The Auto Admit plaintiffs have finally named a defendant. Other than that, not much of note in this latest installment in the AutoAdmit saga. The plaintiffs claim complete diversity of citizenship with respect to the new named defendant (formerly identified only as “:D”). However, they don’t make any such statement with respect to all the other defendants. Given the flimsy copyright claim in this complaint, I presume that the plaintiffs are trying to manufacture diversity jurisdiction. However, given the statements in the complaint, it seems like there couldn’t possibly be complete diversity with respect to all plaintiffs and defendants.
At paragraph 7, the plaintiffs seem to be invoking the Calder v. Jones standard for personal jurisdiction. Some courts still follow Calder in the internet context. I look forward to seeing how the D.Conn handles it.
At paragraphs 44 and 59, the plaintiffs include some nasty, offensive, and mean language posted by the newly-named defendant. However, I fail to see what is legally actionable in those statements.
What I find shocking is that this complaint still names some defendants who could clearly prevail in a motion for judgment on the pleadings. “A horse walks into a bar” – to name one. I’ll wear a New York Yankees T-Shirt for 24 hours if anyone can put forth a non-frivolous argument to support keeping him in this action.
In other words, the long-awaited amended complaint is a big yawn. The only really interesting thing about it is how sloppy it is. Of course, the sloppiness pales in comparison to this.
For anyone who is curious, I have personally spoken to the University of Texas adjunct who happens to bear the name of the newly-outed defendant (Matthew C. Ryan). He IS NOT the person in question (“:D”). I would appreciate it if any readers would keep that in mind, and educate anyone who might hold this mistaken belief. I can confirm with 100% certainty that the guy in the complaint is neither an attorney nor a law professor.
I find the press coverage on this case to be terribly irresponsible. Listing a name like this without doing some basic fact-checking to figure out if they have the right man seems to be foolish (from a legal standpoint) and shameful (from an ethical standpoint).
So far, it seems that the only people who have been made to suffer from the inception of this complaint are “collateral damage” parties.
Where is Richmond, again? D’OH!
Another Update – in the little discovery skirmish going on in this case in the Western District of Virginia, we have the following lulz.
This matter is before the court on the motions to quash third party subpoena to AOL, LLC of non-party movants Anthony Ciolli, Jane Roe and John Roe. After reviewing the record in this case, the court is now concerned regarding the validity of the subpoena at issue and its jurisdiction to enforce said subpoena. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45(a)(2)(C) requires that a subpoena for production or inspection must issue from the court for the district where the production or inspection is to be made. In this case, the subpoena in the underlying case of Doe I and Doe II v. Individuals whose true names are unknown, et al., Civil Action No. 07:CV00909, filed in the District of Connecticut, was issued from the Western District of Virginia but was directed to AOL, LLC at its office in Richmond, Virginia and requires production at the Ikon location which is also in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond is in the Eastern District of Virginia, however, not the Western District. Therefore, it appears that the subpoena at issue in this matter may be invalid on its face as it was issued from the wrong court.
Before issuing a ruling on the motions to quash, however, the court invites the plaintiffs to submit a supplemental memorandum of law addressing the validity of the subpoena directed to AOL, LLC. Any such supplemental memorandum must be submitted to the court within ten (l0) days from the date of this Order. The non-party movants will then have seven (7) days from the date any such supplemental memorandum is filed in which to file a response.
I look forward to seeing that memo. How many times can one firm fumble the ball in a single case?