The world of BitTorrent Copyright Troll law suits never seem to surprise me. A Doe recently asked me if a Dallas Buyers Club case had been dismissed/closed. I said I doubted it, as they were currently getting early discovery back from the ISPs and milking the settlements out of people. He then provided me a link to the following document in the archive docket of case #1:14-cv-02168, ILND, Dallas Buyers Club LLC v. Does 1-46. Doc_7_Notice_02168(IL)
The document is small and looks like it was done almost as a second thought. Upon closer inspections, it in clear that this document has the court doing two almost opposite things. If this had been done a day earlier, I would have assumed it was an April Fool’s joke.
- Dismissing Plaintiff’s Complaint – Pending an Amended Complaint – named Defendants need to be properly joined (Joinder Issue).
- Allows Early Discovery To Continue – The Troll will get the ISP subscriber information for the Does.
This docket entry was made by the Clerk on Wednesday, April 2, 2014:
MINUTE entry before the Honorable Ruben Castillo: After a careful review of this recently filed case, Plaintiff is authorized to proceed with expedited discovery and issue subpoena(s) to determine the identity of the appropriate individual defendants. In the meantime, the current Doe complaint will be dismissed without prejudice to the filing of an appropriate amended complaint which names individual defendants that can be properly joined together in one lawsuit. All third party subpoenas must be complied with even though the pending complaint is dismissed without prejudice. Mailed notice (rao, )
Now I had to reread this a couple of time to make sure I wasn’t losing it. REALLY…. Now why in the hell would the Judge Ruben Castillo do this? I will say that Judge Castillo is no newbie to BT Copyright Trolling. He is one reason why the Illinois Northern District is a Troll hot spot. Here is an early Steele|Hansmeier case he was involved in (filed on 29 Sep 2010) – archive docket.
Judge Castillo has essentially created an Pure Bill of Discovery action in IL (Background on what a Pure Bill of Discovery is – One & Two). The docket shows the case was closed on 2 Apr 14; but the last action is the appearance of a Doe’s attorney – Doc_9_02168(IL), indicating the Troll is getting the ISP subscriber information. I have heard that this is not a new action from Judge Castillo, but I don’t have the cases number to show this. If you have this information, please post or send me an email.
Now I have ZERO faith that Troll Hierl/Plaintiff is going to file an amended complaint that will actually name PROPERLY joined Defendants. It just isn’t going to happen. This notice from Judge Castillo will allow the Troll to obtain the ISP subscriber information and then they will start the settlement process – all WITHOUT a valid complaint.
If there is NO valid complaint, how can the public IP addresses listed in the complaint exhibit be part of early discovery??? Judge Castillo clearly states the complaint was dismissed for improper joinder (“the current Doe complaint will be dismissed without prejudice to the filing of an appropriate amended complaint which names individual defendants that can be properly joined together in one lawsuit.”).
Troll Hierl is loving this – it removes any time-table with having to move the case forward – in fact it shows it as closed. With the ISP subscriber information, the Troll can then refile a case at any time up to the 3-year Statute of limitations. Most of the these Does will not have a case re-opened on them, but they will be subject to the harassment of Troll Hierl. The only draw-back for Troll/Plaintiff is that over time, any evidence on the Doe’s computer is going to be at risk of being lost due to a variety of reasons – computer is stolen, destroyed in a fire, mechanical failure of the hard drive, etc. Not that it matters, as they do not want to pay for a forensic examination anyway.
Based on the date of the notice and the representation of Doe #19, I assume the settlement demand letters have reached the Does. For the Does – Please send me a copy of any demand letters you receive for this case or others like it. Also, please note that I have an “Answer” template for the Dallas Buyers Club case in the Defendant Answers Page – just in case.
Based on what I have seen so far from this Plaintiff, I do not expect any of these cases to go to a full trial. Some default judgments are expected, but Plaintiff will back down if a defendant is willing to fight. Remember this is done for Profit, not to prevent copyright infringement.
DieTrollDie 🙂 “The Defendants have liable Plaintiff under the disguise of such childish and unsophisticated pseudonyms as ‘die troll die.’” – a statement like that could cost you $11K!