Prenda Law Tries To Dismiss Case After Being Accused Of Directly Violating Judge's Orders

from the these-guys-again? dept

We've been covering a number of stories about copyright trolling law firm Prenda Law lately, and each time, we're somewhat amazed at their really brazen attempts to abuse the court process to basically get information which they can then use to pressure people into paying Prenda not to be sued over copyright infringement. Some of the more amazing cases we've highlighted include the one in Florida where the judge accused Prenda of fraud on the court after a court hearing that was worthy of a comedic movie. And then there's the ongoing questions about the mysterious Alan Cooper who may or may not be Prenda founder, John Steele's, housekeeper, rather than an actual executive running a firm that Prenda is representing. Oh, and let's not forget Prenda's big bag of tricks in another set of cases. Basically, every time Prenda Law / John Steele pop up, it's not long before serious questions follow.

So... here we go again. The site DieTrollDie has the story of a Prenda case in Colorado against one William Cisa and "1385 "joint tortfeasors." Basically, Prenda is trying to get information on 1,386 people... from whom they will then demand settlements. Unfortunately, the judge in that case initially allowed "discovery" to go forward, allowing Prenda to get some info on all of those people. Eventually, the magistrate judge realized that something sketchy was going on and reversed the order on discovery and killed the outstanding subpoenas to ISPs for info. The magistrate judge, Kathleen Tafoya, also made it clear to Prenda not to contact anyone whose info it had received:
Insofar as any personal identifying information of the non-party “joint tortfeasors” has already been provided to Plaintiff from the “joint tortfeasors’” ISPs, Plaintiff is prohibited from further communicating with these subscribers.
Sounds good... except that the anonymous person behind DieTrollDie noticed that a lawyer hired by Prenda, Timothy Anderson, had been filing lawsuits for Prenda in Virginia -- including some against the people associated with the IP addresses uncovered in the Cisa case. And, remember, the CO court made it clear that Prenda is prohibited from communicating with those people... and yet it's filing lawsuits.

The person behind DTD sent an email to the court alerting it to this likely violation of Judge Tafoya's order... and soon after that Anderson sought to dismiss the Cisa case entirely, without bothering to respond to the claims of violating the order. Whether or not the judge decides to do something about this, I imagine that the judges in the cases in Virginia may be informed about the background here...




Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Off-topic question

    Isn't Alan Cooper the caretaker for one of John Steele's properties, not his housekeeper? Housekeeper means "maid" to me, but this could just be me showing my ignorance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Off-topic question

    hair splittey.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Off-topic question

    hair splittey.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Off-topic question

    but yeah, i believe care taker was originally used.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    You just knew that Prenda Law were going to ignore the magistrates judges order and take action against the people that they have now been notified off. Prenda Law obviously have no respect for the due process of law in filing for action against these notified people in another state just to continue with their extortion of getting money from people. Prenda Law obviously thinks that by taking action in several states that these judges are not going to find out about the going ons of cases in the other states. Now their underhandedness is catching up with them maybe some judge will slap them all down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 4:11pm

    "these-guys-again?"

    When you wrote that, should have stopped and put it aside. But if legalistic weenie-ing is all you've got, you load up your briefs.




    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    All the news you saw last week on other sites, re-written to cherry pick points that fit Mike's agenda.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 4:12pm

    Ah Prenda 'Law', and their valiant attempt to single-handedly save the corn farming industry of the world...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Off-topic question

    How dare you call my question "hair splittey!"

    (the original title of my question was "I am a pedant")

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    88 Year Old Defender, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 5:05pm

    Prenda, the Law Bender

    Has anyone contacted Timothy Anderson to ask if he still represents Sunlust? It would seem like a reasonable question to ask.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 5:42pm

    I read this as "Pretenda Law"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 6:01pm

    Re: "these-guys-again?"

    That's rich coming from a legalistic weenie.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 6:07pm

    These guys just don't understand/get the internet or pacer for that matter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 6:22pm

    The person behind DTD is infact... *GASP* DTD.
    *waves at DieTrollDie*
    Much like the person behind FCT is infact... *GASP* SJD.
    *waves at Sophisticated Jane Doe*
    All the cool nyms are known by 3 letters... like me, TAC.

    Anyways, this get much funnier when you read this...
    http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2013/01/01/where-are-you-going-mark-why-now/

    Mr. Lutz is having a fire sale of possessions before he leaves the country. Now would be a good time for some angry Judges to make sure that defendants and witnesses aren't fleeing the jurisdiction.
    I mean we do demand extradition of copyright law breakers, I wonder if that applies to those on the other side too...
    LOTS of Money in a foriegn tax haven... seems like a good reason to flee before the house of cards falls.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 6:28pm

    Re: "these-guys-again?"

    Is out_of_the_blue really Alan Cooper?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 7:05pm

    Contempt

    What's the maximum possible sentence for contempt of court?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 7:56pm

    Re: Contempt

    not nearly enough.
    Who knows if someone actually looked into the business practices there might be a nice long list of felony charges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 7:58pm

    Re:

    *dies a little more inside for not having patented the phrase*
    It might have something to do with it being commonly called Pretenda Law now, a phrase made popular in the circle of those who follow copyright trolling cases.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 7:59pm

    Re:

    This is nothing, there is more entertainment in filing essentially the same suit in multiple jurisdictions hoping you can find a Judge not onto the scam, who will sign off and let you get names to extort cash from.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 8:01pm

    Re:

    "single-handedly save the corn huskers lotion industry of the world"

    FTFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    DieTrollDie (profile), Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 8:30pm

    Prenda Law & Sunlust

    Thanks for the story post. Copyrightclerk has noted that Prenda has recently dismissed at least 34 Sunlust case. Most of these dismissals are likely to have come from the CO Cisa case. http://copyrightclerk.com/2012/12/31/sunlust-pictures-llc-dismissed-34-suits-in-december/ I know there is one additional case from one of Prenda's key attorneys that was part of the Cisa case. I wish the CO judge would do something, but it appears the court may just allow them to run and hide.

    DTD :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 8:34pm

    Re: question

    If they are muti-state and muti-corporational would not R.I.C.O. work, as well as ethics violations?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 2:20am

    Re: Contempt

    not much, but fraud? That can take you places.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 2:28am

    Re:

    I substitute it in each time I read it in an article.
    It makes each one just that little bit more hilarious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 3:02am

    It is a wonder how Mr. Steele is not yet in jail.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:53am

    Re: Contempt

    It depends.
    Is this being heard in high court or low court?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 5:41am

    Re: Re: Contempt

    Mr. Steele and Co. are low court.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 7:10am

    Re: "these-guys-again?"

    Mr out_of_the_blue:

    Why are you against a purported copyright plaintiff doing its litigation business out in the open, in the sunlight, in front of God and everyone instead of hiding and running to the darkness like cockroaches?

    Why shouldn't plaintiffs be required to initiate separate individual cases against each defendant and then begin discovery?

    If this is nothing more than an extortion shakedown (which it in fact is) then why shouldn't that fact be made plain for all, including the court, to see, and the extortionists be held responsible for their fraud upon the court?

    If this is a legitimate copyright action, then there is a legal process the rightsholders can follow. Sue unidentified defendant. Begin discovery. Discover identity of defendant. Properly serve defendant so they can prepare their defense. Continue litigation. Repeat process for each individual defendant. Is that so hard? It's the way it is done. It's been done that way for a long time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 7:11am

    Re:

    Be patient. He may yet end up in jail.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Shane Roach, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 7:34am

    Confusing Legal Issues

    This reminds me of a man I knew who used the LPMud engine. The creators of LPMud had a license attached to it that forbade commercial use, among other things, but then distributed it for free. Because this person was a lawyer, they simply ignored the license because they understood that it was basically unenforceable.

    Prenda ignores the judge because there are no teeth in the law regarding what they do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Contempt

    Sending out fraudulent demand letters is wire/mail fraud, if they can prove intent. (one count per notice!)

    Even though it would probably fail, i just want to see all these trolls be forced to plead incompetence to defend themselves.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Contempt

    He has millions hidden out of the country, expect high court.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 11:02am

    Re: Prenda Law & Sunlust

    ohai DTD!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: question

    Pretenda is a law firm based in IL.
    They "hire" local lawyers to file the cases in each jurisdiction.
    The shell companies they sham transferred the copyrights to are based in a tax haven where there are no corporate records kept and to try and find the correct parties involves having to hire local lawyers and put up $25,000 (IIRC).

    IL has no ethics violations, I recall the case of a lawyer who was disbarred 6 or 8 years into his prison sentence because they finally got around to dealing with it.

    Its copyright law, the odds of the DOJ actually doing anything to people "defending" copyright law are about nil.

    Many of the victims of this scam will NOT come forward because the media would attach their name to scandalous porn titles and focus on that, rather than the fact there was no evidence and they paid simply to protect their reputation. IIRC one of their clients is currently being investigated for soliciting underage girls to perform in their works, would you want your name related to CP in any way shape or form?

    Even if we "win" we are still going to lose, justice will not be served. Howell will still be on the bench favoring trolls over the law and forcing other Judges in her district to obey her demands.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 11:35am

    Re: Contempt

    I've heard that individuals can be held 'indefinitely' until they no longer show contempt of court.

    The example was a case where an individual was asked to provide information to access his accounts online, when he refused, he was held in contempt of court until he agreed to release the information.... which in theory could be indefinitely....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:37am

    Re:

    And Lutz is now hiding out in Mexico...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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