Verizon Steps In On Prenda Case; Says Brett Gibbs Never Informed Them Of Judge's Order Killing Subpoenas

from the oops dept

As the minutes tick off until the Prenda hearing today, yet another bit of news has dropped in relation to the case. Verizon has stepped in and filed a declaration stating that contrary to Brett Gibbs' own claims to the court, it does not appear Gibbs informed Verizon not to follow through and identify the people in the subpoena that had originally been sent.

To understand what happened here, the key aspect to many Prenda cases is getting the identity of people associated with IP addresses, often by getting a court to grant discovery, after which Prenda's lawyers send subpoenas to ISPs with a list of IP addresses. As has happened a few times, courts readily grant the request for expedited discovery (which is rarely denied in normal court cases), but upon learning of Prenda's overall practices, they then pull back that permission and (usually) order the lawyers to immediately inform the ISPs that the order has been withdrawn and not to comply with the subpoena. Here, the same thing happened, and Prenda's Brett Gibbs told the court that he informed ISPs that the order had been withdrawn.

Just a little while ago, however, Verizon stepped in to the case, with a declaration saying they never received any notice of the withdrawal, and had, instead, complied with the subpoena, believing it was valid.
On or about September 6, 2012, Verizon received subpoenas from plaintiff AF Holdings in AF Holdings v. John Doe, C.D. Cal. Case No. 12-cv-6669 and AF Holdings v. John Doe, C.D. Cal. Case No. 12--cv--6636. ...Verizon processed these subpoenas in the ordinary course.

Based on Verizon's records, it does not appear that Verizon received from AF Holdings or its counsel a copy of the Court's Order Vacating Prior Early Discovery Order and Order to Show Cause dated October 19, 2012, nor does it appear that Verizon received other form of notice that the subpoenas attached as Exhibits A and had been withdrawn or were invalid. If Verizon had received such notice, we would not have processed these subpoenas for AF Holdings.

I have reviewed a declaration filed by Brett Gibbs in this litigation, dated February 19, 2013, in which Mr. Gibbs states:
Following receipt of the October 19,2012 Orders, I caused the Court's October 19, 2012 Orders to be served on the registered agents for service of process of Verizon Online ensure that Verizon Online LLC had notice not to respond to the subpoenas that had already been served.
(Gibbs Decl. dated Feb. 19, 2013...) Again, based on Verizon's records, this statement appears to be wrong.

Verizon released the information responsive to AF Holdings' subpoenas in the cases identified above (case nos. 12-cv-6669 and 12-cv-6636) by fax to the Prenda law firm on November 7, 2012. If Verizon had received notice of the Court's Order dated October 19, 2012, we would not have released these records to Plaintiff.
Having Verizon come out and more or less directly state that Gibbs lied to the court isn't going to go over well when it appears that Judge Wright is already not happy with Gibbs or his buddies at Prenda...

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