In Arista Records v. Does 1-16, a "John Doe" case targeting students at the State University of New York at Albany, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has issued a stay of the RIAA subpoena and all proceedings during the pendency of John Doe #3's appeal.
This is a case in which several John Does had moved to quash the subpoena, vacate the ex parte discovery order, and dismiss the complaint.
The motion to vacate, quash, and dismiss, was based on a number of grounds, including the defendant's constitutional rights, the insufficiency of the complaint, the lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendants, improper misjoinder of the defendants, the absence of competent evidence, and the RIAA's illegal procurement of what "evidence" it did have through the use of an unlicensed investigator, MediaSentry. Additionally, the "John Does" had requested that they be awarded their attorneys fees.
The Magistrate Judge denied the motion in its entirety. The District Court Judge affirmed the Magistrate Judge's decision 3 days later, before the RIAA had even filed papers responding to the students' objections.
John Doe #3 filed an appeal, made a motion for a stay pending appeal, and requested an interim stay during the pendency of the motion for stay pending the appeal.
Today the motion for stay pending the determination of the appeal was granted.
April 23, 2009, Order of 2nd Circuit, granting stay pending appeal
Defendants' Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Quash Subpoena
Defendants' Amended Memorandum of Law
Defendants' reply memorandum of law
Supplemental Declaration of Richard A. Altman
February 18, 2009, Decision of Magistrate Judge
Declaration of Richard A. Altman and Objections
Decision affirming Magistrate Judge's decision
Declaration in support of motion for stay
March 10, 2009, order granting interim stay
Plaintiffs' memorandum in opposition to motion for stay pending appeal
Defendant's reply memorandum in support of motion for stay pending appeal
[Ed. note. This will be the very first time that there has been appellate scrutiny of the RIAA's ex parte "John Doe" procedure during the 5 years it's been in place. The last thing the RIAA wants is for an appeals court to take a close look at this sordid, star-chamber process, based on hearsay opinion testimony by a lawyer who has no knowledge of the facts, scientifically worthless 'printouts' by a crooked unlicensed investigator, deliberate misjoinder of unrelated parties in violation of both a rule and a court order, legally insufficient pleadings, and other shenanigans. -R.B.]
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