Prenda Wants Another Judge Who Ruled Against Them Disqualified Because He Gave A Speech

from the same-old-bag-of-tricks dept

One of the many (weak) tricks in the big ol’ Prenda “bag of tricks” is to accuse judges who rule against them of bias, and try to get them thrown off the case. It hasn’t worked so far, but the Prenda spirit seems to be to never, ever, ever give up trying the same old bogus crap. So here we are with Paul Hansmeier trying to get magistrate judge Franklin Noel disqualified from the case in Minnesota where he’s been a giant pain in the ass for Team Prenda, because he’s been digging into their actions to determine if a bunch of Minnesota lawsuits were actually fraud on the court. Noel’s been pretty careful and methodical, even as Team Prenda has done their usual tapdance. Remember, Judge Noel was the one who ordered them to show up in court with someone who could answer questions — and Prenda failed to produce Mark Lutz (who, as far as I can tell, is still missing).

So what was Noel’s big crime that should get him thrown off the case? Apparently it was giving a talk about copyright trolls and some of the details of Prenda to the Student Federal Bar Association at the University of Minnesota Law School (added bonus: Paul Hansmeier and John Steele are alumni of that school). They claim that the talk is a form of ex parte communication and shows that Judge Noel has “prejudged” them in part because the emailed description of the event mentioned Prenda’s “bad behavior.” Even as they admit that Noel probably didn’t write the email, they say it’s guilt by association.

They also claim that the emailed announcement contains details that Hansmeier insists were only filed under seal in the cases — suggesting that Judge Noel may have revealed that information:

The e-mail further discloses information about the settlement demands in this case. Yet, Plaintiff’s settlement demands were filed under seal by order of the district court. The e-mail’s author appears to be in possession of non-public sealed information, which a reasonable person might conclude was furnished by the Magistrate Judge, even if it was not.

Of course, the information on settlement demands by Team Prenda can be found widely online. Hansmeier leaves that bit out, of course.

Hansmeier continues to flail wildly around, arguing that Judge Noel has clearly been reading blogs including those “created by individuals who have been caught infringing” because “many of his comments echoed criticisms” on those blogs. Of course, what Hansmeier leaves out is that those same criticisms have now been validated by multiple federal courts. It is not, in any way, out of turn for Judge Noel to make note of that. Later, Hansmeier argues that the cases have generated “notoriety” and uses the example that a letter he sent the judge “was the subject of an immediate feature story on several pirate websites.” As far as I know, we here at Techdirt were actually the first to write about that letter. I know Ars Technica picked up on our story and wrote one as well. Neither of our sites are “pirate blogs.” We’re both media organizations that cover a variety of issues. Earlier in his filing, Hansmeier argued that these pirate blogs were all set up by people who had been accused of infringement. That’s a blatantly false statement regarding us, and one hopes that Hansmeier will correct the record, though that seems unlikely.

Back to the issue at hand, it does seem a bit strange, and perhaps unwise, for a judge to give a talk about a case that is still ongoing. But whether or not it actually qualifies for being disqualified from the case seems like a stretch. But, it is the Prenda way: flail and flail and flail some more.

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Companies: af holdings, prenda, prenda law

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Comments on “Prenda Wants Another Judge Who Ruled Against Them Disqualified Because He Gave A Speech”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“Earlier in his filing, Hansmeier argued that these pirate blogs were all set up by people who had been accused of infringement.”

Mike, unless Hansmeier has some super-sekrit document that proves you’ve been named in a copyright infringment lawsuit, you need to sue him for defamation immediately. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on and he knows it.

horse with no name says:

Re: Re:

Alas, this isn’t something that plays well with the crowd here. Basically, a judge should never discuss a case that is in front of him, especially if he is leading some sort of judicial investigation into certain people involved.

Prenda are idiots, but this is one of those times when they appear actually to be in the right. Apparently too many people on Techdirt hate due process and stuff, they would rather have a nice biased judge ruling against defendants they don’t like.

(PS: I think Prenda are idiots, and I am certainly not a fan.. but I can’t help but say for once they are right here).

SpaceLifeForm says:

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson playbook

And who took over for him after he was removed from the case?
None other that Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.
And what happened under her watch?

On July 14, 2004, barely two months after President Bush was forced to end National Security Agency (NSA) domestic internet metadata collection by Attorney General John Ashcroft, Kollar-Kotelly issued a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court order allowing the NSA to resume unconstitutional[2] domestic internet metadata collection.[3]

Anonymous Coward says:

They tried this on Judge Wright. When all was said and done, Judge Wright was said to have been fair and not biased. I suspect at that time they had already peed in their food bowl.

Judge Wright had his get back with a second hearing on why the Prenda gang should not be held responsible for their little stage show. While we’ve not heard yet of the recommended RICO charges, nor from the IRS on tax evasion, last accounts I had heard, the fees for recompense to the defending lawyer had not yet been paid.

One would think when you get burned once, that going back to it again, is a really bad idea.

DB (profile) says:

Remember, you pretty much can’t sue for defamation over accusations or claims filed in a lawsuit.

In theory a filing that is really over-the-top could give rise to a defamation claim that would be allowed. The catch-22 is that a claim so wild wouldn’t be believable and therefore not credible defamation.

So if Hansmeier want to claim y’all are pirates, and bugger small scaly animals, and steal candy from babies, he can do it with impunity. Just as long as he makes the claim in court.

Tim R says:

Just saw this...

I know it’s bare tangentially related to this, but I just noticed a detail related to the Lightspeed v. Smith case before the Hon. G. Patrick Murphy in Minnesota that I hadn’t seen before. It’s a story about how, earlier this year, one of the process servers employed by Steele (, a probation officer named James Fogerty, had been charged and plead not guilty to selling cocaine to a couple of Minnesota judges, one of whom died from it ( I’m sure there are those more creative than I that could devise a plethora of conspiracy theories involving this, but it’s just far too early in the morning for me. More than anything, I think it speaks to the kinds of people that Steele et al. like to surround themselves with.

Anonymous Coward says:

I have a new strategy for Prenda!….
(cue cheers from popcorn companies across the globe)

– Step 1 –
Accuse a judge in a case (plenty to choose from!) of being a paedophile / serial killer / bank robber / flasher but do it OUTSIDE THE COURT
– Step 2 –
If the judge complains, accuse them of being biased and ask them to be recused.
If the judge DOESN’T complain……accuse them of being SECRETLY biased and ask for them to be recused……

Anonymous Coward says:

Has anyone ever looked into how many websites the prenda group has set up?

While reading the Memo by Paul Hansmeier I saw a “new website address” CLASSJUSTICE.ORG.

After looking at the website for a minute I saw a familiar outline used by disabled people to extort small busineses.

Hopefully these jerks don?t get into the ADA accessible shakedown scam.

A quick whois:
Domain ID:D166316312-LROR
Created On:10-Aug-2012 22:27:51 UTC
Last Updated On:10-Sep-2013 02:17:51 UTC
Expiration Date:10-Aug-2014 22:27:51 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:eNom, Inc. (R39-LROR)
Registrant ID:35ff13faf327508b
Registrant Name:Paul Hansmeier
Registrant Street1:123 Justice Lane
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Minneapolis
Registrant State/Province:MN
Registrant Postal Code:55401
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.6513991583
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:

Maurice Ross (profile) says:

Motion For Disqualification

Actually, the Prenda motion to disqualify has substantial merit. In New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals from the Second Circuit recently disqualified Judge Scheindlin from the famous “stop and frisk” case in substantial part because she made comments to the news media and spoke publicly about that ongoing case. Actually, Judge Scheindlin did not discuss the case, but merely responded to false accusations made against her by New York officials, but this was enough to warrant her removal. Judge Noel’s participation in a copyright troll seminar is a far more egregious ethical violation than anything Judge Scheindlin is alleged to have done, and yet she was removed from the case.

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