The VanderMay Law Firm, on behalf of Elf-Man, LLC and Thompsons Film, LLC, is in the process of filing several amended complaints in U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington. These new complaints identify many individuals by name, list their city and state of residence, and make other allegations regarding specified acts of infringement.
The amended complaints are apparently dictated by many recent orders entered by the Courts which followed VanderMay’s initial Doe-only lawsuits and its related efforts to identify the Does based on subpoenas issued to their ISPs. This initial activity was consistent with a now-familiar pattern of ex parte discovery requests by film copyright owners in Bittorrent cases that were typically followed by demand letters seeking settlements in the range of $2,500-$10,000.
However, with regard to the VanderMay lawsuits in the Western District, Judge Robert Lasnik temporarily stayed the matters while considering the appropriateness of permitting the typical procedure to continue, as Troll Defense previously posted.
In a series of rulings issued in August of this year, Judge Lasnik allowed the lawsuits to continue, but set a time frame ranging from 60-90 days during which the VanderMay plaintiffs were required to identify, name and serve the still-anonymous Doe parties. Failure to name and serve a Doe be a specified date shall result in dismissal of that party from the action.
The unfortunate named parties may have had their reasons for not resolving the matters earlier, but it now appears that the Court’s orders have forced the hand of the VanderMay plaintiffs. Failure to timely answer the amended complaint after service of process can mean that a named individual can be subject to a default judgment in an amount claimed by the plaintiff, without further notice or hearing. Troll Defense recommends that these individuals contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.
The cases where amended complaints naming individuals have or shortly will be filed are as follows (with original titles):
Elf-Man, LLC v. Does 1-152, No. 2:13-cv-00507-RSL (W.D. Wash.)(copy of amended complaint here)
The Thompsons Film, LLC v. Does 1-194, No. 2:13-cv-00560-RSL (W.D. Wash.)
|Elf-Man, LLC v. Does 1-29, No. 2:13-cv-00115 (E.D. Wash.)The Thompsons Film, LLC v. Does 1-35, No. 2:13-cv-00126 (E.D. Wash.)