Washington

Active trolls
Attorneys who defend troll victims
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is there no troll activity in WA?

    I will be moving here shortly, but I got ISP letter recently and not sure if they can sue me in home state?

  2. Enoughtrolls says:

    I haven’t been able to figure out if a troll has moved in WA state. There has been what seems to be increased activity from Richard J. Symmes of Symmes Law Group. In the past month, he’s filed a bunch of cases in the Western Washington Court. The companies he represents don’t seem familiar to me. Here are some of the plaintiff’s

    R & D Film 1, LLC
    Riding Films,Inc
    Zembezia Film (Pty.) Ltd.
    The Ledge Distribution, LLC

    Any have any ideas what this guy is up to?

  3. Yes, it looks like the trolls have landed in Washington State. I’m starting to get a large number of calls from people right now for these cases, which all appear to have been filed by the same plaintiff’s lawyer.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is the best course of action. Friend receives notice from his ISP that they are order to give personal info to the Plaintiff. Any basis to quash the subpeona or does he simply what to be served and then answer to avoid a default?

  4. The best course of action will depend on your Friend’s particular circumstances. He should give one of us a call and talk about the best solution for him. Sometimes people don’t want their name in public filings; sometimes they don’t care. Some people want to fight the trolls on principal, other times they just want out. I don’t think there really is a one-size-fits-all answer to that question.

  5. SpazD says:

    I recently received a subpoena for my ISP to relinquish my information, the plaintiff being Zembezia Film by this Symmes troll. To make matters worse I don’t even remember watching the movie they claim I accessed, and I can’t find any evidence as such.

    The sad part to all of this is even though they likely have no evidence to stand on in court, it appears it would have cost me more money to attempt to fight back. So I’ve already settled through an attorney to keep my information private.

  6. SpazD: Your story is very familiar. I am getting a large number of calls from people who tell me that they have no idea why they are being named and they never even heard of the movie they are accused of downloading.

  7. Mike Matesky says:

    As with Mr. Whitaker, I am currently representing multiple clients who have received subpoena notices in cases filed by plaintiffs’ attorney Richard Symmes.

    The link to my name at the top doesn’t seem to work, but you can contact me via my (soon to be improved) website at http://www.mateskylaw.com.

    Good luck,
    Mike

    • SJD says:

      Thanks for noticing the broken link (common mistake: WordPress requires “http://” prefix, which I failed to add). Fixed.

  8. If you’ve been sued by a copyright troll in Seattle, check here to see if your case has been “quashed” http://goo.gl/f67K5

  9. SJ says:

    Anyone know anything about the Elf-Man troll in Western Washington? We have been named as a Doe in this (fwiw, we actually did *not* download this movie – never even heard of it until we got the notice from comcast).

    Seattle case subpoena has been quashed – anyway to see the judges remarks on the quash so we can use it over here and hopefully get the same result?

    • Mike Matesky says:

      I believe Mr. Whitaker’s link (above) actually contains a link to the Order in the Elf-Man case. Judge Lasnick has been issuing nearly-identical orders in all the W.D. Wash. cases over the last few days giving the plaintiffs 14 days to show cause why all Does (except for the first Doe in each case) should not be severed for misjoinder. So, we’ll probably know a lot more about how these cases will ultimately be treated in 2-3 weeks.

  10. SJ says:

    Thanks Mike – I checked the link and I wasn’t sure if what he was citing was only for the Eastern Washington order. There is a separate order in Western Washington (2:13-cv-00115-TOR) which is Does 1-29 under Judge Thomas Rice.

    John – if you are following this thread, do you know if this is the same? Do you represent folks over here in Western Washington?

    • Mike Matesky says:

      This Order was issued by Judge Lasnick in the Western District of Washington: http://www.scribd.com/doc/140696849/ORDER-Quashing-Subpoenas-in-Elf-Man-Case

      I’m not sure of the status of the Elf-Man case proceeding under Judge Rice in the Eastern District of Washington.

    • David S. says:

      SJ I am a defendant in the above mentioned case I’m try to answer a summons at this time I have not engaged an attorney as I haven’t got the money to be honest they want 2000 to answer the summons and negotiate a settlement. I hadn’t heard of this movie until I got the notice as well. It is a commercial failure and the Distribution company is trying to recapture some of the cost of making it. What I find interesting is that this Movie wasn’t copyrighted until late in 2012 and with in three or four months they are suing loads of people all over the Northwest…. write me at pf1212@msn.com I am defendant number 11

  11. whitakerlaw says:

    Hello, yes I do represent quite a few people here in the Western District of Washington. I don’t represent anyone in Eastern Washington yet.

    • j prater says:

      Any one working on this case in eastern wa don’t know what to do about these notices we have received 4. Can anyone help…

  12. SJ says:

    I am going to try to submit an anonymous motion to quash using the the template on this site (and updating it accordingly). Since they were all quashed in Western WA, I am hoping that they will be in Eastern, too.

  13. SJ says:

    I submitted the motion to Quash today. Basically used the same template on this site with the Argument in tact. I made some changes to the Introduction (below).

    J Prater – you may want to submit a motion to quash (anonymously) as well. Perhaps if Judge Rice gets several of these this will get quashed sooner rather than later.

    I received a letter from my ISP regarding a subpoena, which included a copy of the Order Granting Plaintiff’s Application for Leave to Take Discovery.
    The practice that Maureen VanderMay is attempting is commonly referred to as copyright trolling. From accounts of previous defendants of this kind of case, these subpoena notifications are followed by demand letters. These letters — which demand between $2000 and $4000 to avoid dealing with their lawsuit — and their phone calls, which are persistent , are the reason I am filing this motion, and for this reason, I respectfully request that I be allowed to do so without revealing my personally identifying information. That being said, I do want to offer the court a means of contacting me and have therefore created an anonymous email address:

    INTRODUCTION
    To cut court costs while suing as many individuals as possible, Plaintiff’s counsel, Maureen VanderMay is using improper joinders in their mass lawsuits alleging copyright infringement through BitTorrent. These lawsuits include hundreds of defendants in Washington alone. Maureen VanderMay has filed an identical mass subpoena in Eastern Washington: Elf-Man, LLC v. Does 1-152 case No. C13-0507RSL. Justice Robert Lasnik notes in the Order to Show Cause Quashing all Subpoenas:
    “As the full extent of this assignment has become clear, the Court admits to some concerns regarding both the appropriateness of joinder and the possibility the judicial authority of the United States may be used to wrest improvident settlements from pro se litigants under threat of huge statutory penalties. The Court is not alone: other judicial officers in the Ninth Circuit are beset by the same concerns and have taken various paths to mitigate the potential for abuse. See, e.g., Ingenuity 13 LLC v. John Doe, No. 2:12-cv-9333-ODW(JCx) (C.D. Cal. May 6, 2013); Voltage Pictures LLC v. Does 1-12, No. 2:13-292-AA (D. Or. May 4, 2013).”

  14. A says:

    How do we contact Judge Rice, this is in behalf of a close relative, are you identifying yourself to the judge when making this appeal???

  15. SJ says:

    I did not identify myself. I submitted the motion to quash as a “John Doe” and signed it as such. (However, I did give an email address that I made for this but have not received any email to thus far). The problem is that if you identify yourself, you will go into the public record and then you will start getting the calls and the harassment from the trolls…

    I walked the document into the courthouse and dropped it off with the clerk. He was a bit unsure how to handle it, as he had never received an anonymous filing in-person before, however he spoke with a supervisor and then accepted the motion.

    I have not heard anything about this yet. I have been trying to find any information on what Judge Rice is doing, but nothing yet. If I do see something, I will certainly share it.

    I strongly encourage you to file a motion to quash – even if it is anonymous. Hopefully if Judge Rice gets a few motions he will look more closely into the matter and see it for what it is.

  16. SJ says:

    Update on the Eastern WA case: There have been two motions to Quash made by John Doe 1 and John Doe 11 (filed on May 20 and May 30 respectively). These motion hearings are set to be heard (without oral argument) before the court on June 19 and July 1 respectively.

  17. SJ says:

    Am I right in seeing that Whitaker Law firm has entered a motion to Quash in the Elf-Man vs Doe 1-29 in Eastern Washington?

    It looks as though there have been 5 motions to quash in this case.

  18. David S. says:

    The Motions to quash failed for some reason Judge Rice decided to let them go forward ..

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