How To File A Motion

Many of you have already figured this out, but I thought I might make it a little easier for the new John Does, as they are coming in fast and furious.  I will also add this information to the Motions page.

This is a Rough Guide

Please use these instructions as a guide and not the final rule for filing. Please note that each jurisdiction is a little different and they do have local rules that may be applicable. The good thing I have seen with many of the courts is that for Pro Se John Does, the courts tend to be more lenient on filing errors. Having said that, it still worth reviewing the local rules for each jurisdiction and abiding by them. For example, John Steele has previously been successful in getting Motions tossed in the IL courts just because the Doe did not file a “Notice of Presentment,” announcing that a Motion was going to be presented to the court. A well-crafted Motion goes a long way in showing the court you should be taken seriously.


One thing the court and the Troll is going to look at is your “Standing,” to file the Motion on the case. This essentially is “What gives you the right to file the Motion for the case.” For majority of the Does, this is as easy as “I’m one of Does in this case.” If you are not a Doe in one of these cases, the court is less likely to accept a Motion or Declaration without some good justification. I was fortunate enough to start filing my declarations in response to one Troll filing a declaration complaining about Does filing “Template Motions,” obtained from various Web sites and Blogs. As I run a Blog dedicated to fighting Copyright Trolls and providing Motion template/examples to Does, I had an “In.” It also helped that I was Doe in one of the earlier cases. The thing to remember is whatever the Troll states in the complaint, supporting documents, and other court filings are fair game. “Open a door for me and I will come in.”

Court Web Site

OK – after you determine what type of Motion/Declaration you are filing, go to the Web site for the court the case was filed in. Here is the one for Washington DC Court.  From the Web site you can find the local rules , court mailing address, as well as contact information. If all else fails, call the clerk of the court and ask them questions. These are public servants who get paid to assist. Please be courteous to the clerk – otherwise you will make it harder for the rest of us. Here is one example (cut/paste) from the DC local rules on the page length.

A memorandum of points and authorities in support of or in opposition to a motion shall not exceed 45 pages and a reply memorandum shall not exceed 25 pages, without prior approval of the court. Documents that fail to comply with this provision shall not be filed by the Clerk.

One Troll in AZ recently made this mistake and the judge stated he wouldn’t look at their declaration.

Certificate Of Service

I will not go into details on tailoring your Motion/Declaration, as that is very specific to each case and situation. For your Motion/Declaration, you will need to add a “Certificate of Service” (COS). For the Motion templates on my Blog, this is the final page. The COS is used to tell the court that you have sent a copy of the Motion/Declaration to the Troll and you are not trying to surprise them. The date on the COS is the date you mail out the Motion/Declaration.

Sign & Date

Sign and date the Motion/Declaration – either as John Doe, John Doe #/IP address, or Real Name (Yes some people Doe this – see me latest Declarations (#4 & #5)). I would also suggest listing an email address that cannot be associated to your real name or other emails accounts.

Number of Copies

Make the required number of copies – usually one for the Troll and one for the ISP. For my Declarations, I don’t send anything to an ISP – as they are not a player. For the ISP copy, make sure you write your IP address on the copy, as well as attach a memo telling the ISP that you filed a Motion to Quash, provide delivery confirmation number (Screenshot of delivery via USPS is also good), and not to release your personal information until the court rules on your Motion.

Destination & Return Addresses

Prepare three envelopes addressed to the Court, Troll, and ISP. The court address can be obtained via their Web site. Call the clerk of the court if unsure. The address of the Troll can be found at the end of the complaint they filed with the court. The address of the ISP (Legal Dept.) will be on the paperwork they sent you concerning the subpoena for subscriber information. Unless you want the Court and Troll to figure out who filed the Motion/Declaration, DON’T put your real name or address in the “Return Address” field – Make something up (mine is 711 Torpedo Way).

Post Marks

For mailing the Motion/Declaration, remember that there is going to be a post mark showing which post office handled it first (City/State). This may allow the troll to figure out who you are. They are able to geolocate all the IP addresses and see who lives near the mailing post office. If all the Does are from the same jurisdiction, it is less likely, but I would still mail it from a city other than your own. I use a remailing service so the Court and Troll will only see the post mark from another State. I make it clear in the Motion/Declaration that I’m doing this to avoid detection by the Trolls, as they have publicly stated they will & have gone after Does who file Motions. Follow the instruction provided by whatever remailing service you use. I prefer to manually stamp my envelopes verses pay with a credit/debit card. If you are going to mail them from your general location, I would still suggest doing it from somewhere a couple of cities away.


After mailing, it will take some time for delivery, review by the court, and scan/filing in PACER. Give it a little time, but don’t be afraid to call the clerk of the court and ask. Monitor the case in PACER and please post anything interesting.  Take a look at this cartoon.

Good luck.

DieTrollDie 🙂

“Some ships are designed to sink… others require our assistance.”

116 Responses to How To File A Motion

  1. ……click one of the above links, then click on the blue “HTML” hyperlink on the left hand side at the bottom of the hyperlink list. God bless.

  2. hokeymcdokey says:

    Lot of docs filed in my case but nothing much else. Hope it’s over soon.

  3. Angry Doe says:

    Comcast subscriber, have not heard a peep from Prenda on the phone or mail. I wonder if they did not comply after filing that last motion in DC before the case got transfered. By “that motion” I am refering to their objection to the supoena from Prenda, their ID of forum shopping and a request for seven more days to comply if the supoena stood on the record. That raises a procedural question. What happens to a motion in a case in one court when that court transfers the case but the motion is still “open” and being considered. Does it become moot? Does it get transfered to the new district for consideration even though it is directed to the wrong court? Anybody with legal experience in here?

  4. Verizon Doe says:

    just received case 2:12-cv-03622-DSF-JEM… could anyone confirm if they’re also in this group? This was filed at US District Court Central District of California… I moved from CA to SEC country about two months ago… am I still a resident of CA for this case?

  5. Joseph says:

    Where is everyone, I am one of the 1-351 in Tx. plainiff: West Coast Productions. Any new news???

  6. burnthetrolls says:

    “7. Until the Doe Defendants’ ISPs disclose the Defendants’ identities to Plaintiff, any motion that is filed by a putative Defendant that fails to identify the putative Defendants’ IP address or Doe number (as set forth on Exhibit A to the Motion) is hereby denied without prejudice.
    8. At this stage of the proceedings, the Court finds that joinder is proper. This finding is made without prejudice to the Defendants’ ability to dispute this finding after the disclosure of their identities.”

    From what I gather, this means I am going to have to identify my IP or Doe # on my MTQ and can not claim improper joinder against Fiore? Has anyone else had these in their subpoena?

  7. freedomofanything says:

    Well, the final verdict for the Millennium vs. Comcast case in D.C. is this :
    : Millennium’s motion to compel is denied, but……..
    the judge issued an order telling comcast not to release personally identifiable information, but to release just the city and state of residence of each subscriber.
    So, it seems to me, a layman with all of this, that PRENDA has to file a case with each DOE in his/her respective state??

    I’m confused and sad that this still isn’t over. Whaaaaat a nightmare!!!! I can’t believe what our legal system, not to mention our country is turning into. 😦

    • Thanks for the interesting info: I updated my old post with it. Yes, Wilkins’s order is not 100% perfect, but it is good anyway. Take it easy: nothing will happen to those who are equipped with knowledge. After some reading and talking these scumbags look like lilliputs with bullhorns: loud and scary at first, but small and harmless in the end of the day.

  8. anon says:

    Does anyone have any template on how to make a motion? I’m literally freaking out. No idea how to deal with this stuff! I’ve talked to some attorneys and it doesn’t seem like they’re much help…..

    • burnthetrolls says:

      Top of the page mate, there are two links: How To File a Motion and Motions and Orders. Use both of these to start on your MTQ. Also, don’t freak out, the more you read this website the more comfort you will find. Check out the Newbie / Noob section as well.

  9. MsDoe says:

    i have been looking through the motions templates and there seems to be alot of references to cases where does numbered 2-xx are severed and dismissed. does this change things for me if i file a motion being that im a doe# 1 ?? should i just delete those references and file or just not file at all and wait it out?

  10. ynot says:

    i have a template of the motion from a doe can i use it and just change the doe #, who can i file it with

  11. spoongiecaloon says:

    If I have a template used by someone else for the same case can i just change the doe #, and who can I get to file it?

  12. IndianaDOE says:

    My ISP send me a notice about Malibu Media requiring my info. In the attached subpoena, it doesnt indicate what I downloaded. They just state they require the ISP to provide info for 20 IP addresses. So if I file a motion, can I still say the 20 ip addresses didnt share whatever infringing documents, as a evidence for the judge to dismiss the case?

  13. AnotherDoeIguess says:

    I’ve been looking on the valuable information posted so far and really appreciate all the prior knowledge.

    A few questions on filing a motion to quash/vacate a subpoena on your own: (hopefully it will help others who want to DIY too)

    Is the motion to quash filed for one specific IP address involved in the case or filed not specifying the IP?

    The example letters out did not specify which IP addresses they were for. Would that be ok for the court? Would the court decision apply to all the IPs (if they consider the motion)?
    When send this motion to the ISP, the ISP will accept this without specific IP? Would ISP stop provideing info for all IPs? If not, do you fax the motion and the letter you originally received from the ISP back to ISP so they will just not provide info for one IP. What files do you fax to the ISP? Do you expect any response or confirmation from the ISP?

    On the motion itself, how to correctly “label” yourself?

    One example letter put name “possible John Doe” and email address on the top of 1st page of the motion, one didn’t. There’s also a signature place at the end. Do you need to phsically sign or type “s/John doe” as one example?

    Thank you in advance

    • AnotherDoeIguess says:

      BTW, the later case already have city associated with the IP addresses, does it make more sense to make huge effort to find another place to mail stuff?

  14. doeboy says:

    should i still file for a motion if i’ve received my extortion letter from prenda (hard drive productions, inc. v. john does 1-1495—i:11-cv-01741-jdb)?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      They have your contact information. What will your MTQ/S/D request from the court? As you most likely don’t live in the DC area, the troll will have to open a new case against you in YOUR jurisdiction. Does he already have cases being run in your jurisdiction? If not, he would have to find someone low enough to do it for him. Last – can you stand the heat if they do open a single named case against you? If you can and have the means, please fight back and tell them to stick it. Otherwise ignore the Troll and know the Richard Pryor Response.

      DTD 🙂

      • SpanishDoe says:

        Makes no sense to file now since they have denied them all, and went back on their word of keeping them anonymous. If you got your letter like DTD says, they have your info. Maybe I should start looking out for mine. In a case of 1495 where they have already gotten 4 feedings. See #’s 34,43,44,46 in the case file. Also, where HDP has the Wong thing, and now the Seth Abrahams thing. We will see… Some one at FightCopyRightTrolls did a whois for the bulk of the IP’s and they are mostly New York and CA. New York has Ruggiero now and he has files a crap load of cases accross the NorthEast and California has had many from what it seems.

      • doeboy says:

        how do i find out if he already has cases run in my jurisdiction? what are the chances and what would happen if he did open a single named case against me? i do not think i have the means to fight back. my date to settle the claim expires in a few days and he duffy left me a voicemail this morning, but my father deleted it. should i respond? thanks for the help

  15. DoeInHeadlights says:

    So if you’re at the IP Stage only, would filing a motion to quash simply be not worth it because…

    1.) If you name yourself, they’ll go after you
    2.) If you don’t name yourself, they will throw the motion out

    This seems like a catch-22…

  16. Security Lawyer says:

    I applaud everyone’s efforts. Keep fighting. I am assisting a few people who have approached me about this. In one of the cases we were able to get the trolls to drop the suit. If you have questions feel free to ask.

    • Good tacher says:

      I think a house guest did download a movie but not for resale or profit. Can I contact company myself and negotiate a settlement? I don’t feel he owes $2,000 for watching then deleting a movie. Good teacher

  17. john doe says:

    How is the courts in NJ ? What would it take to take down the motion out even on IP stage? Has anyone tried to use the date/time information on the subpoenaa to question the presence where the modem is located?

  18. skered says:

    I have received a lawsuit from them on 11/07/12 Openmind v. John Doe (my IP address) Tim Anderson filed it in Western District VA court. I have been stressed out for a year now since Prenda first sent their extortion letters, thankfully I had no cell phone # for them to harass me at. So now I have this case pending and a deputy clerk signed it. What should I do?

  19. Jim Parcel says:

    Well, basically three options. Ignore, although not recommended since it may not go away, and if you read one of the blogs on this site one person did end up with a judgment against him, although the circumstances there were different; hire an attorney, and maybe even attempt a class action; or, try the do it yourself method utilizing all the resources you can find on this site and others. Without knowing more about the specifics that is the best general guidance. Now, as always, this is not legal advice, and an attorney should not be providing any unless you have hired him or her. Also, check out EFF website. Here is a link:

  20. hokeymcdokey says:

    My case 4:11-cv-04501 has finally ended. Cashman emailed me the other day. I have spent the intervening time trying to find the place where I first started posting (and it’s here) 😉 . I believe I received my letter from my ISP in March of this year and the case just now ended without prejudice. 9 months it took. Without Prejudice means they may name you in another suit in your area, and Cashmen sent me a link for a place where they list all new cases filed. It’s called RFC Express . I haven’t yet figured out how to search but I will.

    Personally, I think I’m done. With all the trouble Prenda has been having lately, I doubt if they have time to file. Of the 900 or so Does, I was about 125th or so.

    Couple of other people (Figuring it out, djpattiecake and Stalfos) are on this same case so theirs of over also with the same stipulations.

  21. Figuring it out. says:

    That’s great news. Wasn’t this case the second time they filed with all these does? So doesn’t that mean that its two strikes already?

  22. hokeymcdokey says:

    I don’t know about others, but this is my first time…..and last, I hope.

  23. joker says:

    Can I simply copy another Does MTQ that was filed by an attorney and replace the Doe number with mine and remove references to that Does counsel? I’d hate to get in trouble for copying something I’m not supposed to after all…

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Yes, but PLEASE do more than a simple copy. Take the time to make it YOUR motion. Explain your situation to the court, as well as the tactics the Troll using. The court documents (motions) are part of the public domain, so you are free to use them in your efforts. Hell, John Steel and his Bozo crew copied Marc Randazzas work concerning negligence claims – didn’t work.

      DTD 🙂

      • joker says:

        I’m well on my way to having my MTQ drafted but I have a couple questions :

        In my Certificate of Service section, is it acceptable to state that I have mailed a copy of the document to the plaintiffs attorneys rather than distributing it electronically through the courts electronic notification service?

        What about the section titled “Compliance with local rule 7.1” ? The ones I’m reading are from does counsel who attempted to confer with plaintiffs counsel. Obviously I’m not going to contact their attorneys. Is this required?


      • DieTrollDie says:

        Yes, send a copy to the address they use on all the previous documents they filed. Example I only know of one Doe who is allowed to file electronically – David Harris in AZ. As far as local rules, go to YOUR court Web site and look up what the local rules are. It varies from court to court. If you can’t find the local rules, call the clerk of the court and talk to him/her – Most are very helpful. I don’t think that such a rule would apply at this point.

        DTD 🙂

  24. joker says:

    Is there more than one John Steele? I see that name listed as one of the trolls however I also see John Steele listed as a judge on some of the cases?

  25. John Doe says:

    I’m having a ton of trouble getting the court to accept my motion D.D.C.. First tried filing as an unnumbered John Doe, then as a numbered Doe and the judge keeps denying Leave to File… Any tips. Is having an attorney file for me my only hope?

  26. What? says:

    Got a letter. concerning LW Systems LLC vs Christopher Hubbard
    I ignored it, thought it was a scam because:
    -IP address was wrong
    -I have accountability software on my computers that won’t allow these types of things to happen
    -I took my computer in to be searched and no such software or adult movie on my computer
    BUT my wifi code is known by several people.
    I’m taking it more serious because I just got a phone call. What should I do?

    • Doe says:

      How your case going?
      I just received letter today to let me know about my case.
      Can you let me know what will happen after that? Do the judge calling you to the court or you just ignore it?
      Pls let me know. I cannot sleep tonight

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