Guava v. Skyler Case
As I blogged two posts below, I was on vacation in a place where forests smell like ripe guava. I am not making it up and have plenty of pictures of the trees covered with yellow and red fruit. It is a smell of a paradise. However, the Guava that is getting rotten in the Cook County court (Illinois) stinks badly. I am talking about the most fraudulent case in Prenda’s history, Guava v. Skyler Case, which was ill-conceived on 6/29/2012.
The page dedicated to the Guava case is the most visited as of lately. You will find a brief description drafted by Raul and links to the relevant documents there. The page traffic and the number of comments back Raul’s guess that the number of “co-conspirators” is staggering. I encourage you to read the comments to understand the unprecedented extent of Prenda’s arrogance and bad faith.
|It is widely suspected that Guava is no one else than Lighspeed Media Corporation, a company of a disgraced pornographer Steve Jones, whose market niche is underage-looking girls. He drew our attention this year after conspiring with John Steele to run a giant scam in the corrupt St. Clair county of Illinois with the help from a corrupt judge. We covered this case a lot: here is the page dedicated to it; follow the links to numerous posts from there. Currently this case is removed to the federal court and is about to collapse: crooks had audacity to add AT&T and Comcast as defendants, thus summoning the best lawyers in the industry to represent the defendants with bottomless pockets. Also, one of the best anti-troll lawyers, Booth Sweet, represents the main defendant in this case. Before Steele started chasing trouble by suing big guys, I did not know that he, in addition to his numerous “virtues,” is also a masochist.|
Some things have happened on the Guava case since defendant’s attorney Adam Urbanczyk and Paul Duffy signed a brow-rising agreed order to allow subpoenas to be sent to the huge list of ISPs: attorney Erin Russell filed numerous motions to quash, which prompted the spillage of plaintiff counsel’s poisonous saliva. Ad hominem-laden plaintiff’s response is hard to read without the blood boiling sensation, yet it is rather good news: Erin seemingly hit the nerve, and the trolls are visibly angry. Paul Duffy signed this document, but I doubt he wrote it: you can sense the arrogance and insecurity of John Steele between the lines. In addition, you can compare the styles of this response and the complaint: they are obviously written by different people.
It is also necessary to mention that the judge on this case, Sanjay T Tailor, happened to be a technology savvy relatively young man, who took his time to look into this case, and he sensed the fraud: all the doubts about it were dissolved today.
Today’s status hearing was very encouraging. Judge Tailor looked angry. Master Troll John Steele flew to Chicago in the midst of his hasty fleeing from Florida to Nevada (leaving formerly loyal but unmovable Mark Lutz behind). This unusual appearance clearly tells us that trolls are panicking, and Steele, who, unlike a bone-in-the-tongue Duffy, is capable of lying to judges in a smooth way, attempted to salvage the situation.
Judge started the status hearing by asking attorneys for plaintiff and defendant: “Are you in bed with each other?” Hope you did not spill your beverages. Everyone was shocked, and it all went downhill (for trolls) from there. Steele tried to preach some usual bullshit, but the judge was not amused. Judge Tailor was not convinced by the twisted logic that the so-called co-conspirators do not have standing despite the fact that they are accused of the same “crime” as the mysterious defendant, and are contacted with monetary demands. The hearing on motions (mostly Erin Russell’s clients) is set to the end of November, and undoubtedly the subpoenas will be quashed at least for those who reside outside of Illinois. I hope that the judge will not stop at that and will kill the case — banning crooks from utilizing the personal information of “co-conspirators” they already obtained from the ISPs. Moreover, I hope that Attorney General and/or federal investigators will pick up the baton from the judge.
Erin Russell was also at that hearing, and if I missed anything important, I hope she will comment below.
A carbon copy case: Arte de Oaxaca v. Mullen
A couple of days ago another frivolous case, Arte de Oaxaca v. Mullen, No. 12-L-9036, which is a carbon copy of the Guava case, was discovered in the Cook County docket. This case also has a single defendant (Stacey Mullen — is she a real person?) and an unknown number of co-conspirators (which is undoubtedly huge). The defendant is represented by Adam Urbanczyk (surprise!), and… there is another agreed order to allow discovery, signed by both Duffy and Urbaczyk, which is filed two business days (8/14/2012) after the complaint (8/10/2012), and prior to a formal defendant’s answer to allegations, which is still not filed. I am not even discussing the obvious: that this case does not belong to the county level and should have been immediately removed to the federal court.
It is indeed a carbon copy: sloppy Steele & Duffy did not even proofread their pleadings, leaving “Skyler Case” in the “Prayer of Relief” section, which technically makes the entire complaint invalid.
Note that the judge on this case introduced some safeguards, which is encouraging:
We gave a lot of benefit of doubt to EFF-listed Adam Urbanczyk, but our patience is running thin, and if even the judge suspects collusion and does not hesitate to openly talk about it, we cannot pretend anymore that Adam plays a fair game and his actions can be somehow excused. He is welcome to comment here, and if he can answer our questions and explain his actions in a way that proves his good faith, I see no problem in apologizing, but I doubt such a miracle will happen. All this is really sad: Adam is very young and this ordeal won’t reflect positively on his future career, especially if this scam is investigated by the authorities.
Since I used words farce, fraud, frivolous describing much less brazen abuses of the court system by copyright trolls, I ran out of epithets. I cannot find proper words that describe this garbage. And it will get even worse: we will for sure witness more fraud if Prenda criminals are not deterred ASAP. What can you do? First and foremost, do not settle. It is unnecessary and only fuels the extortion machine. There are few situations when one simply cannot afford that his or her name is dragged through dirt, but most people pay out of irrational fear and the lack of research. If you have money to spend, better spend it on a trusted attorney. And, of course, complain, complain, complain: to the media, FBI, Attorneys General, Bar associations. One voice can be ignored, ten voices can be ignored, but hundreds and thousands? I do not think so.
Update: 10/04/2012 hearing
All subpoenas are stayed.
Today’s hearing brought no surprises: judge Tailor was still not convinced that the case is adversarial in nature and refused to buy any conspiracy claims. John Steele was sweating and throwing tantrums in the courtroom, which he continued doing on Twitter (check his childish vindictive rants today): Illinois Bar Association apparently still thinks that Steele’s behavior is a model of professional conduct for others to follow. #facepalm
But I digress. The hearing has resulted in the following sua sponte (!) order (I decrypted clerk’s handwriting below):
This matter coming before this court on non-party’s emergency TRO, and the parties agreeing to the non-parties requests to inform non parties ISP to withhold the information, the Court orders, in addition, the following:
- Outstanding subpoenas not yet complied with by Internet Service Providers are stayed with further order of this Court.
- The plaintiff shall not issue any further subpoenas until further order of this Court.
- Plaintiff has until Oct 12 to file its answer to the various matters filed by attorney Russell. Attorney Russell shall file and reply by Oct 19.
- The hearing regarding all matters pending before the court, including petitioners as yet filed motion to review subpoena compliance by third party ISPs. Oct 26, 2012 at 10:30 am
- Nov 27, 2012 date is stricken.
- Counsel for plaintiff is ordered to notify all subpoenaed Internet Service Providers immediately of the entry of this order immediately by email, send a hard copy by regular mail and attempt to contact by said ISPs by telephone.
Any doubts that this turd of a case is essentially killed? Once again, it was a sua sponte order: judge Tailor didn’t issue the order because anybody asked him to do it, it was totally his idea. He said that he has started getting letters addressed to him in chambers from John Does and felt he needed to put a stop to that.