We have recently learned of a case in Connecticut, targeting University of Connecticut students, Arista v. Does 1-6, where the RIAA issued and served a subpoena on the University of Connecticut four (4) weeks after the case had already been dismissed for failure to prosecute.
If you know of any U. Conn. student who has received a letter from U. Conn. enclosing a subpoena in Arista v. Does 1-6, 3:07CV1648(RNC), please advise them to consult counsel immediately, and bring this post to the lawyer's attention.
Here is a detailed report from Ted Fletcher, a colleague in Southwest Harbor, Maine, on how this was brought to the Attorney General's attention, after Ted had been consulted by a U. Conn. student to whom a copy of the subpoena had been sent:
I called the Information Technology folks at UConn late yesterday afternoon, disclosing that I wasn’t licensed in Connecticut and was looking for local counsel, but that it looked like the case that served as the basis for the UConn subpoena, (Arista v. Does 1-6, 3: 07-cv1648-RNC, D.Ct) had been dismissed. I then e-mailed her the March Notice of the Dismissal that you had shared with me. The Notice wasn’t signed and wasn’t good enough to get UConn to slow down. After a somewhat stubborn telephone conversation, I left it that I would get them more information by the morning. After some sleuthing on ECF/Pacer, I located and sent the Judgment and the docket sheet. The Judgment was almost a full month before the subpoena.
This morning I received calls from both UConn and the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office thanking me for alerting them to this problem. The AG’s office had missed this. The Assistant Attorney General indicated that he had called both Holme, Roberts and Owen and Robinson & Cole, local counsel and come down pretty hard on them for this. He said he told that he should be able to trust that they would not issue subpoenas in dismissed and closed cases! (I indicated that I thought a referral to the Board of Bar Overseers might be in order, based upon what I had seen and heard of prior practice.)
Letters are going to the six students telling them that the case is dismissed and that UConn will not be responding to the subpoena.
The key piece here is that Robinson & Cole issued the subpoena to UConn four weeks after the District Court had entered judgment dismissing the case for lack of prosecution. The case was closed.
Theodore G. Fletcher
Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 8
Southwest Harbor, ME 04679
[Ed. note. We do not think the Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, who represents U. Conn, will be very happy about this. -R.B.]
April 24, 2008, Judgment dismissing complaint for failure to prosecute
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