On June 27th the Illinois Supreme Court issued a Supervisory Order vacating Judge LeChien’s orders of May 21st and allowing the moving ISPs’ motion to quash. How did this come about and what does it mean? Thankfully, fightcopyrighttrolls.com had been provided with some (not all) of the court filings, which give a glimpse into what took place behind the scenes.
After monitoring his porn websites beginning in August of 2011, Steve “Lightspeed” Jones (via a Prenda affiliate) filed this lawsuit on December 14, 2011, alleging that “John Doe” and 6,600 “co-conspirators” hacked into his websites and viewed content without authorization. On December 16, 2011 Lightspeed, without giving the ISPs any notice, applied for and obtained an order for the early discovery by way of a subpoenas of the personal info of both “John Doe” and the 6,600 “co-conspirators” (hereafter “Co-Does”). The court also granted the troll’s request to extend the order into Florida. The troll may or may have not properly served all the ISPs with the subpoenas, and some of the subpoenas were defective. The ISPs: AT&T, Bellsouth, Cellco, Centurytel, Embarq, Qwest, Verizon and Wayport filed a joint motion to quash/issue a protective order on March 20th and Comcast filed its separate motion to quash.
On April 12th Judge LeChien denied the motions to quash and directed the ISPs to notify their subscribers and to produce the Doe and Co-Doe personal info by June 12th. The Judge also ordered the ISPs to advise their subscribers that all of the subscriber’s motions to quash would be heard in his courtroom on July 20th.
Enough on background, from this point on the sleaze becomes obviously apparent.
Five days later on April 17, without allowing the attorneys for the ISPs to participate or to even observe, Judge LeChien helps the troll craft the Doe shakedown letter. The shakedown letter is mailed, and inquiries and pleas from across the country begin to roll into the court. Due to this avalanche of inquiries and pleas, Judge LeChien issues an order directing the troll to halt mailing shakedown letters for the time being. You are not going to believe this: in response to that order, on May 7 the troll sends a letter to the court that suggests that the Judge’s clerk instruct any internet subscribers who call in to instead telephone the troll “with any questions” they might have! By May 11 the judge indicates that the shakedown letter was somehow revised and the shakedowns can resume.
On April 25 the ISPs filed a motion for finding a friendly “contempt,” so they could appeal the judge’s orders in the Fifth District Appellate Court and for a stay in the turning over of their subscriber’s info. In response, the troll (OK: Steele in all likelihood) filed a procedurally improper, lacking legal basis, and harassing motion seeking the court-ordered deposition of the Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of AT&T! A hearing on these motions was held on May 14, at which the judge refused to allow the attorneys for the ISPs to elaborate on their argument that the Co-Doe info is not relevant in a lawsuit against a single John Doe, and that the court does not have personal jurisdiction over most, if not all, Co-Does, and that this court is being used as a tool in a massive shakedown scheme.
Thus, on May 21 the judge denied the ISP’s motion to qualify to take an appeal finding that the conspiracy theory is legit or in his words: “…the plot was designed to steal and share Lightspeed’s nasty pictures.” The judge also issued another order directing the ISPs to turn their subscriber info over to him for his review. There were no safeguards to prevent the judge from immediately handing that info over to the troll.
It was at this point that the attorneys for the ISPs made their motion for the Supervisory Order, and as a result, the order directed Judge LeChien to allow the motion to quash. In an attempt to prevent this order, the troll filed his opposition papers, which served up misstatements and some howlers. For example, the troll asserted (zippo evidence) that “John Doe” resided in St. Clair County and is a hacker who is the “worst of the worst” and runs a blog entitled “World’s Biggest Hackers.” Likewise, in a thinly veiled attack, directed at this blog, the troll asserts (again without any evidence) that “the hacking community has targeted plaintiff for retribution.”
Obviously, the Illinois Supreme Court did not buy it.
In the end, what this means is that Judge LeChien is basically being told to grant the moving ISPs’ motions to quash as to the Co-Does only. Granted, the non-moving ISP info has gone to Prenda, but I suspect that it is a small fraction of the 6,600 Co-Does identified by T.H.I.E.F ver.2 (Jone’s forensic computer program to identify alleged hackers). What this means is history has repeated itself. Like in the case of Lightspeed’s teaming up with Steele in the BitTorrent troll lawsuits of 2010/2011, a lot of work and energy has gone into launching this massive troll enterprise, and it is quickly falling apart. Neither Prenda nor Lightspeed are going to reap the riches they must have initially envisioned. Karma, Baby!
SJD: Raul gave a short overview of what can be found in the attached documents. However, there is much more there, and I hope that all the dirt, lies and greed will be exposed by mainstream press in the near future.
11-L-0683 12/14/2011 LIGHTSPEED VS JOHN DOE
- Complaint — original quality, no exhibits.
- Complaint— scanned, all exhibits.
- Comcast’s motion to quash subpoena and vacate order granting discovery (incl. memorandum in support) (3/19/2012)
- Memorandum in support of motion to quash and/or motion for protective order by Embarq and Verizon — first 16 pages (3/20/2012)
- The Supreme Court of Illinois
- Emergency motion to stay (5/22/2012)
- Motion for supervisory order (5/22/2012)
- Explanatory suggestions to the Motion for supervisory order (5/22/2012) — Appendix contains many IL 11-L-0683 filings
- Lightspeed’s Objections to motion for supervisory order (5/29/2012) — intensity of lies presented in this document is mind blowing
- Reply [to objections] brief of moving ISPs (5/29/2012)
- Supervisory Order (6/27/2012)
- Lightspeed Media v. John Doe: a quick follow up Q & A
- Attorney’s opinion: Lightspeed’s claim is a farce
- Lightspeed Media Corporation v. John Doe: a quick 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?
- Illinois Supreme Court ends justice mockery, kills the farcical Lightspeed v. Doe case