Another Judge Figures Out What Prenda Is Up To, Reopens Closed Case, Demands Information On Settlements
from the well,-look-at-that dept
It would appear that yet another federal judge has taken an interest in what Prenda Law was up to for the past few years. Over in Minnesota, US Magistrate Judge Franklin Noel has reopened a case that Prenda had dismissed and ordered Prenda's local counsel, Michael Dugas, to supply an awful lot of information about the settlements they collected from people during the shakedown. The court points out:
In light of Mr.Cooper's letter and Judge Wright's order, it appears to the Court that the plaintiff has relied on forged documents in securing multiple court orders authorizing the discovery of information that, in turn, led to settlements in the above-captioned cases.
Because of that, it's reopening the case:
The Court agrees with the reasoning of Pino and concludes--based on its own interpretation of Rule 60(b)(3) and Rule 60(d)(3)--that it has jurisdiction to strike a plaintiff's notice of voluntary dismissal, reopen the case, and award appropriate relief when allegations of a possible fraud on the court come to its attention. This interpretation of Rule 60 is necessary to preserve the integrity the of judicial system.
All three elements of the Pino test are met here: (1) the plaintiff attached a fraudulent document to the complaint; (2) the Court relied upon that document in authorizing the discovery of internet subscriber information--information the plaintiff was not entitled to receive absent a court
order; and (3) after obtaining the discovery (which--at least as far as the Court is aware--is the only relief the plaintiff ever seeks in these cases), the plaintiff settled and voluntarily dismissed all of these cases.
Given that, the court has ordered Dugas to supply the details of everyone in the case who settled, including their contact info, their attorneys' contact info, the exact terms of the settlement agreements, "including to whom any money was paid and the manner of payment" while also saying that Dugas needs to supply all of those who settled (and their attorneys) with Judge Wright's order in California describing Prenda's scheme. Given the identifying info, this will be filed under seal, but Dugas has only five days to do so. Either way, it seems that more and more judges are aware of what happened, and they're even going back into old cases to explore...