Congratulations to the newest group of clients who have been dismissed in the West Coast Productions v. Does 1-5829 case (1:11-cv-00057-CKK) in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
NOT ALL DEFENDANTS HAVE BEEN DISMISSED. THE CASE IS STILL ALIVE.
As we previously discussed, Judge Kollar-Kotelly set a 6/20 deadline where plaintiff attorneys were ordered to either name and serve defendants identified in their 6/1 statement or else she would dismiss them on her own just as she did previously. In short, the judge is pressuring the dismissal of unnamed John Doe defendants through the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(m), which gives the plaintiff attorneys 120 days to amend their complaint and name the defendants, or else they must dismiss them from the case. In the past, where judges have blindly granted extensions to this rule (which are to be granted freely according to the rules), there is a slight trend beginning to form where judges are using this same Rule 4(m) to force the plaintiff attorneys to “name or dismiss” John Doe Defendants.
Similar to a criminal who releases hostages in order to improve their bargaining power and good faith with the authorities, on the SAME DAY the plaintiff attorneys at Dunlap Grubb & Weaver dismissed these hundreds of defendants, they asked for yet another extension of time to name and serve defendants. Until Judge Kollar-Kotelly grants this, her 5/11 Order (Doc. #72) requiring all remaining defendants be named and served or dismissed by June 30th still stands.
The interesting side note here is that while in the past neither they nor the courts have acknowledged that they were suing people for the purpose of soliciting settlement agreements to the tune of thousands of dollars from each defendant, in their extension request, the plaintiff attorneys casually mentioned that they needed the extension to attempt to send letters to the defendants with the intention of having them settle their cases. This appears to be the first admission where they admit to the court that they are soliciting settlements, whereas in the past, both the plaintiffs and the judges have been turning a blind eye to the fact that this is happening.
The dismissal letter can be found below. I congratulate all the defendants who have been dismissed, and I look forward to see what happens on June 30th.
As a follow-up to our previous post, there has been a minor development in the Maverick Entertainment Group v. Does case (Case No. 1:10-cv-00569 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia). In short, the plaintiff attorneys have dismissed 44 defendants.
It appears that all of the dismissals were Verizon customers. Just as with the Call of the Wild dismissals, it appears as if the dismissal was a gesture on the part of the plaintiff attorneys to convince Judge Howell to allow the case to continue. It appears as if she has been moved by their act, as she has granted their request to keep the case alive.
This should be of no surprise to our readers. See here for the list of dismissed IP addresses.
Congratulations to the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC defendants of the Call of the Wild Movie, LLC v. Does 1-331 (Case No. 1:10-cv-00455 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia) case, now severed and dismissed. This is not a complete dismissal, as 14 defendants still remain and the case remains alive.
The history surrounding this dismissal is that Judge Beryl Howell, a now known former copyright lobbyist has been putting pressure on the plaintiff attorneys that they should either name defendants who are within the court’s jurisdiction (e.g., living in the District of Columbia), or they should dismiss them. This dismissal submitted to the court yesterday appears to me to be a gesture of good faith which was submitted along with a motion to extend time to serve or dismiss the defendants still remaining in the case. My guess is that these defendants reside in the District of Columbia.
Consequently, as a result of this dismissal, the judge allowed the case as to the other defendants to continue, at the very least until August 15th, 2011. There is no doubt that Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver will attempt to elicit settlements from the remaining D.C. defendants now that the other defendants have been dismissed.
Congratulations to our clients and to all defendants in the “Future Blue, Inc. v. Does 1-300” case (1:10-cv-06256), dismissed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. See attached order below.
As you can see by the order, the case has been severed and dismissed because of improper joinder. The interesting caveat to keep an eye on, however, is Judge Conlon’s opening to Steele Hansmeier to file an amended complaint by July 11, 2011. While we have already notified our clients of the dismissal, we will continue to monitor this case to determine whether there is any residual activity that might bring this old dog back to life.
For now, it appears as if the “future” is not so “blue” after all…