Illinois Supreme Court intervenes in the farcical Lightspeed v. Doe case, slaps the judge on the wrist
This is huge.
As ArsTechnica reports today, on June 27th Illinois Supreme Court nixed the latest porn trolling scheme brought forward by infamous copyright troll John Steele (Prenda Law) in conspiracy with pornographer Steve “Lightspeed” Jones.
We reported on this lawsuit more than once, trying to bring attention to this blatant abuse of justice:
- Lightspeed Media Corporation v. John Doe: a quick Q & A
- Attorney’s opinion: Lightspeed’s claim is a farce
- Lightspeed Media v. John Doe: a quick follow up Q & A
- Lightspeed v. Doe news. Early Halloween scare: Unusually lame demand letter
- Prenda Law starts using robocalls to intimidate its targets. Will IARDC continue keeping its head in the sand?
So, justice still exists in this country. When judge LeChien from notoriously corrupt St. Clair county denied the motions filed by ISPs and allowed this farce to continue, every respectable lawyer who is familiar with this case shook his head in disbelief — it did not make any sense. Apparently AT&T and other ISPs complained to the Illinois Supreme Court, and the voice of reason was heard.
(This is a quick article to break the initial news. Continue reading here.)
69 responses to ‘Illinois Supreme Court intervenes in the farcical Lightspeed v. Doe case, slaps the judge on the wrist’
This is GREAT news. I was one of the DOES in the Illinois/Prenda Law Suit. My personal identity was suppose to be released on May 24, 2012. I sat back and did nothing just waiting for this to unravel. Never got a letter or a phone call. I’m assuming this is the reason why. Thankyou so much for sharing…
I would like to know if there’s any recourse for me to recoup the money I chose to settle for, I think it was $2400 and I did so anonymously through a lawyer. I was very scared and I did not want to worry about it but now am very upset I made that decision!
I was part of the 11-L-0683 case; my info was supposed to have been released at the end of May, but I never heard from the trolls. I’m assuming this news means that I never will?
If so, that’s the best news I’ve heard in a while, and congrats to my fellow Does. And thank you to Raul, SJD, and DTD for keeping me sane during the last few months (since I got the first letter from Comcast).
Oh yeah. Thanks DTD and SJD and Raul and I also enjoyed the colorful works by Sword of Damocles….
Huge props to Raul, DTD, SJD, and others for this informative site. You restored my sanity in the early moments and restored my faith in the WWW that there are still useful and important websites :thumbsup:
My date was also May 24 and I haven’t heard a peep. I hope the does that were identified to Prenda won’t continue to be harassed though.
And that is precisely why I wanted my $$$ to go to an attorney for an MTQ, I got a reprieve, bought some time…and evidently it paid off as all they’ll have is an IP address with no phone/address to harass
Woohoo! I lawyered up and paid $900 for respresentation. I’m a little sorry now, but at least I didn’t give the trolls a cent. Any money spent fighting the trolls is money well spent.
Same here haha paid a $1000. Probably won’t be getting it back from the lawyer, but glad it didn’t go to a lying scumbag.
I’m not sorry at all! I spent the same to hire Yasha Heidari, and I’m not sorry for the following reasons:
1. He conversed with me for over an hour by both email and phone BEFORE I agreed and signed an engagement letter to do my MTQ. He explained a ton about these cases and described the pros and cons before I agreed. Essentially, an hour’s worth of free consultation before I agreed.
2. There was no guarantee that that this would be thrown out, and the likelihood seemed higher that my info would be released with ensuing harassment if I did absolutely nothing. I couldn’t bear the thought of my daughter picking up the phone, so doing nothing was not an option.
3. The typical settlement demands were running at $4K for this one. I was prepared, as a PISSED OFF DOE, to spend what what would amount to the settlement cost on a good attorney with proven track record in these things to fight Prenda/LMC. I spent less than 1/4 of what I was prepared to do!.
4. I’d rather feed a defense attorney who is respected with a track record of fighting trolls, rather than feeding the trolls
I remember that gfy forum members were treating LMC/Jones as a hero after LeChien denied the ISPs MTQs. I wonder how is this playing out on gfy 🙂 Finally, what is happening to Adam Sekora in Maricopa Co, Az??
http://twitter.com/Stay_Intrigued <– when it starts, it will start here. I'm really hoping more people will stay tuned than the handful currently following.
I'm still around. Busy, busy, busy.
Glad to see you already have a showing of support!
I guess this answers the question of whether or not bro Michael Sekora is on board and in support of his bro..a bona-fide genius who funneled all that brain power into technology and its role in government and corporate intelligence. On top of that, BoothSweet (they kick ass in IP/internet law in Boston), the EFF and others supporting/advising in the legal dept, with SJD and DTD helping with internet PR…aw man!
Cage Match: All of the above against Troll Goodhue, Steel, Hoerner, the other Prenda goons (Perea/Lutz/Gibbs/Duffy) and Stevie Lightspeed…heh heh
C’mon it doesn’t even appear to be fair 🙂 As long as the ref/judge keeps the foreign objects out of the ring, Troll Goodhue, LMC and et al are seriously f#*&ked!
I’m getting the feeling that this is bigger than just the LMC cases alone, because there’d be no need for all that firepower to simply defend one weak plaintiff case in Maricopa County Az against Goodhue with Steele calling the shots in the background.
Call me intrigued!
so case 11-L-0683 is dead? will ISPs be required to send out correspondence to those affected? I assume Comcast (and other ISPs) are included within the language of “et al”, correct?
Case is not dead…..just being dragged out further for those who were with the “et al” ISP’s that filed motion to quash. Call me pssemist but I believe LeChien will re-move to order the ISP’s to release the info with a new due date. The Ill supreme court only ordered LeChien to honor the initial Motion to quash. So in reality, all he has to do is say, ok, its honored, now turn over the info anyway but with a new due date. So all it did was buy some time for the Does, but you can bet LeChien will make that due date not too far off into the future.
Lightspeed is not going to walk away from this case. He will pursue it to the bitter end. The only way this case is going away is if a judge flushes the entire damn thing with prejudice and I do not see that happening with LeChien in the drivers seat. They shopped for him well, and I would not be too surprised if he and Omalley are good ol boy buds.
Does anyone know what this means for the Florida case?
Reading some other document that I will share later. OMG Steele is a lunatic: he moved for (and maybe succeed – I don’t know) court-supervised deposition of AT&T’s Chairman of the Board, CEO and President.
Not sure what goodwill come of a deposition at this point. If anything, the more Steele and Pretenda continue poking at AT&T, and other ISPs, the chances of him looking like a complete ass (okay more of an ass) increases.
Sounds as if it may be a harassment tactic.
Exactly, and it gave some ammo to ISPs to say exactly that. 1000th time Steele ran afoul of the Professional Code of Conduct. IL Bar is silent. As usual. I sent all the docs I have to you, Raul.
My concern is to whom this judgement applies to. does this judegement only apply to those who are with those ISP’s that objected? or does it apply to everyone involved in the case?? I have learned before many many times in these cases that you should never jump to conclusions. I have been disappointed more than once. So, SJD or Raul, do either of you have any strong/concrete facts about this. Just my luck that this whole thing applies to only ISP’s that objected. I am not sure if My ISP objected or not and/or is included within et al.
That’s a valid concern. I took it for granted based of Ars’s article (“nixed”), but if I find that only moving ISPs are eligible to withhold data, I’ll modify the title.
Is there a copy of the 5/21 order this is referring to anywhere on this site? I’m curious as to what they specifically vacated.
I may have it – will post in the evening. Now please excuse me, I have to work 😦
All I know for sure is that Comcast Verizon, AT&T and Embarq moved to quash the subpoenas. Other ISPs may have also moved to quash but I have no knowledge one way or the other. This Order, I believe, would only apply to those ISPs that moved to quash. If you are unsure you could try calling the legal department of your ISP and ask.
That being said, this is very good news and just shows what can happen when a ISP stands up for its customers. This is a definite growing trend which is positive for Does and which might be why Steele is looking to harass the guy who hired the lawyers.
Add Bellsouth, Centurytel, Cox, Qwest, Cellco and Wayport to the list of ISP’s who moved to quash.
I went from semihard to damn near erect.
I also was part of Illinois Case 11-L-0683 with a May 24th cut-off date. I, too, never heard from the trolls. Thanks SJD, Raul & DTD for keeping us informed, sane & stress-free during this ordeal. Hopefully with this crap over for the Illinois Doe’s, we all don’t forget this website by continuing to support it & contributing in any way we can in the future to eradicate these scumbag trolls!!
I guess I’m still uncertain as to what this means, exactly. Both 11-L-683 and 11-L-621 list as being open cases on the St Clair County Circuit Clerk website. Specifically, in 683 (my case), the register lists a motion hearing still scheduled for 20 July 2012 at 10:00am. Does anyone know for certain the status of these cases? If they are closed, has the county’s website simply not been updated? I find that hard to believe given that it is nearing close of business in Illinois. Does anyone have any concrete information about what this means?
Crap. I was thinking along the same lines about the ISP’s that stood up. As far as I know, I have not heard of mine objecting and therefore my ass is still flapping in the wind. The problem for the remaining Does is now there are fewer of us and are therefore more easy targets. I am happy for the Does who are with semi-decent ISP’s. Apparently mine sucks wind.
From my attorney, Yasha Heidari:
“Note that the Supreme Court did not issue an order directing the trial court to grant the ISP’s motion to quash (which would be a total victory), but only issued an order to allow the ISPs to make their motions to quash. As such, because the Supreme Court didn’t issue an order actually quashing the subpoenas, the trial court is still free to move forward with the case. Based on what has happened, I believe the Supreme Court’s order serves as a veiled indication that the trial court should not allow the case to move forward or allow any subpoenas to issue against the ‘co-consipirators’ in the future. With that said, until the plaintiff dismisses the case or the trial court issues an order, the case is still alive.”
So it would seem this is good news, but not necessarily the end of this case.
According to the arstechnica.com/ article:
On April 12, the judge denied an ISP request to quash the subpoenas. So the ISPs appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court. In a terse Wednesday ruling, the state’s highest court sided with the ISPs, ordering the judge to quash the subpoenas.
The Judge has been ordered to quash the subpoenas, therefore the trial court has to issue an order not to allow the case to move forward or allow any subpoenas to issue against the ‘co-consipirators’ in the future.
Question is how soon does Judge LeChien have to comply to this order??
I assume that it doesn’t matter… a higher court has told the ISP’s that they don’t have to comply with the subpoena so they won’t be releasing the information. The troll can appeal but I can’t imagine they will…
Thank you, and thank you to Mr. Heidari. That clears up my question.
SJD OR RAUL:
The document states that it was filed on May 22, 2012 in the Supreme Court of the state of Illinois. My ISP is Comcast & since I had a May 24th cutoff date would it be safe to assume that Comcast never complied in turning over any information after the May 22 Supreme Court MTQ filing??
That would be a safe assumption.
According to Yasha Heidari this does not include Comcast. He said that nonetheless, based on this ruling, if Comcast wants to file a motion, they almost certainly have the ability to do so at this time. Heres hoping they do.
Dammit. If Comcast doesn’t do something, I’m going to be so pissed. I got all excited, that this mess was finally over. I’m not guilty and payed an attorney for a motion to quash.
Well you have to look on the bright side of things. This at least will put pressure on the court to make the right decision on July 20th if this case makes it that far especially having the Supreme Court of Illinois looking over its shoulder. I am too hoping that comcast sticks up for its customers and files a similar motion, there is still a couple of weeks until the 20th so hopefully this case just falls apart more than it already has.
those who filed individual MTQs should still be in business; when they’re denied in St. Clair County they’ll be appealed and I don’t see how the IL Supreme Court ruling doesn’t play a role in appellate court
I’m also concerned about Comcast not being one of the ISPs in this ruling. I was on the phone with my lawyer about the developments. He is in touch with Comcast’s legal department to see what, if anything, they are going to do about it. I’ll post as soon as I know more.
I think that this massive troll enterprise is quickly falling apart and will soon slide into the toilet of troll net failures. Would be very surprised if Comcast did not join in with the moving ISPs.
Hope to get a post out soon that puts this development into a larger context.
This afternoon everyone thought That COMCAST was included with the moving ISP’S, but after reading all the Supreme Court filings provided by SJD, it appears that they are not included. Like Raul states above- would be very surprised if Comcast did not join in with the moving ISPs, since they just fought & prevailed in the Bittorrent MTQ ruling.
All Doe’s, who have Comcast as their ISP, I’m sure would like to find out what Comcast is doing or intends to do about joining the moving ISP’S. I suggest that starting tommorrow every Comcast DOE give their Legal Dept a call. Let’s flood them with phone calls to put pressure on them to step up to the plate for their customers like the other ISP’S.
The phone & fax number of their Legal Dept in Moorestown, NJ is:
I am a customer of Comcast and my IP was one of the ones in the subpeona. I retained an attorney so I didn’t have to deal with them directly. He contacted Comcast to see if my information was released and they informed him that it had been. He has been in contact with the attorney in Illinois, Kevin Hoener, who continues to refer him to Mark Lutz. Mark Lutz is not an attorney so my attorney will not discuss anything with him, but it appears that he is nothing more than the person that was hired to be the extorsionist in the case to get settlements. I have no intention of setttling because I am completely innocent. It remains to be seen if they actually litigate me in Georgia as they claim they intend to do.
Thankfully your region is unfriendly to trolls. There have been less than ten troll filings in your state, all of them 10 or more months. In the last round of them, the Judge severed all the Doe defendants except Doe #1. The porn purveyor troll plaintiff dismissed “without prejudice”the remaining Does (Doe #1) in these cases. This means the trolls did not pursue Does #1 hard.
There have been so few total “Intellectual Property” cases in your state over the last 10 years that any troll filing would be very conspicuous. If you want to survey things, go to http://www.rfcexpress.com/
and use the pull down menu at the bottom right. Copyright cases usually have [porn studio] v. John Does #…in their name. These factors make the probability of being served in your state seem even LOWER than the usual fraction of one per cent.
It’s very bad form that the local troll attorney would only refer you to Mark Lutz for discussions about the case. As far as we know, Mr. Lutz is neither a paralegal nor an attorney. First, it’s professional discourtesy for one colleague to be denied access to opposing counsel.
Second, it’s outrageous that in the multi-million dollar troll operation can’t provide an actual lawyer who can discuss the case with opposing counsel. Please collect whatever records you can about this situation. Please think about having your lawyer contact your state’s bar association, consumer protection division, and attorney general. Defense counsel is being hindered from contacting the other legal team but is referred to the demand person. The troll communication arrangement reflects the racket they are running, with no intent of discussing matters in court.
Also, it’s only a small group of lawyers who are overseeing groups of plaintiffs. If your lawyer is working on responding beyond the minimal of shielding you from calls, it would be good for he/she to become more knowledgeable about which group is involved and how they operate. So far, Mark Lutz has only been linked to one of these troll groups (with different representatives if different states). Your attorney could simply call the overseer attorney or associate directly.
Well with Steve exhibiting such tendancies as drug usage (given) and a psychotic nature, I have a stinky suspicion he is gonna go ultra-stupid, reckless, insane, and try to cause as much destruction as he can. Of course in the end that will only serve to flatten him utterly, but it might make life for some of us a little more difficult in the interim.
Wonderful news. Hard to imagine a lower court ignoring the ruling of a higher court on principle. We know how corrupt St. Claire county is, but there are still limits and governors on these type of things.
At the very least, it is a nice precedent being set that will later be cited by others.
Keep up the good fight and believe that truth and justice prevail. One can only hide under the rock, er, um, bridge, so long before they are brought out into the light.
I just love the analogy. They want to paint the consumers of porn as dirty people when in reality they are the creepy crawlers of society.
Actually, there are a very fair number of innocent victims here that did nothing other than purchases internet access for their families. Many probably having children and they feel it best to give them access for their coursework, or perhaps they just like to watch Netflix from their paid account. Just common folk perusing the all American dream.
There is too much information on the internet about 30,000 spoofed cable modems, facts about how easy it is to hack a neighbor’s WiFi, and other egregious acts to take a simple IP at face value. So if I got a speeding ticket from a camera system then prove that my car was not hot wired and used to commit this offense. They only have a grainy picture and my license plate. At least in that case they have a license plate and photo. In this case they have the “probable” identity of the person paying the bill. Not really sound evidence. What about those college kids who’s parents are footing the bill for their Internet at their college apartment complex with over 1,000 renters? They may well be over 21, but do you hold mom and pop liable for what their neighbors may or may not have done? That is just the most irrational logic!
I’m still dying to see the “investigative” firms looked at in court. I just love if they use a German firm and wonder how does that stack up in the US jurisdiction? Having an IT background I can’t tell you number of times I have had to respond to non-functioning computers because of duplicate IPs on the network canceling each other out. It does happen and so the argument of IP = identity is not even plausible to those on heavy drugs!
Perhaps, the problem is archaic laws for modern technology. If and when this changes the trolls will be the first to fight any changes.
I can just see the down fall now. Trolls, better move on to a new career before it is too late. You can’t screw over so many folks without thinking that your day is coming. Sadly, for the trolls, it sounds like a very paranoid existence.
IMO, I just keep on working my 9 – 5 and sleep at night knowing that I don’t have to face the karma in a bad way.
now that IL is getting cleared up, any news of FL?
Sure sounds like LeChien is in Prenda’s pocket to me. I mean we can sit here and smoke crack till we are blue in the face, but at the end of the day, sounds like that bubble-head is bending over backwards to help his “good-ol-boy” buddies like Omalfoy-tard and other red-neck slick dicksters. I think the Illinois Supreme Court basically said…..”Look asshole (LeChien), yeah, dont get tooooo open about it cause it’s starting to look a little tooooo obvious. So tone it down a bit or we will have the feds poking around here” And I will say it again: Illinois is the asshole of the country. I mean seriously, just look at the President it produced. And what about the Govna Blagosivich, yeah, now he was sure a straight shooter now wasnt he. Florida is Iliinois’ little punk brother. And Maricopa county is a wanna-be to the two wretch holes just mentioned.
Just spoke with a Comcast Legal Response Center Rep in Moorestown NJ & asked why they didn’t join forces with the other Moving ISP’S in the Illinois Supreme Court MTQ filing. He wouldn’t give me any information, said their were no attorneys I could speak with & said it was up to each Comcast customer to work out their own problem!! GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE!! Maybe a Comcast Doe, who has hired an attorney, can get their attorney to call in to get an answer, since calling in as a subscriber won’t get squat!!
…precisely why I hired my own attorney
So what if Prenda already has our information and they are calling every day? Does this do anything for those of us in that situation?
Who is your ISP?
I might have missed it. But, I can’t find anything with Mediacom in the motions.
OK, so let me get this straight…..If my ISP was one of the movants (et al), then it’s safe to assume that my info as of yet has not been released????? . I have been wondering why I have not received a call or a settlement letter yet. I just figured with 6500 people it would take them a while.
You are correct.
However, you can always call the legal department of your ISP and verify.
Prenda is still calling me daily and leaving voicemails, I probably have about 30 and they are recorded in mp3 format.
Wonderful thing to hold on to for when the time comes, and it will be coming sooner rather than later!
What’s your ISP?
i am little confused…sorry been out of the loop for a bit, but my date was back in may and i haven’t heard anything at all and my Isp was comcast…so i keep hearing comcast was included in one of the supreme court filings than they aren’t…but no calls or letters so what does this mean thanks
My guess is both sides are scratching their heads, trying to figure how to best proceed forward. The result: logjam.
Kevin T. Hoerner is the Lightspeed Attorney who replaced Michael O’Malley in the Illinois Case. He is also running for St. Clair County Precinct Committeeman, Stookey 4 Democratic in the Nov 2012 Election.
I’m sure his Republican opponent, who has yet to be named, would like to know that Mr. Hoerner’s Resume includes defending & trolling for the PORN INDUSTRY, so he can let the conservative Democratic voters of St Clair County aware too. Here is a link that will show who this Republican candidate will be as we get closer to the November election:
Another source is where the actual voting will take place:
SIGNAL HILL FIRE DEPT
329 HAZEL AVE
BELLEVILLE ILLINOIS 62223
PS: Here’s a few photos of Mr. Hoerner smoozing with some of his colleagues:
Strange…. This page receives an unusually high traffic today but I cannot determine the source.
Maybe you should try and find them based just off their IP. 🙂
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