Lightspeed Media Corp. v. John Doe, St. Clair county 11-L-683: A behind-the-scenes look (and it ain’t pretty)
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
53 responses to ‘Lightspeed Media Corp. v. John Doe, St. Clair county 11-L-683: A behind-the-scenes look (and it ain’t pretty)’
Once again nice linkage with the photo! Viewers please click on the face of LeChien as it is worth the look.
Another worth the look:
Here’s a 1990 LeChien ruling were he placed the entire city of East St. Louis on probation for 1 year, since it was impossible to send the entire city to jail-something that hadn’t taken place in the USA since 1912:
Giggling. Nice catch!
SJD, is quite correct, I only scratched the surface. Attached to the moving ISPs motion papers are copies of Judge LeChien’s various orders that reveal him as to be either a dipshit or in the pocket of the plaintiff’s bar. You decide.
yes this is great for all you ill case “conspirators” but anyone know what is going on in FL?? all the hearings keep getting cancelled and no one seems to have any of the court docs from there.
Not sure but seeing how Judge LeChien’s Order permitting the issuance of the subpoenas was “domesticated” in FL, if your ISP was one that is listed in the post above, current developments in IL will impact FL.
Okay so Comcast subscribers are still screwed it seems because the supervisory order only has the ISPs that joined forces. Comcast filed a quash seperately and now all their subscribers have a giant target on their backs. Congrats to the rest of you but your good fortune has effectively screwed the Comcast people. wonderful. I would think you guys would put that in the article and possibly change the name of the one entitled “Illinois Supreme Court ends justice mockery, kills the farcical Lightspeed v. Doe case” to “Illinois Supreme Court ends justice mockery, kills the farcical Lightspeed v. Doe case for everyone but Comcast Subscribers” as it is misleading. Thanks for all the work you guys do.
Yes I think Comcast screwed up by not joining forces with the rest, but I don’t think you and the other Comcast subscribers are screwed. The Comcast attorneys are following this and will most likely do the same. The supervisory order is a big warning flag for that joke of a lower court. They essentially told the lower court to quit being a dipshit F’ing #@$!^#!. Even if the judge tries to force Comcast, I’m sure Comcast will just ignore them, daring the lower court to try and do something else stupid. This joke of a law suit was filed in this court because Prenda/Steele/Lightspeed thought they could pull a fast one and get the subscriber info before it fell apart. It didn’t work as expected and now they risk serious negative exposure and fallout. Don’t give up. I would be calling and emailing the Comcast legal department to tell them your displeasure and what you want as a paying customer.
I Also have Comcast as my ISP. I’m thrilled other people can sleep easier at night. That said I called comcast asking what they had planned and they wouldn’t say anything. I paid for a motion to quash with dotson and I am glad I did. I’m innocent and refuse to pay a “ransom” to some joke lawyer and some sicko. Comcast needs to end this joke case for their customers and not give them the run around.
Please if anyone gets any info about Comcast let us know. Thanks Fightcopyrighttrolls.
LeChien is obviously overly corrupt and obviously the Illinois Supreme Court had to reel him in a bit. Granting motions to quash can and will no doubt be attacked by LeChien just as soon as they figure out the best angle to do so. So you can bet Prenda and LeChien are working feverishly to accomplish this as we speak. I do not “think” LeChien is corrupt. I know so. His actions are so open and obvious it does not even require two brain cells to figure out. I hope that asswipe gets investigated. But since he is in Illinois I doubt there is much chance of that. The corruption there is astronomical. They really dont even try to hide it anymore. At least their Supreme Court made an effort to hide it a little.
WOW, Illinois, what a shithole.
And you wonder why Arizonans are so fiesty and quasi-militant. It is quite simple actually. We dont like bullshit, but we keep getting dragged into it. We already have to deal with Mexico (another shithole), low wages, living on the surface of the sun, and a million other things. Our glass is full. And you want us to deal with these scumbags??? No. The alst thing I want is to listen to another con artist. But Maricopa County is basicallly a collection of those sorts (transplants) from those places. They brought their BS with them. But the other areas of Arizona are not that way. So Maricopa is an island of corruption. The rest of Arizona aint that bad, except that we have to deal with their BS.
Does anyone know what this Pinocchio lawyer talks about when he mentions “blog ‘World’s Biggest Hackers'”?
Looked for it but could not find it, suspect Duffy’s nose grew another 2 inches.
Sounds like an uncreative invention of somebody watching a lot of World’s Dumbest Criminals on RealTV.
“Biggest” is such a terrible adjective. May as well call it World’s Fattest Hackers. It’s probably that website where all the fat kids hang out in their basement eating fried chicken & prank calling Little Caesars.
CALL THE COMCAST LEGAL DEPT FOR SOME ANSWERS!!
Yesterday 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 has stated – I 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 today 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:
You want to find out what’s up let’s all participate & give them a call!! The more calls they get, the better chance we will have to get them to act on our behalf!!
I just faxed the Comcast legal dept. (866-947-5587) a question what they are going to do to fight this case – along with a copy of the supervisory order (http://dietrolldie.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/lightspeed-2-order-granting-stay.pdf). Send it for free at http://faxzero.com/
If enough of us do this, they will get the point – or least the fax will blow up. 😉
“Your fax to Legal Dept. at 8669475587 has been sent successfully!
Your fax included 1 page of coversheet with your text and 2 pages of attached documents.”
This maybe the first time someone who used a web browser is considered part of the “hacking community”. I mean, they did not even download a specialized program that is floating around in Europe some where. If it wasn’t for that super hacker Raul none of this would have happened. DAM YOU RAUL!!!!! DAM YOU!!!!! Oh, wait. Sorry this is the wrong board.
I want to remind you a comment by John Steele that was cross-posted all over this site on April 13. No comments necessary.
“Let me summarize it for those of you who are not used to using more than one brain cell, or one hand, at a time: The Master Troll came out from under his bridge and taught Comcast, Verizon, ATT, BellSouth, WayPort, Qwest, Cox, CenturyTel, Embarq some law!”
Time to go back to Divorce Law.
I want to applaud the Comcast legal department. As a Comcast customer, it’s reassuring to know that its attorneys are on the side of their subscribers, and not helpless before the trolls’ thoughtless assault and extortion racket. I haven’t always agreed with Comcast policy, but the company seems to be becoming human at last, a responsible public-service corporation albeit without much public-service regulation. The removal of the bandwidth cap and its replacement with tiered charges makes more sense than disconnecting individuals who take advantage of Comcast’s pretty speedy (by American standards) Internet service and go over an arbitrary top.
Wait. Does this mean I will start loving my cable provider like I once loved the old AT&T? Wow, I must be mellowing. Or Comcast is getting smarter. Thanks, Comcast.
PS I guess, to quote the Prenda posting, I guess “the Master Troll is full of ^*(%(&#.” How prescient, John Steele.
I’m confused. Is Comcast included in this Supreme Court ruling or not? I know the ruling was in response to the other ISPs’ motions, but is Comcast included in the et al since they did file their own MTQ?
yeah, I’d like to know how Comcast is excluded from the language “et al”, why would it apply to some ISPs and not others…
Comcast is included as the June 27 Supreme Court Supervisory Order vacated LeChien’s April 12 orders denying all the ISPs motions to quash which included Comcast.
On second thought the Supervisory Order is ambiguous on this point, so not sure.
Comcast couldn’t give two shits about you or me. They’ve been bending over for Steele and his ilk for the better part of two years, THEN decide “oh shit, well maybe we should fight these for our customers”? Yeah, right. They’re doing this in the name of the almighty dollar. I’m sure over at Comcast HQ there’s some cost-benefit analysis buried under a mountain of paperwork. Cost of fighting these subpoenas vs. Cost of subscribers leaving and loss of reputation (which is damn near impossible to get back once it’s gone). My guess, Comcast couldn’t risk it because goodwill (reputation) is intangible and worth WAY more than a couple thousand subscribers.
Read this disturbing information about Comcast receiving a financial benefit from complying with the subpoenas in another case: Comcast wins battle against Millennium TGA & Prenda. Subscribers lose.
Don’t know how true it is or how it can be verified & wondering if it may have continued in the Illinos Case 11-L-0683?? I know Comcast filed an MTQ in the Illinois Case on 3-19-12, but all of these assertions took place prior to the March 19, 2012 MTQ being filed.
Here’s the author(houstonlwy3r) of the articles statement:
On a personal note, I feel that it is important that Comcast subscribers take note of a CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Comcast has been blindly complying with Prenda Law Inc.’s subpoena requests for almost TWO YEARS now. They have opened up their own “Subpoena Compliance” division and have hired new staff (twelve new full-time employees, if my memory serves me correct) just to comply with these subpoena requests. They have entered into private agreements where Prenda pays them a certain sum of money for each IP address lookup (~$45 per IP address, give or take), and thus COMCAST RECEIVES A FINANCIAL BENEFIT FROM COMPLYING WITH THE SUBPOENAS. On top of that, while I have spoken to John Seiver and I believe he is a very skilled attorney (remember the work he did in bringing down the Digiprotect case almost two years ago?), I cannot help but to be suspicious that this whole lawsuit is a PUBLIC RELATIONS STUNT solely to boost the image of Comcast. After all, I must ask you — where were they until now? Have they filed ONE motion to quash on behalf of their subscribers? Why not? After all, with all the thousands of failed motions to quash filings attempted by their subscribers, Comcast could have SUCCESSFULLY filed motions to quash on behalf of its subscribers, just like the other ISP’S did with the Illinois Supreme Court [they had standing in each case to object, and judges were dumbfounded why they never got involved], but they never did. Why not?
Anyone have some insight on these allegations against Comcast??
Here’s the link to the article:
The way I see it, if Comcast had to hire twelve full-time employees to process all these subpoena requests then they can hardly be making money from it. Even if they were paying them all minimum wage with no benefits I don’t think $45/lookup is enough to make it profitable for them.
Don’t you just love to see trolls eat crow?
One thing more humiliating than falling on your ass is when you fall on your ass while people are watching.
Even better than that is when you announce to those people “watch THIS, this will be awesome” before promptly falling on your ass.
Even better than that is the thunderous applause after having fallen on said ass.
As an encore act, in LMC v. World Timbers (AZ state case CV2012-053230), the defendant today moved to dismiss plaintiff’s BS complaint. http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/docket/CivilCourtCases/caseInfo.asp?caseNumber=CV2012-053230 It would be great if a AZ Doe could get a copy of the motion to SJD so we could see how this war is being waged.
An educated guess is that the motion is premised on the fact that there are no employees at World Timbers who uses hacked passwords “in the course of their employment” on behalf of the corporation. The only asshole that I am aware of who uses hacked passwords “in the course of their employment” on behalf of his corporation is Steve Jones.
Hmmm……whenever SJD goes radio silent, you can almost always expect a bombshell soon thereafter.
I’ll see if I can pick up a copy from the court on my way home for everyone.
In the door of the records office with two minutes on the clock. Left with a smile and the motion in hand (supporting docs too). The AZ records office is exceptionally upbeat to say the least, everyone’s so happy it seems, though maybe it was what I read in my first glance.
Now I have to find a scanner…
Thanks, stay intrigued, I’m betting it is an interesting read.
Any idea where Cox is in all of this? They seem to be conspicuously absent from all the fun…
Cox was one of the moving ISPs, my bad. In the rush to pull together this post I mistakenly omitted Cox.
So does this mean that these ISPs have not released any Doe information yet in the IL case even though the subpoena deadline may have passed? Does that also extend to the Florida cases as well? I noticed in the Lightspeed case down there that the motion hearings kept getting cancelled, is that because that case was waiting on the outcome of this decision?
Right, the moving ISPs have not released the Doe info in the IL matter.
Not sure about FL as their docket info is vague but it is worth noting the LeChien’s April 12th Order that directed the ISPs to notify their subscribers and prepare to turn over the info was domesticated in FL. My guess is this was done so the trolls could affect the FL lawsuit by either claiming the issue as to the issuance of subpoenas had somehow been foreclosed by the IL April 12 Order and/or to use the IL Order as grounds to issue FL subpoenas to local FL ISPs. So to answer your question, the June 27th Supervisory Order will have some effect on the FL lawsuit but am not sure what that effect will be.
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!!
I wouldn’t get all upset just yet. Attorneys’ time is usually billed at high rates, and just because we’re Comcast customers, their legal department does not equate to their attorneys being our own attorneys. They probably just don’t want to devote time with their lawyers to every customer calling in. Based on what’s happened so far with Comcast in the other case in IL and the other ISP’s in this case, I’m hopeful that they will figure this one out.
Also, as I’m sure any Comcast customer is aware, they’re lower level customer service agents are idiots, so don’t take anything they say at face value.
I just read through “Lightspeed’s Objections to motion for supervisory order”, as linked above. It contains (at the end) a copy of Judge LeChien’s May 21, 2012 order. Item #1 in that order is that the “Comcast Group will proceed with disclosure compliance as ordered on April 12th, 2012.” It seems to refer to the other ISPs as the “Objecting Group”, and orders them to amass and organize their IP subscriber info.
The Illinois Supreme Court supervisory order states that “the Circuit Court of St. Clair County is directed to vacate its orders of May 21, 2012 in Lightspeed Media Corporation v. John Doe, St. Clair County No. 11 L 683, and to enter an order allowing the motion to quash subpoenas filed by movants AT&T Internet Services, et al”.
I am NOT a lawyer, and I could be completely wrong, but that seems to indicate to me that if the orders of May 21st have been vacated, that would include Comcast’s order to proceed with disclosure compliance.
Even though the LeChien order of May 21st has to be vacated, the problem is that Comcast had until June 26th to comply 100% & the Supervisory Order issued by the Illinois Supreme Court is date stamped-filed by the clerk of the Supreme Court June 27, 2012, so it appears that Comcast had it’s compliance in the day before the Supervisory Order went down. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like Comcast dropped the ball big-time on it’s Doe subscribers in this case, especially after they just went to bat & won for their subscribers in the bittorrent case recently!!
Delete Plz: July 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm post. Have a better one I am working on.
Meantime in AZ…..
Lightspeed Attorney Kevin T. Hoerner’s Law Firm Donates To Retain Judge LeChien To help keep the Judicial Hellhole Afloat……….
Committee to Retain Judge Robert P LeChien
Becker Paulson Hoerner & Thompson P.C.
5111 West Main Street
Belleville IL 62226 2004-04-23
Interesting article about Judge LeChien back in 2004:
The Illinois Civil Justice League is urging Fifth Judicial voters to vote “no” on Judge … Matoesian of Madison County and Robert P. LeChien of St. Clair County
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