Fake Libel Court Order Used In (Failed) Attempt To Vanish Sexual Battery Conviction

from the nonsexual-fanatasies dept

People who do not have a legal reason to have content delisted are still trying to trick Google into compliance with various illegal actions. So far, we’ve seen bogus lawsuits filed by fake plaintiffs against fake defendants, slid by inattentive judges to secure takedown orders. We’ve seen people trying to limit negative search engine results by forging judge’s signatures on fake orders. We’ve seen people assemble fake news sites to post copies of negative content solely for the purpose of targeting the original posts with fraudulent takedown orders.

Eugene Volokh has dug up another interesting libel takedown order, supposedly issued by a Michigan federal court. It awards the plaintiff, Abraham Motamedi, $5,720 in legal fees and the delisting of sex offender registry-related URLs (only one of which isn’t a top-level domain). From the order [PDF]:

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED: that to prevent further or future harm to Plaintiff’s reputation in the community and protect his employment from the dangers of labeling him as a “sex offender”, Plaintiff is awarded a permanent injunction against Defendants … compelling these Defendants to immediately remove any and all sex offender postings of Plaintiff caused by these Defendants, including but not limited to the sex offender postings presently on the following websites:

The plaintiff also is granted a permanent injunction against further posts linking him to sexual offenses.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED: that to prevent further or future harm to Plaintiff’s reputation in the community and protect his employment from the dangers of labeling him as a “sex offender”, Plaintiff is awarded a permanent injunction against Defendants CHARLES RODERICK II, a/k/a Chuck Roderick, an individual, WEB EXPRESS, L.L.C., d/b/a “Online Detective”, an Arizona limited liability company; and, ONLINEDETECTIVE.COM, L.L.C., an Arizona Limited Liability Company compelling these Defendants to refrain from ever posting any similar sex offender posting concerning 5 Plaintiff or otherwise posting defamatory statements concerning Plaintiff on the internet.

Volokh says this was submitted to Google, despite the order naming only the sites listed above. The order doesn’t discuss Section 230 once, even though it skips a set of intermediaries in its haste to get to the delisting. But that’s really no surprise, considering no judge ever saw a complaint, much less signed their name to this judgment.

There is no Motamedi v. Oesterblad in the Eastern District of Michigan. The case number 2:13-cv-14541 (the number listed in the order) in that district corresponds to a completely different order. There is no Daniel Ro. Markus, the lawyer who, according to the order, was responsible for the case. The order submitted to Google was a forgery, like the ones discussed here (Lichterman and Aukerman), here (Arnstein), and here (Haas).

Nevertheless, Abraham Motamedi insists it’s a real court order. Volokh spoke to Motamedi, who claimed the order was legit (despite the case being nonexistent). This isn’t necessarily an indication Motamedi crafted the completely-fake court order. It could mean some shady reputation management company did it on his behalf. But considering Motamedi never expressed any hesitance about his assertions, it’s safe to assume he’s well aware this isn’t legitimate.

Additional weirdness: the criminal conviction Motamedi is trying to make vanish was handed down in Idaho and he now apparently lives in Nevada. Where Michigan factors into all of this is a mystery, although I suppose completely fake court documents don’t have to adhere to any sort of jurisdictional limits.

As more evidence of forged/fake court documents is uncovered, it’s crucial that that intermediaries pay close attention to any supposed court order they receive. Failing to give these documents additional scrutiny will only encourage further abuse.

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Comments on “Fake Libel Court Order Used In (Failed) Attempt To Vanish Sexual Battery Conviction”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hacking primary court records

yeah, but submitting phony court orders to “intermediaries” like Google is a trivial aspect of the larger problem.

“Primary” court records at federal/state/local government computer systems are highly vulnerable to hacking.

It’s a Gold Mine for hackers to sell services … erasing court convictions, tampering with case procedures/evidence/testimony, framing innocent people, etc.

Changing court records “at the source” would have prevented lawyers like Volokh from easily detecting legal mischief.

All sorts of important government databases have been successfully hacked… and court records are more vulnerable because many are publicly accessible on internet.

Everybody worries about vote/election hacking these days– but court records are sa much bigger vulnerability.

Daydream says:

What's the appropriate response here?

I’m not sure how to feel about this story; do I point and laugh at someone trying to get away with a fake court order, or sympathize on the basis of how much trouble a sex-offender conviction can cause for someone, or start on the conspiracy theorizing about court cases disappearing and numbers being reassigned, or what?

Come on people, throw me a bone here.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: What's the appropriate response here?

He is on the sex offender registry.
We don’t know why, but the fact remains he’s there.
(a quick google peek – SEX BATT MINOR AGE 16/17) while he was in his 30s.)

The fake court order is going to screw him over even more than being on the registry.

Had he been an alley peeer on the list, I could have some sympathy but he could have appealed to the courts rather than invent a fake case.

He is going to be in a lot of trouble in several states at the Federal Level, so I think his Sex Offender Status is the least of his worries. He’ll have to fake a whole new court order to hide the coverage of this attempt.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: What's the appropriate response here?

“The fake court order is going to screw him over even more than being on the registry.”

Is it? I’m not an attorney, but if anyone can tell me if a law was broken here, I would be interested. Lying to Google is not an offense of any kind. The document was not filed with any court. Google is not a party to a suit here, so this is not an affidavit.

Does anyone know if this is, in fact, illegal?

JustMe (profile) says:

Re: As usual, Cushing gets it wrong

I’d argue that Tim is using the colloquial rather than the technical term. Here’s the section from the article:

“sex offender registry-related URLs (only one of which isn’t a top-level domain)”

His point being that the goober requested delisting of all but one of the top-level URLs rather than any sub-pages that are associated with said goober. The result of which would be to delist the ensure sites, which would disappear all records from the index. There might be a couple of other ways he could have phrased it but this is succinct and it isn’t wrong. Maybe if he’d capitalized Top-Level Domain then I might agree but readability is important too so I’m with Cushing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Google’s so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ has removed some search results in Europe for this pleasant chap. But all the same ones as google dot com are still there in the first 3 or 4 pages.

But still google, sex offenders get put on registers for a reason. Surely there are some things the ‘right to be forgotten’ doesn’t cover?

Derek W Logue of OnceFallen.com (user link) says:

Offendex/ Online Detective et al.

The websites mentioned in the Abraham Motamedi “order” are all fake registries created by convicted criminals Chuck Rodrick and Brent Olsterblad (both previously convicted of fraud). These sites were created to scam registered citizens out of their money. They’re also running a scam concerning the use of “service animals.” They have been sued and lost multiple times in Arizona courts, in addition to being under investigation by the FBI. Yet, somehow these two jokers are still scamming people on the Internet, but I guess that’s okay to you folks because of their targets. Way to blame the victims, folks.

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