The cases against individuals: How are they going?
AF Holdings has – and continues to – file cases against individuals (rather than joined defendants) in numerous states, including Tennessee, Michigan, Massachusetts, Virginia, Georgia, Minnesota, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
Depending on which state the suit was filed in, counsel for Plaintiff varies. There has been discussion about Prenda Law’s network of local counsel, and how it may be growing, on Twitter and various blogs. I am not stating as fact that these attorneys are in any way affiliated with Prenda Law or working in concert with Prenda, but this may be evidence that their network is indeed growing.
Here are some of the attorneys, and the states they’ve filed in.
Timothy V. Anderson – VA
Paul Duffy – IL
Michael Dugas – MN
Brett L. Gibbs – CA
Steven James Goodhue – AZ
Jacques Nazaire – GA
Joseph Perea – FL
Daniel G. Ruggiero – CT, MA, NJ, PA
Jonathan W. Tappan – MI
Sam Trenchi – TN
What’s going on with these cases involving individuals? How are they going? There are too many cases to track, but it’s worth looking at a few. Back in late June, Duffy filed four cases in Illinois Northern District Court, each against a single John Doe. Let’s take a look at each of those.
One such case is No. 1:12-cv-05080. The suit was filed 06/26/12, and the $350 filing fee was paid. Duffy was supposed to appear at two separate scheduled hearings, one to present a motion for discovery, and one for case management. Duffy failed to appear for both. He attempted to keep the case alive by requesting continuations (docket #10, docket #12), but the Judge didn’t seem too impressed and wasn’t willing to give Duffy another shot. Here are the Judge’s docket entries:
- MINUTE entry before Honorable Suzanne B. Conlon: Plaintiff did not appear in court for the motion hearing (docket #9.)
- MINUTE entry before Honorable Suzanne B. Conlon: Case called for status hearing twice. Counsel for plaintiff failed to appear. This case is dismissed for want of prosecution.
And the end of the case:
In another of Duffy’s cases, No. 1:12-cv-05081, leave for discovery prior to Rule 26(f) conference was granted by Judge Gettleman (docket #10.) The defendant, filing pro se, entered a Motion to Quash (docket #11), explaining that the family computer suffered a security breach. The motion was denied (docket #12). A status hearing is scheduled for 12/6/2012. It appears that this case is moving along.
The other two cases, 1:12-cv-05074 and 1:12-cv-05075, are moving along. For example, in the latter, Judge Chang granted early discovery on 10/17/12.
Let’s go back a bit further in time, to May. Duffy filed Case No. 1:12-cv-04222 in the same district in late May. Early discovery was granted in late June. Defendant moved to quash and moved to proceed under a pseudonym. Both motions were denied by Judge Darrah, however, Movant was granted leave to proceed anonymously, and Plaintiff was ordered to not reveal Movant’s information. (Documents that included the Movant’s information were ordered to be placed under seal, however, they’re still apparently available on PACER; I’ve placed an emergency call to the clerk.) Here is Judge Darrah’s order:
Of interest, the defendant made several arguments. The first claimed that her IP address was 10.0.0.2, not the IP address listed in the complaint. The judge didn’t buy the argument, citing Peter Hansmeier’s testimony. The defendant may have been correct that the computer’s IP was 10.0.0.2, but the router could not have been (10.0.0.2 is a non-routable address) and so Judge Darrah made the right call, perhaps without truly realizing the technical intricacies.
It will be interesting to watch these individual cases and see how far they’re litigated.
Edit: As SJD points out in comment below, and on her blog, in one such case, Plaintiff was ordered to deposit bond because AF Holdings is a foreign corporation.