Guava LLC, Arte de Oaxaca, LW Holdings and other Prenda’s bogus corporations

Guava LLC is not registered in any state, it is simply a facade for Lighspeed Media. Arte de Oaxaca is the same. It is shame that courts allow such BS complaints by bogus plaintiffs to be filed.

Guava LLC v. Skylar Case (Cook county IL)

Case No: 12-L-7363
Attorney for Plaintiff: Paul Duffy
Attorney for Defendant: Adam Urbanzcyk
Judge: Sanjay Taylor
Cook County court docket


By Raul

Allow me to preface this overview with a personal disclaimer: I do not like writing about anything of which the facts cannot be verified. So little is presently known about this lawsuit, that much of the following is pure speculation which may prove to be false.

Rotten Guava

The plaintiff in this lawsuit is a mystery; it seems as if the plaintiff’s attorney is being purposely vague in this regard. If you Google “Guava, LLC” you will discover a handful of USA corporations, none of which appear to be this plaintiff. Likewise a Google search reveals no password protected websites. Accordingly I am guessing that Guava, LLC is a an offshore corporation which is the assignee of the rights to certain pornographic works of Prenda Law’s current client base of pornographic content producers/distributors. Plaintiff’s attorney, Paul A. Duffy, is the “founding partner” of Prenda Law, Inc., f/k/a Steele Hansmeier, LLC. If you are not familiar with either law firm please search this blog and as well as the internet to get up to date, I promise it will be an eye opening experience.

Basically this is a computer hacking lawsuit in which the plaintiff claims Skyler Case and unnamed “co-conspirators” hacked into its systems and wrongfully obtained its “valuable information”. I am guessing that Prenda’s clients have pornographic pay sites which are password protected which were allegedly hacked into with compromised passwords. The complaint alleges four causes of action: violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), trespass to chattels, breach of contract and civil conspiracy. Rather than get into the lack of legal merit of these claims you should know that Prenda has previously filed lawsuits on behalf of Lightspeed Media Corp., which have been analyzed at length on this blog. In particular you should read SJD’s post regarding a motion to dismiss filed by Jason Booth, Esq., which exposes the weakness of similar claims in this lawsuit. Laura Long, Esq., has filed a similar motion after getting the state lawsuit removed to federal court (ILSD).

Prenda was able to get discovery of thousands upon thousands of the personal identifying information of the “co-conspirators” by reason of an Agreed Order, dated 7/30/2012 between Duffy and Skyler Case’s attorney, Adam Urbanczyk (signed on 7/11/2012 — less than two weeks after the complaint). We do not know what, if any, consideration the named defendant received in exchange for this agreement but Duffy received discovery and the foreclosure that this lawsuit will be removed to federal court by any of the “co-conspirators”. We think the number of alleged “co-conspirators” could well be in the five digit neighborhood judging by the list of ISPs attached to the Agreed Order.

Arte de Oaxaca v. Stacey Mullen (Cook county IL)

Case No: 12-L-9034
Attorney for Plaintiff: Paul Duffy
Attorney for Defendant: Adam Urbanzcyk
Judge: Lynn M. Egan
Dismissed: 03/13/2013

Guava LLC v. Spencer Merkel (Hennepin county MN)

Case No: 27-CV-12-20976
Attorney for Plaintiff: Michael Dugas
Attorney for Defendant: Trina Morrison
Judge: Tanya Bransford

Guava LLC (petitioner) v Comcast Cable Communications LLC (respondent) (St. Clair county IL)

Case No: 12-MR-417
Attorneys for Petitioner: Paul Duffy, Kevin Hoerner
Attorney for Respondent:
Judge: Andrew J. Gleeson

LW Systems v. Christopher Hubbard (St. Clair County IL)

Case No: 13-L-0015
Attorneys for Plaintiff: Paul Duffy, Kevin Hoerner
Attorney for Defendant: Adam Urbanzcyk
Judge: Andrew J. Gleeson



Other resources
  • Morgan Pietz created a page dedicated to this case. He is accepting defendants, and based on his performance in California, to say that I recommend him is a huge understatement.
LW Systems v. Juan Leonard (Maricopa County AZ)


Attorneys who defend Does
  • (IL) Adam E. Urbanczyk — attorney for the only named defendant, Skyler Case. I do not recommend using his services: Adam is almost certainly “in bed” with Prenda — scaring and pushing people to settle. Don’t let the fact that Adam U is listed on the EFF site deceive you: attorneys on the “Subpoena Defense” page are self-listed, and being on this list does not imply EFF’s endorsement.
  • (IL) Erin Russell — IMO she is good. She keeps us informed about this case in the comments to this page. Don’t miss her comments.
  • (IL — St. Clair county) Morgan E. Pietz, a California attorney, one of the best: no introduction necessary in case you read this blog regularly. If not, check the “Coopergate” post series.
  • (IL) Jeffrey Antonelli: an attorney from Chicago.
  • (MN) Paul Godfread.
  • (MN) Mark Santi of Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Dooley.
  • (MN) Scott M. Flaherty of Briggs and Morgan.
Relevant posts

These cases are farcical and can be fought and defeated. There is simply no way anyone can be found liable by any jury. Pure, perfect bluff.
Do not talk to trolls. Do not succumb to fears. Do not settle. This house of cards is going to collapse soon and I hope Prenda will be pursued criminally.


1,039 responses to ‘Guava LLC, Arte de Oaxaca, LW Holdings and other Prenda’s bogus corporations

  1. SJD,

    Just an opinion, but would you consider elevating this discussion to its own top level front-page post, rather than being buried 1 level into the overall Prenda discussion thread?

    In fact, the bogus but dare I say “slightly more credible” (I know, that sounds bad!) Lightspeed case has several of it’s own top level posts such as the Quick Q&A, follow-up Q&A, Booth/Sweet Motion, etc. Eventually all of those top level posts were neatly linked and organized under the main Lightspeed Password Hacking discussion thread.

    Just a gut feeling, but I think this will eventually be bigger than the Lightspeed fiasco, and could very well benefit from increased visibility, especially given the extremely murky nature of this one. As such, this topic could potentially benefit from a similar organization style to what you (and Raul) did overall with the Lightspeed posts and info, which is excellent on IMO! It may be premature now, but may be something to consider in the not-to-distant future.

    Just some food for thought.

    • You are absolutely correct, this case should attract as much publicity as possible. I’ll try to organize some thoughts. Even a short paragraph with a link to this page would be helpful, but I hope for more. I was promised more documents and information regarding this case.

      In addition, people here were amazing in crystallizing ideas and raising interesting points.

  2. “guava llc is a rights holder” of what?? saying “i own a website” without saying what website hardly makes me a rightsholder. this ghost entity has no web presence and as such cannot say it owns a website without saying what website. why wasn’t this contested in the firstplace. this is pure failure to state a claim if i have ever seen it. also when were they created? if they were created AFTER the lightspeed case in IL for the sake of anonimity then how can they claim infringement that goes into early 2011??? if they did not exist then one would think that a good lawyer would have pointed this out to the court as “how could your site have been hacked when you didn’t exist untill XXX date.” especially when they did not offer any site info. on face value a simple incorporation date could have possibly killed this case b4 it ever got revved up.

    have lawyers stopped believing in common sense??

    “It cannot be overstated that our obligation is to the defendant whose interests are being protected, and our strategy certainly is not to engage in superfluous motion practice which does not substantively affect the allegations”

    would it not behove your client to have the case killed b4 discovery even starts by contesting the initial lack of merits of the case? i guess i just have no clue how the court system works.

    as a side note: if guava is asking for $150,000 and that everyone co-conspirator is jointly liable for this $150,000 and like lightspeed they try to claim 5,000+ people that would make everyone liable individually for $30 would it not? thus any good faith settlement offer would be less than the asked for judgement and should be in the $20-$25 range per individual so how can $4k be considered anything but extortion?

    • The “pragmatic” approach would’ve been to get this in front of a judge who knows what these pricks are doing. The only way to do that would be to get it removed to federal court which would be no problem as there is only one named defendant and it falls well within the jurisdiction of the District Court. Did he do that? No. Did his lawyer tell him not to? That’s not up to him but he has to present the option. Assuming he presented the option, and I hope A U did, the defendant would have to either be rational and reject it (although I fail to understand that), defendant is delusional thinking keeping this in Cook is good, or something else is in play. Removal to NDIL would have almost certainly killed this case. Not only does it lack merit, improper joinder and jurisdictional issues exist, one estimate goes as high as 10,000 “co-conspirators” and would therefore be IMPOSSIBLE to litigate, and the judges know Duffy and at the most they likely would only allow limited discovery…no phone numbers or addresses.

      By keeping this piece of garbage suit in state court, two things will happen. Two, this case will go on for years. The speed at which the Cook County Court system operates is mind-bogglingly slow, thus allowing for Duffy to extract as much money as possible from the so-called “co-conspirators” until bailing on the case. We won’t find out who Guava is until I’m into my late 30s, if we ever do. This case will stay in state court because removal to federal court requires unanimous approval by defendants, which obviously won’t happen.

  3. I have a document stating that Neusrar received the order on 7/10, before teh subpoena was authorized by court.

    • 7/30 is the authorized date, yes? Mine also shows it being issued before then.

    • The date of the agreed upon motion for the order that contains only Duffy’s signature (“Oh he agrees too, take my word for it”), 20 days before issuance of the order. Oooohhh Pauly Poo could be in deep shit if this makes it to the judge. He’s been fucking up a lot lately. Maybe he should take a vacation. I have a few suggestions. Pyongyang, Damascus, Tehran, and finally my personal favorite, Hell.

  4. Once Comcast and AT&T get wind that Guava=LMC they might try to remove it to ILSD Lightspeed Media Corporation v. Smith et al 3:12-cv-00889 for consolidation.

    • i doubt it is a parent of LMC but rather some other site that has no security and crappy content. it would be wholesale stupidity for LMC to file ANOTHER case while there other ones are becoming such hudge messes. but since discocvery will be suposedly happening soon for this case someone will be able to find what site they are a parent of.

        • Just a gut feeling? This is a CFAA claim, Jones files CFAA claims so it’s logical to assume the more plausible of these two options: that there’s a new, massive player in this racket or that there’s it’s the same old player going by a different name. I’m gonna go with old, and by old I mean Steve Jones. Raul is correct. If AT&T and Comcast get a whiff that this is Steve Jones, it may be removed to the ILSD and be consolidated with the existing case since even though they aren’t even parties to this Guava case, the people who are alleged “co-conspirators” in the LMH v. Smith case are likely those whose ISPs are being subpoenaed for the Guava case.

      • Remember who we’re talking about. Wholesale stupidity is LMC’s MO and Prenda’s as well for not telling Jones that he’s out of his mind. Jones, on advice from counsel, likely Duffy, sued AT&T and Comcast, right?

    • What tripped your bullshit detector and make you suspect that LMH is Guava’s parent? Now that I think about it, it makes complete sense. They’re the only ones filing these CFAA BS lawsuits and retaining Duffy. But if it is another company, they are equally as retarded as LMH since it’s almost a statistical certainty that one of the 5k+ people involved will fight back.

        • 10k? Uhhh wow…wow…my bullshit detector just went off, it must be LMC. Makes so much more sense. He’s getting stomped everywhere so why not create some BS shell corporation and sue a HUGE volume of people under that name, he’ll have gathered quite a large sum in settlements by the time the true identity of his company is unmasked in discovery which in Crook County will be sometime around 2014.

        • From Adam Urbanczyk’s post yesterday:

          “Guava, LLC, as we know it, is a rights-holding company and the case pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County is somewhat of a spiritual successor to the infamous 11-L-0683 Lightspeed Media case filed late last year in St. Clair County, Illinois.”

          When he says the Guava case is “somewhat of a spiritual successor to…” my question is: is he being figurative or literal when that phrase is joined to the latter phrase referring to Lightspeed Media? I’m not part of this case nor am I trying to pick on Mr. Urbanczyk. I’m just looking for clarification of his exact words regarding the identity of the company who setup Guava, and out of everyone who posted here, he probably has the most firsthand knowledge the overall case and the specific question above.

      • Hmmm…maybe I have it wrong, but is this the story? After getting names from the Illinois and Florida state suits, Steve Jones insisted that Lightspeed file individual claims in state courts, starting with Sekora in AZ. After the blow-back from that, he filed as Guava against Case in IL, and threw in the rest of his supposed log of “hackers” as co-conspirators for good measure? If so, I wonder if there are/were other Lightspeed cases against individuals filed in state courts (which as John Steele and Brett Gibbs helpfully observed are hard to get records from)?

        • the post from houstonlaw3r’s site

          shows a list of state court cases that prenda has filed, several of them are LMC

          looks like atleast 12 single cases it 6 different states and all in county courts,not federal (houstonlawy3r left out the case where jones was/is suing a lumber company in AZ for alledgedly including “hacking porn sites” in their job requirements.)

        • For all we know, NONE of these supposed “co-conspirators” have done anything wrong. It’d be so incredibly easy, well more difficult for Jones, but he could have fabricated a list of IPs using a portscanner or ping tool and submitted that as evidence seeing as how his company is the “expert” witness. This could be 100% bullshit, a complete fraud and we wouldn’t know it.

  5. one funny thing is that one of the isp’s is, but their retention policy is so short that from the filing of the case to the agreed order all of their logs were cleared (14 day retention policy) they will probably be sued for aiding and abbetting too lol……

  6. Has anyone started getting settlement letters/offers from Duffy yet on this case?

    • no, but they said that after the 30 they would either send a summons or a release statement containing the settlement amount.(cant remember which)

      • Big ass difference between a summons and a settlement letter. One of them you can ignore but do so at your own peril. The other you can wipe your ass with :)

        • haha yea i was gonna say. I’d be really surprised if they started serving summons after the 30th. maybe they mentioned the summonses to add gravitas. like, ‘well we may offer you a settlement or file against you, but you’ll have to wait til after the 30th.’ then when the settlement offer comes youre reaction is ‘phew!’ cut the check.

        • i think i should elaborate more, just to be sure i am correct.
          they sent me a letter saying that by signing below i am acknoledging that they are going to get my information from my isp. whether or not i signed the papers, they were going to get my information after the 30 of this month.
          i am only worried because my son got the letter first and he was scared shitless and he called the one that goes by “Paul Duffy”, he never admitted to downloading the so called porn, but he said that it must’ve been the neighbors, family, friends, etc. that live near or were visiting the house. should i be worried?

        • There’s no point in sending you a letter that says “sign this to acknowledge that we’re gonna get your info from your ISP, even though we’ll do it anyway if you don’t sign it.” They sent it to gauge your interest in the case and see how seriously you take this. Do not sign it. Do not return it. Since your son called them, you need take this very seriously.

          I really do not want to frighten you here so I’m just gonna tell you this is what CAN happen, not what WILL happen. I mean no offense and believe me, I was scared shitless when I got a copy of a subpoena so I can’t imagine how your son felt, but your son royally screwed up by panicking (EXACTLY what Prenda wants) and making the kneejerk reaction to call Prenda and accuse basically everyone but himself of copyright infringement because it gives them a ton of ammo against him and you. Contacting trolls and professing innocence is self-defeating and has turned many Does into named defendants. I’ve seen cases where people have called, professed their innocence, blamed someone else (specifically), and the subscriber was named along with the person they accused. That being said I would STRONGLY suggest at the very least consulting an attorney listed on the EFF’s subpoena defense page (most are good, some of them like Randazza, Meier and Cable are trolls yet stayed on the list for a long time) and reading the FAQ for subpoena targets. It’s not just for subpoena targets though. The FAQ isn’t as useful, given the circumstances, but still informative.

          Subpoena defense attorneys:

          I’m not saying he definitely will name either of you, or other household members, but there’s a much higher chance of it now that this happened. Even if he doesn’t, he knows that your son is so incredibly rattled so you’ll be bombarded with calls and have your mailbox stuffed full of shit so it would be good to retain an attorney to deal with all that stuff, even if that attorney is just local, solely to deflect all harassment and to send a message that you’re taking this seriously. If you are named, you can just retain an attorney who specializes in intellectual property law. Either way, I would STRONGLY advise that you retain an attorney.

          On top of contacting an attorney listed on the EFF’s subpoena defense page as well as retaining counsel of some sort right now, I would also strongly suggest you educate yourself, fast. I’ve found that when properly motivated, I can learn practically anything.

          The elephant in the room is how the hell did they get addresses BEFORE ISPs turned over subscriber info? To the best of my knowledge, it is impossible to accurately translate an IP address into a subscriber’s personal information. IP geolocation methods are becoming more sophisticated, but as far as I know accuracy down to a street address is only theoretical. Such software, if it existed, would be EXPENSIVE and we know Prenda doesn’t like to spend money. So…how the hell did they get your address without a subpoena unless your ISP is Neustar. In that case, you got shafted.

          With all of that being said, this case reeks of Lightspeed Media Corporation, who is currently in the process of being completely destroyed in federal court. Guava is not even the real plaintiff, the named defendant agreed to serve up info on a silver platter, the claim alleges violating a federal statute ergo it should be in federal court but is not because it’s not “pragmatic” according to defendant’s attorney (don’t ask me what I think of the named defendant’s attorney). Now the case is continued until October 9th. There’s jurisdictional issues, joinder issues (fraudulent joinder I would allege), the CFAA claim is absolute garbage, the Copyright Act preempts half of the claims, yada yada.

          Disclaimer: The above is for discussion purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

    • yes, a least one person, that I know of, has gotten a settlement letter. It is extremely vague. I will ask them to allow me to scan it and post somewhere.

      • Don’t just post it without redacting it before scanning it. Hell, I’d make a copy of it, redact the personal info from the copy, copy that, then scan that.

  7. Initially Prenda believed a ton of Doe money could be extorted from these Jones’ lawsuits but instead it appears that Prenda has been bleeding green with all LMC lawsuits operating at a major loss. This is not how the usual troll business model is supposed to function. I do not expect that these lawsuits will be vigorously pursued in the future especially once Prenda realizes they are suing the baby brother of a major ex-DIA genius/planner and are now trapped.

  8. This week I filed a Motion to Quash on behalf of two John Doe subpoena targets. A briefing schedule has been entered, and I anticipate that a hearing will be held in late October or early November. Just a quick update for those of you following.

    I anticipate that additional Motions to Quash will be filed as more people elect to resist Guava’s efforts.

  9. Also, quick note based on a comment above: This case is not continued to October 9. That is a clerk’s status date at which a hearing date will be selected. The judge isn’t even present for this procedure, and the attorneys are not even required to appear personally, but can send a clerk in their place. Illinois procedure is very different in this manner than anywhere else I’ve practiced. The docket text is never helpful because the system is antiquated. I will be appearing for the clerk’s status date because it is my motion. But again, I posted this clarification so people who are following these posts for updates can understand what is actually going on.

  10. Well shit, well the this is the guys on the other end of the phone was able to tell my son the exact name ofthe torrent and file. The name of the torrent is Private Collection and the file that was in the torrent was Amateur Allure.
    Ive gone through my hard drive and there is no file by that name. I checked my sons files as well, nothing. What should be my next move, wait them out or contact EFF, or find an IP attorney?

    • An attorney can evaluate your issue privately and confidentially. I suggest you contact someone immediately to discuss.

      Keep in mind that these lists are monitored by lots of people, and you would be best served by speaking with a lawyer privately. Most of us offer a free consultation, so it doesn’t cost anything to call and ask questions.

      This comment is not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship shall result from reading it.

      • @Erin Russell-So now it appears that we have 2 AZ pornographers lumped in this lawsuit (HDP and LMC). Do you know if CP Productions is also involved?

      • Assuming HDP is involved, if a movie was downloaded via P2P, then no compromised computers unless Case used a password to download a ton of content off the site then disseminated it via P2P. So how the hell can this be a CFAA case if this is a P2P case? CFAA only states “Whoever conspires to commit…shall be punished….” It’s a HUGE stretch to say that by downloading content via P2P that case had “stolen when he broke in Case had downloaded when he broke in, it turns you (Doe) into a co-conspirator.

    • I believe that you should contact an attorney and please, for your sake, do not discuss the details of your case on here or anywhere else…ever. The trolls skulk around here and John Steele (real piece of work/copyright troll) has posted here on numerous occasions. Do yourself a favor and read the FAQ here.

  11. Tell your son to STFU. The greatest thing that has happened for me is this site. I had the good fortune to read stuff here before doing anything at all. thank you thank you thank you.

  12. I wonder when ISPs will make an appearance, or if they will. If there’s any case that they should object to, it’s this one. I bet that the attorney in AT&T’s legal dept who read this complaint laughed his or her ass off. It’s a scam.

    Duffy crafted it to stay in IL. Illinois Rule 103(b) allows for dismissal after a certain amount of time but it’s very subjective. Case won’t remove it and when it turns into Guava, LLC v. Case et al or something of the sort, it’s a federal matter and always has been. Breach of contract is preempted by 28 U.S.C. § 1332, trespass to chattels and civil conspiracy preempted by 17 USC § 301. Every single complaint is either a federal claim or preempted by federal statute. I’m sure some crafty attorney could have this removed to federal court, even if Case is named and served. Duffy will also have the names, addresses, phone numbers, and balls of every single Doe but choosing to not name and serve them. A federal judge may call him on his BS and allow the case to be removed but I’m completely confused as to what constitutes a named defendant. Does an IP address suffice when the plaintiff’s counsel plainly states that an IP address is uniquely identifying? Ah I dunno if this can even be removed because of Case being named.

    I’d like to see what kind of deal Case got in order to sell out 10,000 people. Maybe he signed a Non-Removal Agreement?

  13. Once one of these cases is fully litigated in a state court it will set some precedent for that state. I know discovery is starting soon or has started in some of these cases. Chances are they will settle with the people who fight back hard in order to prevent a precedent from being set. Either way these cases carry much less merit than the bittorrent cases.

    At least in bitorrent cases they have a valid complaint. “Someone from an IP address copied and distributed their content” is not heavy on the evidence side but still a valid complaint. In the hacking cases there is a complete lack of a complaint because they cannot meet the statutory minimum as defined by loss in the statute. They are losing individual bittorrent cases. Do they honestly think they will win these individual suits??

    If they actually start naming people then it should not be hard to get the case severed and moved to your LOCAL court (though this is the state that has had their last several governors sent to prison, so anything is possible). Who knows mayble they will find all the 10k people JOINTLY liable for the $150k, that’s what $15 per person…….

    • Chances are that this case has ensnared than a few people who will fight back and who have the means to fight. It’s almost like Duffy and Steele don’t think about this stuff at all. It’s like having a one night stand. Seems like a great decision at the time because you don’t even think about it. Great experience…usually, but I digress. Then in the morning when you’re sober, it’s holy shit! “WHY did I do that?” The only difference is that Duffy and Steele don’t even wonder why they did something STUPID, they keep doing it expecting a different result which is the definition of insanity according to Einstein.

      This case will not be litigated. Not a chance. If it is, assume 7,500 Does are dismissed, can you even imagine 2,500 defendants, all with different defenses, different attorneys, the amount of evidence, the testimony, all of that shit plus more? Now imagine four times that…10k people. It’s not even a class action lawsuit either because defendants are allowed to opt out by paying a ransom. This is deliberate to both make money through FUD and to skirt the rules for certification of a class action. If this case is actually litigated, may God not have mercy on that unlucky judge’s soul for allowing this to fly in the first place.

      From what I’ve seen here, this sounds like a case of someone using a compromised username/password combination to access a site, download content, then disseminate it via P2P. At least the HDP part. You can’t hold 10,000 people liable for the act of one person under the CFAA unless they committed an act that would qualify under 18 USC § 1030(a)(1). Basically, breaking into a computer and obtaining information “…determined by the United States Government pursuant to an Executive order or statute to require protection against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national defense or foreign relations, or any restricted data, as defined in paragraph y. of section 11 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, with reason to believe that such information so obtained could be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation willfully communicates…” then disseminates, retains, etc and if willfully retains the information, doesn’t deliver it to a federal agent. Soooo….that doesn’t fly, at all unless porn is considered classified information that could threaten national security. Now what? This ENTIRE case is predicated on the CFAA claim, but how the hell can someone be a conspirator to hacking if they’re not hacking or even associated with the person doing the hacking? Just because someone is seeding a torrent doesn’t make the peers co-conspirators, just ask Chief Judge Holderman in NDIL…but this is not federal, gee I wonder why.

      If you read the claim, they claim “irreparable harm” and cannot quantify damages. Second claim, trespass to chattels: compensatory and punitive damages to be determined at trial *giggles*. Third claim, breach of contract: “irreparable harm and injury” and do not request damages of any kind. Fourth claim, civil conspiracy: damages (of what variety?) to be determined at trial. In prayer for relief, they ask for damages, both punitive and compensatory, to be determined at trial along with reimbursement for attorneys’ fees and court costs. THEN they request $150,000. Where the hell does the 150k come from? It’s like saying “Give us $150,000, why? Because we said so.” So I doubt that the 150k would even hold up since it’s not tied to any of the claims. They can’t say “oh we can’t quantify the damages because they’re so bad but $150,000 sounds good.” Duffy’s just gonna sit back, collect settlements, maybe name some more people who incriminate themselves, scare them and collect more money, then when someone gets sick and tired of this shit the case will be dismissed according to Rule 103(b).

      • I misread the answer. He did admit to doing it…to the plaintiff’s agents. Makes it sound like the fuckin FBI came in. I’m guessing it was during a deposition.

    • I don’t know what the hell he’s doing. It’s almost like he wants this case to proceed. Seriously, he’s defending a plaintiff against a suit that should’ve been filed in federal court (since every claim is either a federal claim or preempted by federal law), so what does he do? Keeps it in state court with an ignorant judge, where his client is at an extreme disadvantage This complaint is worded so poorly and is so incredibly vague that no federal judge in NDIL would allow this to proceed. His client ADMITS to doing, well, something, to someone (Plaintiff’s “agents” before the complaint was filed, depo? PI grilling him?), then sells out 10,000 people. What does he get in return? And then there’s his very vague, very subjective “spiritual successor” comment. I would interpret that as LMC is the parent of Guava.

      No claim can possibly stand since you can’t fuck with an entity that doesn’t exist. It’d be nice to know WHEN this actually occurred too. I’d like to note that Duffy, in his complaint, alleges that this is still occurring, which is exactly like LMC. Either too fucking incompetent to secure your own computers or this is a business plan. This case reeks of LMC because of the CFAA, breach of contract, and civil conspiracy claims. I don’t know why this judge doesn’t issue an order to show cause, no less than 5 pages to be filed within 15 days as to why plaintiff will not name its parent. If they do not file or do not show cause, bye bye. Defendants can’t mount a defense if they don’t know what they’re defending against. It’s like being arrested, the cops don’t tell you what you’re being charged with but allowing you to call a lawyer. “I just got arrested, they won’t tell me what for or what my bond is, will you represent me at my arraignment tomorrow morning?”

  14. From Item 16 in the complaint and the answer, it seems like Case said the wrong thing to the trolls. That maybe why Urbancyzk though it was in his client’s best interest to agree to disclosure (either for some kind of quid pro quo from the trolls, or just to bring in more opposition?) even if it meant throwing another 10K odd does under the bus.

    One more illustration of “never talk to the trolls”. It also drives me nuts to see some of the judges in the federal cases, who allow discovery, claim there is little risk of prejudice to unrepresented does in view of the limited identifying information that is sought by the trolls. I hope that incredibly clueless and harmful claim is thoroughly challenged and debunked somewhere in the courts.

    • I bet it was quid pro quo. Why would he enter into an agreement like that unless he gets something back unless they threatened him with more action if he didn’t? He doesn’t even need to agree to subpoenas if they have IPs. Duffy can just say fuck you and do it anyway so that raises a question, did he hand over IPs in exchange for immunity, Non-Removal Agreement, something else?

      Research the 47 USC 551, the Cable Communications Policy Act. IMO, cable internet providers do not fall under the definition of a “cable provider” nor does a DSL or dialup provider. The subpoenas were issued under 47 USC 551, disclosure.

      If these judges only knew the level of harassment they’re subjecting people to when they grant these motions. These judges should only be allowing ISPs to give out names and addresses…enough to serve. No phone number. Why would they need a phone number if they actually intend on naming and serving? They don’t.

      • After reading a ton of stuff in that sub chapter, it certainly appears to be about cable television. All of the definitions refer to that and none apear to be about internet. I imagine that there is some statute for gaining info on internet subscribers but that would almost have to be the wrong place to find it.

        • Well it couldn’t possibly have been designed to cover cable modems or broadband of any kind seeing as how it was drafted in 1984. The FCC issued a declaratory ruling in 2002 stating cable modems do not fall under Title VI (551). Facciola just said “assuming that the Cable Act applies…” followed by “this court hasn’t ruled on the applicability of the Cable Act” (paraphrased) in his Openmind ruling. He didn’t wanna making a ruling on it but he shouldn’t have stated that he just assumes it applies. See discussion over on Rob Cashman’s blog.

          The most applicable statute covering broadband connections is the Stored Communications Act, 18 USC § 2701 et seq. It covers the exact same subject matter and is completely unambiguous. Why do plaintiffs cite the Cable Act to get subpoenas issued instead of using the SCA, which is so cut and dry in its scope? Because of what will happen to them if they misuse the information, if they deceive the court, if they fuck up in any way, shape, or form. The federal government will drop the hammer on anyone who uses the court system to violate privacy under the SCA.

        • Federal judges are very leery of allowing civil litigants to issue Rule 45 subpoenas under the SCA but after reading A LOT of shit, it seems they do allow civil plaintiffs to issue subpoenas to third-parties i.e. Prenda to Comcast seeking customer info (not credit card numbers or any other shit, just the same shit they get from the subpoenas now), but not for actual content like emails. They gotta be VERY specific or the judge will shoot it down so fast out of fear of privacy violations. See 18 USC § 2702, specifically 2702(c)(6).

  15. So, I just did some basic math… Someone said that the list of ISP’s hints at 5 figures for does… That is 10,000 people or more…I also read either in this series or another from a similar case that something like 30% settle very quickly. At 4,000 a pop, that would be 12 million dollars…Wow I don’t know if any of those numbers are really correct, but it is obvious that this is very lucrative.

    • 12 million dollars, Prenda gets 90% of that according to past figures. So, they’re gonna net a good $11.8M…which they’ll need when Jones, Duffy, Steele, Hansmeier, and Hoerner all get slapped with Rule 11 sanctions for the LMC case and when AT&T and Comcast come after them for malicious prosecution and abuse of process, which they will likely win if they choose to file.

      Who knows what can happen. They could collect settlements, then some shit REALLY hits the fan and they end up having to return every dime, who knows.

  16. the thing is though with these huge hacking cases there have not been many settlers. where are all the motions to dismiss with prejudice that you find with the settlements. there was only one in the Florida case and they are moving to vacate that. jones like many b4 him got too gready. had he been offering a settlement of $1000 or less all those motions to quash would not have been filed because they all cost almost that much , or in some cases more. he asked for too much and so no one seems to be settling with the hacking cases. guava is even more shady and since the only info you can find about them IS ON THIS SITE the likely hood of people settling after the do what everyone does and googles their case info is even less. the company seems fake and so no one is going to want to settle. they will figure this is something akin to the fake FBI emails that were sent out to online prescription users and file it in the “this can’t be real” bin next to their desk.

  17. There are a lot of people settling. It is important to note that this case has only one named defendant. People who settle in this case do not need to be dismissed. They are not parties to the lawsuit. They named only one party by design.

    • Do you anticipate Duffy amending the complaint to Guava, LLC v. Skyler Case et al (or Does 1-???) or are is the threat of being “part of a lawsuit” (although as a fictitious defendant with no standing) enough to scare people into settling.

      • No. Naming one defendant who isn’t fighting is part of the strategy. If he names Does, those people are parties and can try to remove the case. He doesn’t want this case removed, so he certainly doesn’t want more parties. Doe parties have standing to remove. Non-parties do not.

        Of course, the threat of being added to this case or sued in a home jurisdiction is part of the threat, and motivates some people to settle, but it isn’t the true intent. The threat of suit against people is real. But obviously there is no way to say who will actually be sued. But they don’t have to do it today, or tomorrow, or even this year.

        • Thank you for confirming my suspicions. I’ve been on the ass end of Prenda’s little three ring circus since John Steele was the ringmaster so I’m pretty familiar with their tactics but I’m very unfamiliar with Illinois. I’ve gone over the complaint so many times it’s staggering and it’s apparent that it’s been designed to stay within the confines of the state unless other defendants are added. What boggles my mind is why Case’s counsel did not immediately file a notice of removal and get this case squashed by a federal judge.

          It’s one thing to slap Does 1-XX onto a complaint but to threaten to add them as either a named party if they don’t pay is plain old extortion, no ambiguity. I’m truly disgusted that this is happening to such a large amount of innocent people who are completely ignorant as to what’s going on, yet even if they do, their hands are almost completely bound as they are non-parties. Theoretically, Duffy can just sit on this until the statute of limitations runs out since he has named and served Case, correct? Hopefully the judge just gets sick of Duffy sitting on it and doing nothing after getting 10,000 subscribers’ personal info and dismisses for want of prosecution but I’m not crossing my fingers.

  18. While settlement is an option, my clients chose to file Motions to Quash. These Motions are justified and I believe in them. I am still receiving calls from people thinking of filing Motions to Quash. I think asking the court to quash these subpoenas is important. As long as this litigation strategy continues to work for these plaintiffs, they will continue to do it. There is a very good chance I will make more filings in the very near future. In the meantime, I strongly suggest that if people have legal questions about this case they consult an attorney admitted in Illinois and experienced in litigation in the Law Division. Illinois has some very specific procedural quirks. I always provide free consultations, and would be happy to answer questions.

  19. Just for those playing along at home, yesterday was the deadline that the ISPs were given. According to Neustar’s agents, they will not even begin to weigh the merits of the subpoena until next week, as there are still two outstanding motions to quash being filed by non-partiest to the case who have had their IP records subpoenaed.

    Personally, I wrote a letter to Neustart outlining how not only am I exempt from being party to the case due to extraterritorial status (I reside outside of Illinois) and due to legal precedent established in my circuit court that this tactic is considered invalid. So, if they DO turn over my records, I suspect I’ll be contacting the EFF or finding a good attorney to file suit against my ISP for breech of contract…

  20. My ISP turned over my info instantly, they didn’t even send me an email (with attached pdf of the court order) until two weeks after I had received a letter from Prenda. The letter from Prenda was dated the day before the court order to my ISP was stamped as received.

    I sent all of the info that I could find (including stuff from this page) to a Lawyer, who said that it looked like a scam, but sent it to a colleague who should know more about that area of law who is supposed to get back to me soon :)

  21. 5 number digit Does! But this one is troubling me. As like many Does, I have been checking my IP to all cases. I have not got any letter from my ISP yet. Any Does received letter from ATT or Comcast?

    • So many subpoenas are being issued, it will likely take time for them to get to each company on their massive list. Neither AT&T nor Comcast are on their list, but technically they do not need to be on the list in order to receive subpoenas.

    • has an arsenal of motions that have been filed in other lawsuits (federal not state) that can be modified for this lawsuit plus advice as to how to go about filing and serving such a motion.

      • I have another problem.
        I am not specifically listed as a Doe. Ideally I would want to file my Motion To Quash using ‘Doe #xx’ as my name, so as to keep my name and information from the Trolls.

        How would I proceed here?

        • I’ve seen people write in their IP address as the identifier and/or manually count down the list of available IPs until you hit your number (kind of hard if 6500+ in this case).

        • I don’t mind informing you that the clerk’s office will identify you as John Doe (IP Address) as you will see my current clients listed on the docket. There are procedural requirements with filing a motion, so be sure you know how to file it and how to get it in front of the court. Filing it with the clerk’s office isn’t enough. Good luck to you!

  22. look at the booth sweet motion that was filed for the stclair county lightspeed case

    this is a very good motion that was filed it the same court as the guava case for basically the same case as the guava case. it has references to Illinois case law and very clear arguments. if you can afford it booth sweet is a good firm to contact for this retarded trash.

    • Looking at what you linked, the person is identified as “JOHN DOE”. Am I correct that that is “JOHN DOE IP-ADDRESS”?

      As I stated above, I was not named as a Doe, and the court documents included with my letter from my isp do not have a list of IP’s or Does. It states “attached list of IP’s” but my ISP did not include that page.

      Obviously I want to keep this as anonymous as possible. This is all new to me, so I am having trouble understanding exactly what information I can provide to identify myself.

      Also, do you have to/how do you request with the court that your information be sealed when you file a Motion?

      • IMO, Duffy won’t name you as a Doe, giving you possible standing to file motions. This is a strategy to keep it in Illinois state court. Duffy crafted the complaint to include one named defendant who won’t remove this to federal court (big mistake). So this stays in Cook County with an ignorant judge. Then he’ll send threatening letters to each unnamed Doe, threatening to amend the complaint if you don’t pay. Every time they amend the complaint it costs them money. It’d cost them tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to amend 10,000 people to a complaint on an individual basis.

        Once discovery begins and we find out who owns Guava, I think this will get very very ugly because of the suspicious voiced around here. Namely this is just a Lightspeed con to get the 6600+ IPs that he couldn’t get first in St. Clair County (crooked as hell) and then made the dumb ass move to sue two massive ISPs…that’s not looking good at all for Prenda. Unfortunately, by the time we find out the name of Guava’s parent company, it’ll be too late as many people will have settled.

        At the beginning of this troll clusterfuck, no judge would allow an anonymous motion so Does who filed anonymously would get their motions chucked. Some Does identified themselves by name, painting a target on their back and ended up being amended to the complaints as named and served defendants. I do not know what this judge will allow and not allow. Every judge is different. Take Judge Howell out in DC…she won’t allow anonymous MTQs and even if she did, she’d deny them because no Doe has actually been named, served and joined.

        Erin Russell has been very active in this case, filing motions to quash with the Court and providing updates on this page. She has posted that she offers free consultations and is more than happy to answer questions so if you’re really concerned, I suggest you contact her.

        • That’s a good thing. I hope Judge Tailor is either already aware of Duffy’s tactics or learns very quickly that the case in front of him is not about anything contained in the complaint…just a means to an end. The last thing this case needs is an ideological judge who says “I’m following the letter of the law. I know what Plaintiff will do with this information however that is not my problem.” An observation, there is a stark contrast between documents drafted by Steele (i.e. petition in the AF Holdings case pending before CADC) and those drafted by Duffy. This is obviously not one drafted by Steele and I’m having a hard time believing that even Duffy drafted it. Duffy’s grammar and writing skills may be poor, but even this is a stretch.

          When I was dicking around with Steele|Hansmeier last year, then Prenda et al when Steele “retired,” these cases were brand new and no federal judge really understood what was going on, clueless, although not so much anymore. Cases with double-digit Does have been kicked because of joinder issues so I’m gonna love to see Duffy’s argument that joinder of up to 10,000 is proper for purposes of judicial economy and efficiency. I’m happy I’m not part of this particular case, but it still pisses me off that Duffy et al are getting away with this.

    • The Booth Sweet motion is excellent. I based my analysis of claims 3 & 4 on that motion. I also analyzed the CFAA claim, tore it apart. See (way) above for the analysis. The CFAA claim is a complete and utter joke as it does not even state any damages other than “irreparable harm,” which can’t be quantified therefore they can’t recover a dime. Under the CFAA claim, plaintiff can only recover damages resulting from having to “re-secure” its computers. Well, I don’t see a damn thing about that. Then there’s claims 2-4. Trespass to chattels, likely preempted by the Copyright Act. Breach of contract, preempted by the Act but even if it isn’t, no contract was ever created if the “hacker” never agreed to the website’s TOS. State civil conspiracy claim preempted by the Act (Fourth Circuit ruling) and even if it wasn’t, they have named one defendant and failed to provide any evidence as to the existence of a conspiracy. So, what we have is one spurious claim under the CFAA, which is a federal statute and three more claims that are preempted by federal statute. Thus the venue is not proper under 735 ILCS 5/2-101 as this case should have been brought in NDIL rather than Illinois State court. The claim that a disproportionate amount of infringement occurred from within Cook County, BS. I’d be surprised if the majority of potential Does are even residents of Illinois. This is a clear-cut case of venue shopping since federal judges are wising up and a judge in NDIL would kick this case to the curb.

      It should be known that the trespass to chattels claim is the biggest hurdle, since many courts have found that it does not preempt the Copyright Act. However, in this case, the claim involves theft of “valuable information,” which is a vague definition but I would construe it to mean copyrighted information considering the rest of the complaint alleges copyright infringement. Also, the claim fails to state damages. This is a copyright infringement claim is disguised as a “hacking” claim, just like LMC’s complaints and we all know how well those are going.

      See my initial analysis here:

      Boilerplate: The above is for discussion purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

  23. Any updates on this? Just got two of these subpoenas… Two different ips…really weird…

    • Afraid I cannot give you any updates but you are quite correct; this is one weird lawsuit. Surprised the judge has countenanced it this far without asking a few basic questions.

    • Do you have a dynamic IP address? That’s the only possible (and I mean actually possible) explanation.

  24. This never crossed my mind before. Hypothetically, Case could be some torrent site operator (there aren’t many in the US for this reason…and the FBI) since we’ve seen stuff about P2P. This complaint doesn’t even allege any P2P type dissemination of “works” so either this guy ran some porn torrent site (and broke into the plaintiff’s computers to get the shit) or…yeah, I can’t make heads or tails of this. The fact that he has IPs makes so much more sense if he’s an operator of some private torrent tracker or ran an ftp site where people connected directly to his computer. Even then, he’s an idiot for logging all that shit and keeping the logs.

  25. Not sure if anyone has done any of this research before, but here is some info that one can gather from the good ole’ internet, along with some thoughts.

    plaintiff: Guava, LLC
    -enter “guava” in search on site (
    -owner of guava: kevin m coyne
    -search google: kevin m coyne il–depaul college of law graduate, website:
    *partner of prenda law: paul duffy–depaul college of law graduate
    -started business on 5.11.09

    Two thoughts on that:
    1) The plantiff and plaintiff’s attorney both went to the same law school… coincidence?
    2) A lawyer owns a porn website?

    defendant: Skyler Case
    -enter “skyler” in search on site (; while “skyler case” is not on the site, skyler llc is there and it happens to be located in cook county, IL
    -owner: radiant global inc
    -search google: radiant global inc (
    *IT services company
    search for radiant global inc (
    owner: PRABHAKAR GUDUR, computer software industry from linkedin (
    radiant global ( a.k.a Radiss
    -started business on 5.06.08

    The defendant is potentially an IT company that started business about a year before Guava.

    And if that wasn’t fishy enough, the defendant’s attorney goes on this website and tells everyone to stop hating on Prenda Law and says generic things that are already known to everyone here.


    • The Skyler link to an IT company in Cook County is a little bit grabbing at straws IMO. Searching on the IL SOS site, I’m guessing a majority of results of any search will be in Cook, as that’s a highly populated IL county.

      The Guava find on the other hand, is most likely dead on, as it’s way too much of a coincidence that a Prenda connection owns/created this bogus shell company.

        • Most likely you are correct. Nonetheless, an successful investigation (as any problem solving) is a result of a tedious and mundane job of checking even seemingly irrelevant leads.

        • Yes it is certainly worth investigating. But to call it a connection, let alone “dead on” is irresponsible. There are a ton of Depaul grads in the area.

          Anxious to see what you found :)

    • OMG! I found something even more interesting. Contemplating before making it public.

      This is FRAUD that must draw attention of authorities.

        • OK, I’m not a fan of suspension. Also, I’m pressed for time: leaving on Saturday for a 2 week vacation. Hope that the hive will expose all the dirty laudry. If I have time before the departure, I’ll publish the summary.

          So, if you check the address above, you’ll find that the was now closed restaurant at this place. Named Guava. Owner – Justin Smith. Please keep digging.

      • Must be something really good. Whatever it is, TAKE YOUR TIME and try to corroborate before making whatever you found public. If it is something that ends up being truly actionable, take it to Judge Tailor or someone you trust first. Is Erin Russell absolutely trustworthy to investigate, corroborate and push forward with your finding if necessary? She seems very helpful, but she also stands to make a lot of $$$$ defending Doe “conspirators” with MTQ’s and the like in this case. Whatever you do, DON’T POST (or tip off the trolls) before you feel 100% confident.

        BTW SJD, do you prefer to be referred to as a superhero or a rockstar? ;-) The most impressive thing you’ve done, IMO, is to serve as a living example of how to take one’s initial fears and turn the tables on them….a full 180 degrees!

        • Somebody mentioned this has to do something with the lightspeed media lawsuit. I did a motion to quash and it was successful, due to the case falling apart. Can somebody shed some light on the connection of the two?

  26. Partner in the restaurant, Guava Mojito Bar & Latin Grill, is Richard Smith who is also listed as a member of Guava, LLC. Justin might be a relation (son?). Richard’s address is residential. There is at least one attorney named Richard Smith in the Chicago area. Hit a wall.

    • Two others listed, Jeffery Carnicom and Ricardo Deleon. Ricardo Deleon was the chef. Richard Smith was also listed on the restaurant that was there before, Cucina Roma. He was also the owner of Cafe Concepts and Management which is a failed restaurant management company. Jeffery is a director at an armored car company – HEAT armor. So we have the chef, the manager and Jeffery is probably the investor. He is also owner of the DeCarni Group, which sounds like a partnership with Deleon and Carnicom. Kevin Coyne was also the agent for DeCarni.

    • Hit the ssame wall with Richard Smith, J. Carnicom and R. DeLeon. This appears to be a restaurant group who got Coyne to Incorporate.

      I didn’t want to click on Coyne’s firm’s web link for obvious reasons, but it would appear that “No name” found a link between Coyne and Duffy.

      According to this, Guava at the Ogden Ave Location is closed ( At one point, it was called Cucina Roma which also appears closed (

      The Smiths (Richard and Justin) also appear to have been involved with Cucina Roma (

      Like Raul said, I also hit a wall.

      • So far the shaky part is the Coyne-Duffy link. It would be nice to call Coyne and figure it out (“Hi, Paul Duffy gave me your phone number…”). I can’t do to some specifics I don’t want to discuss. But if anyone is willing, email me, and I’ll give you a calling card # and pin – this card allows to set any Caller ID.

        Keep in mind that pretty soon Duffy will be alerted about this little “investigation.”

        • Are we sure there is a link there? Yes, the both did go to Depaul, but it was almost 10 years apart.

        • Yes, it is my question too: a very weak link, and it needs to be confirmed.

          I re-read the complaint and it does not indicate that “Guava LLC” is located in IL.

        • Don’t they have to be located in IL to file a complaint with one of IL county courts?

        • They established a “solid” link: computers operated by this LLC are “accessible in IL.” It is an obvious BS for any computer-literate person.

        • “Don’t they have to be located in IL to file a complaint with one of IL county courts?”

          I don’t think so. Lightspeed, an AZ based corporation, filed a case as plaintiff in St Clair County IL (11-L-683). At the time, “John Doe” was unknown but was suspected to be a resident of St Clair County based on IP address geolocation. So, it seems that the suit must be filed in the Defendant’s home jurisdiction.

          What this means is that Skyler Case (whoever he/sh is) MUST have significant ties to Cook County to have a lawsuit filed against him/her in that venue.

          At this point, the Guava Restaurant-Coyne-Duffy link appears rather weak, but can’t be absolutely discounted.

          However, if I’m not mistaken above “Skyler Case” has to legally be a real person with significant ties to Cook County. Again, Skyler Case may be a pseudonym like “John Doe” but the actual person to whom the possible pseudonym references MUST have ties to Cook County for this suit to be legal. That said, if Skyler Case:
          1) isn’t a real person with ties to Cook County, or
          2) isn’t a pseudonym for a real person with ties to Cook county
          then there’s a problem with this major defendant.

        • That’s one of the biggest problems I have with the complaint…other than saying Guava it can access computer systems in IL, there’s no information about them at all.

        • Well you have to admit, a bit too much of a coincidence that there’s a Guava LLC located in the same county as this complaint, with the “agent” being a lawyer who graduated from the same law school as the plaintiff’s attorney…

        • Yes, it is a link, but not a 100% bulletproof link.

          There are two other “Guava LLC” that can be found. The one is in Florida, and it is inactive. The other one is worth an additional look: it’s in Nevada, close to Steve ;)

        • “The other one is worth an additional look: it’s in Nevada, close to Steve”

          Active officer/manager is Vibe Micro Inc. If you click the checkbox to show inactive officers, the names Mark Veytsman and Mark Okhman also show up. All three people/entities have Silver State Legal as their contact info, who are also the “registered agents”.

          Here’s the link to Vibe Micro from the NV Secretary of State’s business search

        • Lots of companies use service companies as registered agents to accept service for them, which is what Silver State Legal does after a quick googling, so I don’t think that aspect of it is anything important.

        • The Coyne-Duffy Depaul link is really thin gruel. There are 1000s of Depaul Law grads in the Chicago area and 300 more every year.

  27. I received a letter from my internet service provider informing me that they had been subpoenaed. The subpoena was looking for the name, address, phone number, e-mail and media access address for each of the IP addresses in an attached list. The ISP attached an article that showed my account information and my IP that matched one on the list. I also received a copy of the subpoena and a copy of the Guava LLC vs. Skyler Case.

    Do I have the option to file a motion to quash the subpoena? Would quashing help the defendants? Will quashing back fire on me, bringing me to the top of the list of defendants, or will I still be hidden amongst the 10,000 defendants? How do I go about quashing?

    • You do have the right to file a Motion to Quash. There is only one defendant in this case, and your decision to file a Motion to Quash will not help him. It will only help you.

  28. I just realized that I never saw a motion to quash/dismiss signed by Adam Urbanczyk. I can be mistaken. Please point me to any document that proves that he represented a Doe beyond pushing him to settle.

    • I am the only person who has filed a motion to quash in this case. I will be making another filing on Monday on behalf of additional John Doe subpoena targets.

      • Erin:

        I may be mistaken, but I personally took SJD’s comment to mean: “Has Adam ever filed a MTQ on behalf of a Doe for ANY troll case?” That is, beyond this case alone.

        In other words, he lists himself as a Doe defender on the EFF website, but has he ever engaged in Doe defenses such as MTQ, motion to dismiss, motion to sever, motion to change venue etc. Or has he ONLY pushed the “negotiation” settlements or taken cases of named “defendants” like “Skyler Case” ???

        BTW Erin, thanks for volunteering your time in answering some of our basic questions regarding these strange cases in Illinois :-) What is your gut feeling on how Judge Tailor will rule on the individual MTQs – 50/50, better than 50/50 in favor of Does – especially when it comes to Does who reside in jurisdictions outside of Cook county? I know many of us think joinder of many/most of alleged “co conspirators” is improper but how do you think the judge will see it in reality and why?


        If I have misunderstood or misrepresented your quote above in any way, I apologize in advance :-)

        • No, I meant exactly that . “Subpoena defense” implies fighting in court to prevent trolls from getting names.

          So far it is just a question, I don’t rule out that I simply not aware of such filings.

        • Ah. I see. I have never seen such a filing. Nor am I aware of the existence of any such filing.

          And you’re welcome. I won’t speculate publicly on what any judge will do in a case in which I am involved. I will say that if I did not have faith in the motions I am filing I would not file them. I think people outside the jurisdiction obviously have additional arguments to be made.

          Tomorrow I am filing Motions to Quash and Motions to Dismiss on behalf of 17 of my clients and 2 clients I was asked to represent by an out-of-state lawyer. Lots of people want to fight this, and I think they have great arguments. No lawyer can guarantee a result. It’s unethical to do so. And I’m certainly making no guarantees. But there are a lot of obvious problems with this complaint and with this litigation strategy. The key is making those arguments before a judge and ensuring that the law is followed.

  29. Does anybody have access to the list of IP’s they are looking for? Are any of the people receiving letters regarding this case the same people who were contacted re: Lightspeed?

    • I got a letter through this mess, and have never had any experience with this sort of thing before. I guess that some of the people might overlap, who knows…

    • The only two people with an IP list are, to the best of my knowledge at least, Duffy and Case’s attorney. It’s really shitty because they’re probably sending the same crap letters they send everyone. “We have evidence against you…lawsuit…your name in it…la la la…pay us or we’ll sue you….” Well that’s a bold threat. Suing someone for…? We don’t even know what this is all about. I can’t even find anything about threatening someone with legal action but not telling them what they’ll be sued for. It’s like saying “I’m gonna sue you if you don’t do something for me.” IMO, no one should be ponying up any money until they at least can see actual evidence like, oh say a list of IPs, who owns Guava, who Skyler Case is, and what he actually did.

  30. My lawyer just advised me to do nothing, saying this is just an attempt to intimidate people. I understand in the unlikely event that they actually do take other steps that I must react, but I guess I will just sit on it for now. Thoughts from others that have had this happen? Im sure I am not the only one who got this crap in the mail yesterday. Thanks for any comments in advance.

    • I got the same crap letter a couple weeks ago. I suspect that doing nothing is probably best at the moment, aside from educating yourself as much as possible. That is what I am doing anyway. I also contacted an Attorney, who was not really familiar with this type of thing. He is checking into it and supposed to call back. I personally don’t have the money to do anything anyway. I am however thankful for those that do have money and are filing MTQ etc. I would rather no one settled ever, as it just continues the incentive for them to do this sort of thing. Having said that though; if I had a surplus of money I would probably have just sent em a check so as not to have to worry about it. Of course there isn’t much they could ever get out of me anyway, as I have nothing to take, and could give a crap about my reputation. Though I still keep reading and researching and stressing.

      • Good strategy. Same one I used. Basically shit a brick when I got the subpoena, chain smoked, then jumped on Google, found this place as well as Rob Cashman’s site and DTD’s site. My brain is like a sponge when I’m driven to learn as much as I can about something or fix a problem and I’ve learned a lot over the past 15+ months. I never filed an MTQ. IMO, I saw it as painting a target in my back by filing one with my IP. These assholes get really pissed when someone challenges their “authority” (I have a theory why they do) and I didn’t wanna land right in John Steele’s crosshairs. Not to mention that these cases were relatively new at the time my case was filed so barely any judges knew what was going on…filing a motion to quash, dismiss, strike, whatever was pointless because FRCP states that Does non-parties until properly named, served, and joined therefore no standing. Judges were saying “well you’re a Doe, you have no standing, motion to quash (dismiss, strike, whatever) DENIED.” Now it’s a lot different.

        I agree with your sentiment that no one should pay them, then they’d be forced to either litigate or end this charade. Unfortunately, people fuck up and talk to the extortionists, send them a letter saying “I didn’t do it!” (they don’t care about guilt or innocence) or just say “my reputation is too valuable to be damaged by this” (the shame factor is what they’ve been exploiting). I have a reputation to keep like those people, but I also don’t take shit from bullies and I do not back down when someone goes outta their way to screw with my life. It’s one thing to subpoena my ISP and harass me, I can take that, but if Steele/Duffy had decided to “make an example” out of me, they would’ve found out that I do have money and they would’ve also discovered that they wouldn’t single penny of it. I would’ve drawn it out for so long that they would’ve been forced to either take it to a jury or dismiss me. We all know how much they love to litigate.

        I’m glad you found this community and I’m sure you are too. Chances are Duffy won’t do a damn thing to you unless you communicate with them. As long as you keep your head down, I highly doubt he’ll pursue you (out of something like 10,000 people). He’d have to name you to go after you, then you could have this case removed to federal court where it would be summarily squashed by a very pissed off judge. He’s gonna avoid naming people at all costs because just one pissed off person can make his life a living hell. Well, worse than it already is after he made the MORONIC move to sue AT&T and Comcast, which was subsequently removed to the Southern District of Illinois and is in the process of having the shit smashed out of it by a team of attorneys, two of which have been retained by the respective ISPs to handle these specific cases (see the Lightspeed Password Hacking Case page on here).

    • Don’t mind me, I’ve just been working another 15 hour day, half of it from home on the firm’s VPN…and I gotta be at work in 3 hours, awesome. Anywho, your lawyer is right on. Unlikely is a bit of a stretch. The chances of you getting tangled up would be considered “statistically insignificant” and that’s even a stretch. Below a 1% chance…heh. I’ve had John Steele (Duffy’s mentor) bully me, that didn’t work. Then when Steele “retired” Duffy took over. He tried bullying me. No luck there either. They’ll come at you, no joke. As long as you know what you’re in for and have a game plan, then you’re golden. I don’t know if they can call people twice a week for God knows how long given the size of this case, but they fucked with me for 14 months. 7 of those months were after I was dismissed. I’d advise you to sit on it, but I’m no attorney. IMO, keeping your head down is the best way to go about it. I’m speaking from personal experience and vicariously through other victims who’ve basically blown them off.

      If you plan on blowing them off, don’t half-ass it. Do it 100%. Screen your calls. If ANYONE calls and you do not recognize the number, let it go to voicemail. If they wanna leave a message, let them leave one. Just be ready to get multiple messages from this new asshole O’Kelly or whatever his name is as well as a computer (that someone could not properly configure). Save the letters you get, make a file for them. Save the voicemails you get using your phone or a digital voice recorder. Anything that will allow you to make digital copies of the voicemails if you ever need them.

      That being said, if your strategy is to ignore, just kick back and prepare to be annoyed (or raging pissed if you’re Irish like yours truly). Eventually I got to the point where I just laughed at the voicemails. “We have more attorneys…on staff. In the next few days…you will receive time sensitive documents…blah blah blah..please press 9 to speak to a client service representative.” This is my line of reasoning. When I was younger and I was gonna kick someone’s ass, I didn’t tell him I was going to for 7 months over and over. I just kicked the shit out of him and I sure as hell didn’t wait 7 months to do it…more like right on the spot. If you’re gonna sue someone, sue someone. Don’t call them and threaten them over and over. It just makes the case thinner each time. If they really had a case, they’d do something.

  31. Can anyone list the area codes these calls are coming from? I’m guessing they’re located in IL and FL? Iphone programs like iblacklisted will let you block whole area codes :D

    • I got calls from some 305 number (Miami) and a 202 number (Washington, DC). Then there’s 312-880-9160 (Prenda HQ) but I’d just ban all Chicago prefixes (312, 773, 847, and some other prefixes I forgot) to be safe :P Actually, 847 isn’t Chicago but I have an ex with an 847 prefix heh. The robocalls came from 1-800-380-0840 so ban that one as well. I’m sure they’ll just get a new phone number or series of numbers. I’m pretty sure the 800 number is VoIP since it’s the robocalls were a configurable computer voice.

    • This is the list of numbers I have seen people mention so far:


      I keep them all under one contact that I have google voice route straight to voicemail. Anytime other troll numbers are mentioned, I add them to that contact. Anyone got any to add to this list.

      • There’s a 202 number that Lutz used once or twice. It’s the DC prefix. I know Prenda has a subpoena production office there. I never bothered to record the actual numbers they called from, just the voicemails.

  32. Anyone ever think about changing their contact information (cell phone mostly) with the ISP before your information is handed over? I did, they said my “old” number would be completely removed form the account.

    • I’ve had a Google number listed with my ISP for a while now. Makes it rather handy when you start getting the robocalls from BS like this. Just list a number that is not forwarded to any phone, and start enjoying not having your phone explode.

  33. I got one of these subpeonas from my ISP today. I live in downstate Illinois, not in the Cook circuit. Does that matter? Should I still be looking to file a MTQ?

    • From my understanding…it may only matter in that they could argue that you are close enough if they decide to take you to court.

      But from what I’ve read…the chances of that happening is slim to none.

    • Living downstate is a relevant factor for a motion to quash or a motion to dismiss. They continue to file cases against people who live downstate, so while it is not possible to say what the chances are that you will be the person sued if they get your information, it is certainly possible that it will happen. There are steps you can take to protect yourself if you choose to do so.

    • Downstate Illinois or not, you’re still in Illinois. You can file an MTQ for improper venue, then when you’re added as a party to the suit, you could file a motion to dismiss based on improper venue. Then again, Prenda could just drop you from the case in Cook and file a new suit against you in your county, although I’m not sure if they wanna be going and suing people in all 102 counties.

      If Duffy does decide to file individual suits in different counties, then the defendants could petition for removal and the federal judge would destroy the complaint. I sincerely doubt he’d risk that, although he’s been a bit sloppy lately. I dunno I may just be talking outta my ass since I’m not an attorney.

      Disclaimer: The above is for discussion purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

  34. Keep coming back here hoping for more insights and updates…

    Is there any big differences between this case and others like it?

    • as far as I can tell, the main difference from others is that the ‘does’ weren’t named in the case. they used a round about way to get info on people. all of the wording in the case, and the settlement letters both is also extremely vague, I do not know if that is different than other cases or not.

      • Yeah I’m not too sure how Illinois handles it, but if they allow “John Doe” to be a named party in a lawsuit, seeing “Guava, LLC. v. Skyler Case et al” with et al being “Does 1-10,000” would likely make any judge shit a brick. Vague settlement letter for a vague complaint. “You’ve been monitored doing something, we won’t tell you what, but pay us and you won’t find out what you may or may not have done. If you choose not to pay us, then we will be forced to sue you for doing something.” I have no idea how they managed to get subpoenas issued under the Cable Act with no subscriber notification. Any ISP who hands over subscriber info under the Cable Act is required by the exact same law to notify the subscriber (unless the government requests it I believe, but they’d use the SCA).

        • Initially I suspected the Doe info was coming out of the FL “pure bill of discovery” lawsuits as Prenda had filed some on behalf of LMC, HDP and others but have to agree with AD that notification would have to been given. SJD is aware of my paranoia when it comes to trolls but never discount misinformation to spread FUD.

    • You’ve got a better chance of being hit by falling airplane parts than being named and served by Prenda as long as you ignore them completely. From a numbers perspective, they’ve got like 10,000 people in this shit pot, it would cost an inordinate amount of money just to file cases against Does in their home jurisdictions, not to mention the time it’d take. No law firm on the face of the Earth has the resources to go after 10,000 people individually in different jurisdictions.

    • I agree with Erin on what CAN POSSIBLY HAPPEN once they get your info and you decide to wait it out. a) they will harass you and eventually forget you OR b) sue you.where you live

      However, **I believe** that a) is FAR MORE likely than b)

      That is, in general a) >>> b) implying
      a) is not equal or approx equal to b) NOR is b) > a)

      With that in mind though, b) is not = to 0 unfortunately

      If you: #1) live in a jurisdiction where the trolls already have or seriously plan to have a presence/affiliate within the time limit of the statute of limitations and/or #2) if you talk to them beyond the “Richard Prior Response” then your chances for b) increase a little (if #1 OR #2 applies) or more than a little (if #1 AND #2 applies)

      The above should not be construed as legal advice in anyway, shape or form. These are just my opinions on the POSSIBILITIES of CAN happen if you wait it out along with the relative PROBABILITY of those POSSIBILITIES

      Basically, the long-winded version of what “That Anonymous Dude” said :-)

      • Practically speaking, I believe this is isolated to one jurisdiction. It’s all about “judicial economy” and by “judicial economy” I mean economical for Duffy. I doubt Duffy will dismiss any Does from this case just to sue them in Peoria, Tazewell, McLean, Will, Lake, Kane, and/or Kendall Counties. I’d like to see that asshat walk into my county’s courthouse and file a lawsuit like that. The judge would take one look at it and say “What the hell is this? Get this the hell out of my courtroom.” One of my neighbors was filing frivolous suits against people and the judges kept dismissing them until one of the judges told him “get this crap the hell out of my courtroom”…ironically the lawsuit was over dog shit, I’m not even kidding.

        Their MO is threaten and if that doesn’t work, threaten some more. If that doesn’t work, threaten some more. A pattern begins to develop. It’s almost disgusting how many recordings I have of Mark Lutz telling me they’re gonna sue me individually. I could probably string them together into a 3+ minute long MP3. “We’re gonna file a FEDERAL lawsuit with your name in it…Our next step is to file a FEDERAL lawsuit against you…We’re filing a FEDERAL lawsuit with your name…” heh. Are the words “federal lawsuit” supposed to scare me?

  35. Case this huge, there is safety in numbers. I am guessing that his lawsuit is the last redoubt of LMC and other AZ pornographers who are getting clobbered in federal courts. If you can handle some Halloween letters and, maybe, a few nasty phone/email messages, just sit tight.

    • k, they wouldnt be too happy if i replied to their phone calls and/or letters with some r-rated rant, would they?

      • do not speak to them at all without consulting an attorney, they are looking for people to either settle, or to communicate with them and give them some sort of incriminating information. I personally am trying the wait and see method, after talking to my attorney, I will be speaking to him again soon, and may change tack if he has learned anything or has a different suggestion. I repeat do not speak to them directly, they are probably very good at getting people to say things that could be used against them,

      • Yes they would. In fact, they want you to. That’s how they know they’ve got you on the hook. Every single time those assholes called me while I was home, I wanted to pick up the phone and make Mark Lutz cry like a little girl but I didn’t. I wanted to send them letters telling them to fuck off, among other choice things to do to themselves…didn’t do that. They want you to get pissed. Then they can put “Our representative felt threatened by Defendant’s phone calls” and you could possibly land yourself in some real legal trouble. ANYTHING that comes out of your mouth will be used against you.

  36. Everyone has seen “Fight Club”, well the First Rule of Doe Club is “under no circumstances do you communicate with a troll or his agent.”

    • hmm, it worked with telemarketers, i guess ill have to vent my anger and frustration somewhere else then.

    • This doe will be waiting it out….

      So…probably should not answer any calls from them.


      Please keep us updated what your attorney has to say!

      • I will, but he has no experience with this type of case really. He is with a legal aid group. When i contacted the group, I talked to an attorney who referred me to his colleague, who specializes in ‘consumer law.’ The original attorney said that it sounded like a scam. The colleague is looking up info and actually should have called me back by now. I will try to remember to call him tomorrow. Anyhow, he might decide that he isn’t qualified to do anything, or he might have some different way of dealing with things, who knows.

      • Probably shouldn’t? No, not probably…absolutely do not answer calls from them under any circumstances. Do not call them under any circumstances.

        • How can they use silence against you? You haven’t even been formally named, joined, and served, so you’re not even a party to the lawsuit. “Defendant did not answer his phone” is not a valid argument. Even if they could, for all they know, you’re never home when they call. It’s not like they can get your voicemails anyway since the Stored Communications Act (18 USC § 2701 et seq) prohibits third-parties from obtaining stored communications. Only the government can get its hands on contents of electronic communications. They cannot get your emails, voicemails, text messages, etc.

      • Definitely do not speak directly with Prenda or any of their agents. That is the worst possible option. Speak with a lawyer who does these cases. I’m not simply trying to get you to call me. I’d rather you talk to *any* of the other lawyers to whom I could refer you than talk to Prenda.

  37. Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Quash filed today for 17 of my clients, and two clients for whom I am acting as local counsel. I’m really glad people are resisting these litigation tactics.

    • hey erin, is it too late to file motion to dismiss/quash if they have already subpoenaed, or if the date that they said they would file one, has passed? if i can file for one, how much will it usually cost? and can i do it myself, or would i need help from an attorney?

      • It may or may not be too late. We’d have to talk specifics about the dates. Please call me to talk about rates. As I mentioned below, I don’t charge for consultations or just to give information. Ever. Technically you can do it yourself if you choose to do so, but you will have to follow the rules and procedures of the court, and that’s not always easy for a lay person to do properly.

  38. ERIN:
    It states above that this case is basically a computer hacking case, but I am confused as to what websites your clients are being accused of hacking. How do you file a motion to dismiss/quash if you can’t establish the reason your clients received the subpoena in the first place?

    • Erin is probably not up this early so I’ll throw in my 2 cents. It is likely that the overwhelming percentage of Does in this lawsuit do not reside in or have any contacts with IL so the court has no personal jurisdiction over them. Also, as you have noticed, the complaint is too vague (to put it nicely) to state a valid couse of action and is preempted by the Copyright Act. I’m sure Erin has other arguments up her sleeve but these are the obvious ones.

      Are you getting your kids on the school bus as well?

    • The complaint does not provide information as to the sites or “systems” that were hacked. My clients are not the parties who need to plead sufficient facts, particularly jurisdictional facts. That’s the plaintiff’s burden. The motion to dismiss rests on jurisdictional arguments. Both personal and subject matter.

      • Erin:

        So what you’re saying, is that any “alleged co-conspirator” who receives a subpoena notification for this mess and does not reside in (or has significant ties to) Cook County (personal) AND/OR denies knowledge of or participation in the alleged “conspiracy” (subject matter) has solid legal standing for filing a Motion to Quash or Motion to dismiss. If so, and if they choose to file such a motion (pro se or via an attorney), then it should be done anonymously while adhering to procedures established within Cook County for these things. Correct?

        • I’m saying that any subpoena target has standing to file a Motion to Quash. They are able to do so as a John Doe (and should for obvious reasons), and all motions submitted must comport with Illinois law and the Court’s standing order. Subpoena targets also have standing to file a Motion to Dismiss, on whatever legal grounds they deem appropriate.

  39. Several weeks ago, I believe a few DOES claimed to receive demand letters from Prenda regarding the Guava case, yet NEVER received prior notification of a subpoena from their ISPs. Did we ever gain any hard knowledge (or at least formulate any reasonable theories) as to how their info got released without prior notification from their ISPs?

    Thanks in advance!

  40. I think that requires far more speculation than I’m comfortable with, and requires too many assumptions about accuracy and complete information. I’m not saying it isn’t possible. I’m saying I’d need to see documents and have actual information to address this question.

    • I personally received a letter from Prenda two weeks before my ISP sent notification. I do not think that it was Prenda who did anything… I think that my ISP sent my contact info to Prenda as soon as they got a subpoena, and neglected to tell me anything until later. I tried posting two different times in the last hour and it didnt go through for some reason LOL

  41. I personally received a letter from Prenda two weeks prior to being E-mailed by my ISP about the subpoena. I believe that my ISP turned over info within moments of receiving a court order, then waited for some unknown reason to notify me. The E-mail that they sent had contact info for Prenda and suggested that I contact them if I had any questions about the case. If there was a decent competitor for my ISP I would switch to them, but alas. The letter from Prenda was dated (Just the header on the letter, there was no post mark.) the day before the subpoena was stamped received (They sent a pdf file, attached to the E-mail, of the subpoena); however I believe that this was a mistake by Prenda, they most likely set up the form letter a day or two early, and did not change the date. I seriously doubt that Prenda got any contact info for me through some method other than contacting my ISP. (btw I am the anon who previously spoke about having contacted an attorney who wasn’t familiar with this sort of case and am still waiting on him to get back to me, as I keep getting busy durring the times that I could call him and forgetting to do so.)

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