Within the same breath of learning that Copyright Enforcement Group’s (“CEG”) attorney Mike Meier will be taking over Terik Hashmi’s Northern District of Florida bittorrent cases, in a twist of comedic tragedy for plaintiff attorney Mike Meier, I learned that FIVE of his Southern District of New York cases have been joined together, and “additional cases [perhaps all of his other bittorrent cases] may also be “deemed related” and transferred [to this judge] in the near term.” (emphasis added).
In other words, riddle me this:
Question: “How do you kill many small bittorrent cases, when each case only has just a handful of defendants?”
Answer: You BUNCH THEM TOGETHER into one case and you kill them all at the same time.
The following cases (so far) have now been joined (and are now consolidated under Case No. 1:11-cv-09705 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York):
THIRD DEGREE FILMS, INC. v. DOES 1 – 217 (1:11-cv-07564-JGK, or “11 Civ. 7564”);
DIGITAL SIN, INC. v. DOES 1 – 179 (1:11-cv-08172, or “11 Civ. 8172”);
MEDIA PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-55 (1:11-cv-09550, or “11 Civ. 9550”);
THIRD DEGREE FILMS, INC. v. DOES 1 – 216 (1:11-cv-09618, or “11 Civ. 9618”);
ZERO TOLERANCE ENTERTAINMENT, INC. v. DOES 1 – 56 (1:11-cv-09703, or “11 Civ. 9703”)
In District Judge Katherine B. Forrest’s order, she states:
“it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall cease all discovery-related activity in the above-captioned cases until otherwise ordered by this Court.”
In other words, if your ISP has not yet handed out your information, I strongly suggest that you send them a copy of this order and stop them from handing out your information. If you are a defendant in this case, I would hold off until their next status conference before doing anything, which is scheduled for March 12th, 2012, 3pm.
Once again, other plaintiff attorneys should sit up and take notice.
As for Mike Meier, well, if his New York cases go bust, at least he now has Terik Hashmi’s cases to fight in Florida. At least they are merged together under Case No. 4:11-cv-00570 (FLND) and are under an order to show cause by March 9, 2012 why they should not be dismissed. With Mike Meier taking over Terik’s cases and a letter to the court throwing Terik under the bus, perhaps those Florida cases may survive.
In the meantime, it looks like Lady Justice has a sense of humor. Perhaps Mike’s cases got “infected” as soon as he agreed to take over Terik’s FL cases. At the very least, it’s poetic justice.[scribd id=84169343 key=key-1s0gdr6kbqn20a1vjy46 mode=list]
11 thoughts on “New York Judge consolidates and freezes SMALLER BITTORRENT CASES for plaintiff attorney.”
Almost as if this judge is watching these cases, maybe even reading these sites or has an aide reading them. Seems like an amazing coincidence that this happened to Meier immediately after he tried to take over Hashmi’s consolidated cases. I think this judge thought the FL judge was on to something!
Wouldn’t it be nice to think that we make a difference. 😉
I am afraid the Southern District of New York does not like anything that comes out of Mike Meier’s office. First this (note the dates) http://ia700804.us.archive.org/8/items/gov.uscourts.nysd.392041/gov.uscourts.nysd.392041.6.0.pdf and then this!http://ia600804.us.archive.org/8/items/gov.uscourts.nysd.392041/gov.uscourts.nysd.392041.9.0.pdf
The Southern District of New York seems to have a VERY intelligent and up to date judiciary. Too bad for the trolls, though.
Bad second link above, try this http://ia600804.us.archive.org/8/items/gov.uscourts.nysd.392041/gov.uscourts.nysd.392041.9.0.pdf
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It’s quite possible I’m confusing two different issues. Am I a “defendant” yet? Or not until they have my name? Is “quashing” the subpoena the same as issuing the court order to my ISP prohibiting the disclosure of my account information?
I’m pretty anxious to make the right decision here. Thanks for the wonderful resource that is this site. It’s been very encouraging and enlightening to gain the insight into this system.
Bob, you are not a “defendant” until they “name” you as a defendant in the case. Until then, you are implicated as being “a particular John Doe #.” I say implicated because if plaintiffs find out at some point that it was your next door neighbor and not you (no idea how they would figure this out, but I am just using this as an example), then they would substitute YOUR NEIGHBOR as being the John Doe AND when they “name” your neighbor, HE will be the defendant and not you. You would no longer be a part of this case. Silly semantics, eh?
On another note, this article is now DATED and new developments have mooted this one. In short, the article “UPDATE 3: More of Mike Meier bittorrent cases consolidated” changes the situation and the circumstances as more is revealed to us now about Mike Meier’s New York cases (which are now consolidated into a separate case).
To answer your question, Motions to Quash have been nothing but a DISASTER for putative defendants (this is what you are here) in these cases. Such a motion is technically the correct tool, but it has RARELY WORKED to the benefit of the John Doe Defendant filing it with the court. In short, in this article I was suggesting that each John Doe Defendant WRITE A LETTER OR SEND A FAX to their ISP — NOT file a motion to quash in the court. There’s a big difference here. I’m happy to be of further assistance if you have any other questions.
Thanks very much for the input, Rob.
I have read the further updates to this case. Do the changes in this case mean that copying my ISP this order would not hold as much weight as before?
Seeing as how they’ve told me they will provide the information unless they have a court order prohibiting it (as they are threatened with contempt of court if they do not comply), I did not have much hope of its deterring them in the first place.
Bob, obviously I am not your attorney and thus this should not be considered legal advice. [Actually none of this should be taken as legal advice, but I repeat it from time to time to emphasize that people should read this site to get educated on the topics, not to take matters into their own hands and be their own lawyers].
I have nothing wrong with you sending a copy of the judge’s 3/2 order (Document 8) to the ISP, but we have learned on 3/12 in the “UPDATE 3: More of Mike Meier bittorrent cases consolidated” article that the purpose of the consolidation was to level the playing field between the cases — not to dismiss them outright.
In other words, I no longer believe Judge Forrest will be imminently dismissing the case as I did when I suggested that users write their ISP and tell them to hold off sending out subscriber information because their case is about to go bust. My logic at the time was 1) suggest that ISPs withhold subscriber information based on current event, 2) watch case go bust on 3/12, 3) ask ISPs to not comply with subpoena request because the case for which it was authorized was dismissed (and thus subpoena is no longer valid). As you can see, this is no longer the plan.
Received a notice regarding being in one of these cases (filed 3/13, arrived yesterday) informing me that they were being consolidated. I wanted to know if the following was a standard form letter, or if I should respond…apologies for any typos, no scanner:
‘John Doe defendants shall have 30 days from the date of service of the letter upon him or her to file any motion with this Court contesting the subpoena (including motion to squash or modify the subpeoena) as well as any request to litigate anonymously. The ISPs shall not turn over the Doe Defendants’ identifying information to plaintiffs, if they have not already done so, before the expiration of this 30 day period”
Is this in any way indicitave the case will actually be going to trial? It seems like I should request to litigate anonymously, since that would essentially defeat the purpose of these trolls, since they would not be getting my personal info
“…any information ultimately disclosed to plaintiffs in response to a subpoena may be used by plaintiffs solely for the purpose of protecting their rights as set forth in the complaints brough in the individual actions.”
Is that a standard format, or is it indicitive that they cannot send out harassment letters looking for settlements?
Thank you for any help.
Sorry for the multiple posts. Checking on PACER it is showing the majority of these cases as “Disposition: Dismissed – Voluntarily”
Does that mean it would be dismissed for all Does?