also instructed Mr. Herman that with any new clients with the same arguments, he should file a request to join to the existing motion.
The last part of the order is the really good.
The Court hereby advises Plaintiff’s counsel that he SHALL IMMEDIATELY notify the ISP providers of the pending motions to quash and that the ISP provider is prohibited from disclosing the subpoenaed information until the Court resolves the pending motions.
So this effectively put a hold on the release of the subscriber information for all 300 subscribers. I would personally recommend sending the ISP a copy of the order, as Prenda Law is bound to screw that up. I would also contact the court if you get called by Prenda Law prior to the court making a ruling on the motions.
Also of note is other attorneys, such as Eric Grimm have joined this case. Here is a motion and exhibit Mr. Grimm filed on behalf of two WOW subscribers and one Charter subscriber. Grimm_MotionInterV_14442(MI) EX2_Nguyen_Trans_14442(MI) Take a read of the motion and see that Mr. Grimm clearly informs the court of the true intent and purpose of the “agreement” between Plaintiff/Prenda Law and Mr. Ciccone.
Here, the subpoenas represent yet another questionable technique (in place of several other strategies that are failing in courts all over the country) to harvest non-party targets – to be called indiscriminately (innocent and putative infringer alike) and subjected to a so-called “enforcement” and litigation threat process resembling the practices of the consumer debt collection industry – that is calculated by an entity calling itself Prenda Law to be maximally extra-judicial and minimally court-supervised. Under these circumstances, the subpoenas ought to be quashed in their entirety as to all subscribers, and the moving subscribers respectfully so move.
Attached to the motion is a brief in support of the motion.
When Prenda Law is pursuing so-called “enforcement” activity, without judicial supervision, by cold-calling cable subscribers whose identities have been harvested, they have no real financial incentive to be careful in distinguishing innocent cable subscribers from actual downloaders, and every financial incentive to be careless and indiscriminate.
Moreover, Prenda Law and other lawyers engaging in what has come to be termed the “copyright troll” business, routinely propagate the myth that innocent subscribers can be sued for thousands of dollars for “negligence,” and therefore also ought to be shaken down for payment, whether or not they actually did any thing to violate the Copyright Act.