Saturday, July 05, 2008

RICO and Abuse of Process Case, Chan v. Priority, commenced in Michigan last year, now dismissed

We have just learned that Candy Chan, the mother who had been improperly sued by the RIAA in Michigan four years ago, in Priority v. Chan, and whose 15 year old daughter was subsequently sued for alleged acts of copyright infringement committed while she would have been 13 years old, brought an action in state court in Michigan last year against Priority Records and several of its cohorts for abuse of process and RICO violations.

The action was removed to federal court, assigned to the same judge who had presided over the initial action, and dismissed in June on the ground that the allegations were "compulsory counterclaims" that were required to have been interposed in the initial action.

June 18, 2008, Decision dismissing complaint

Commentary & discussion:

Keywords: digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property


Anonymous said...

That's a rip by the judge.

How can a RICO action be required to be a compulsory counterclaim? If that were true, you couldn't sue anyone under RICO unless they sued you first and allowed you to counterclaim against them – which is clearly not the case in law.

This crap about having to deal with the same judge, who is only human and doesn't want to admit that he may have decided the earlier action incorrectly so he'll shoot this one down, really has to end if justice is to prevail.

After all, this is the same judge who felt that after the RIAA dismissed their case WITH PREJUDICE that the Defendant didn't deserve attorney fees despite being the prevailing party, and despite the outrageous tactics of the RIAA in suing without evidence in the first place.

There is nothing legitimate in the RIAA actions in these cases.

This is a very bad judge.


raybeckerman said...

Comments rejected for violation of policies # 7 & 10.

Alter_Fritz said...

objection judge Ray!

My comment wasn't a #7 since the ruler in question himself supplied the supporting evidence in his ruling!

So not a case of unsupported judge accusation my comment was. </yoda>

But you are right with #10 I guess. :-|

Jadeic said...

Glad to see that you allowed the anonymous XxX post. This is legitimate criticism of the judge in both cases. As I have said elsewhere on this blog, it is about time that the judges too realised that they are in the firing line over their handling of the RIAA's mob rule of the US legislature. Judges are appointed by government and government is appointed by the people. The tide could turn.


Anonymous said...

XxX, it often makes sense for one judge to deal with related cases (to avoid court shopping, among other things). The hope is that appeals courts are smart enough to see when judges are CYAing and act accordingly.

Anonymous said...

XxX: The judge isn't holding here that *all* RICO claims must be interposed as counterclaims in a lawsuit, merely that *these* particular claims should have been. The ruling finds that the alleged RICO violations (and abuse of process) occurred entirely during and in connection with litigation of the underlying lawsuit, and so were properly a matter to be raised in that suit, rather than in a separate one. Although it has a result I don't like in this case, it's usually a fairly reasonable procedural bar to keep cases from multiplying exponentially with each party filing multiple new counter-cases instead of interposing related counterclaims in the existing case.

Anonymous said...

DP, you do make a valid case. The problem is that when a single judge is just simply wrong because of his own biases or his own peculiar view of the law, it raises a nearly insurmountable barrier to the system correcting itself through a majority of other judge's opinions on the subject. It is difficult to appeal any case successfully, let alone financially.

As further evidence I also add look at the imbalance in the scales of justice in New York where the RIAA has successfully managed to get every one of these cases in that court declared "related" and heard by a single judge/magistrate judge pair who appear determined to thwart the defendants at every turn. Is this the opinion of that entire district, or might every other judge there disagree with them given the chance. We don't know, and the system is hell bent on ensuring that we won't find out.

In the instant case, how did they get this booted back to federal court and the same judge at all. These actions were filed in state court under (I presume) state law. The judge shouldn't have ever seen it a second time in the first place.

Jadeic, thanks for the support.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous Post #6: While I see the point you're trying to make, you must recognize that the RIAA Plaintiffs don't follow the rule book or the road map for normal judicial proceedings. Yes their actions occurred during the initial case and yes that might have been worth bringing up then IF THAT CASE HAD GONE TO TRIAL.

There's your problem. A lot of the RIAA tactics might will be ended abruptly and painfully for them at trial where it all comes out in the wash. Yet the RIAA are proving masters at avoiding this outcome. Of the estimated 50,000 cases filed only one has actually gone to trial, and that trial may well result in a do-over.

So what do you do? They beat up on you through discovery and likely illegal tactics in the beginning, avoid your discovery while demanding that you comply with every bit of theirs, cost you tens of thousands of dollars, and then cut and run at the last moment avoiding financial responsibility in so many of these cases despite the clear language of the Copyright Act that is supposed to ensure payment to the victors for meritorious claims. You can't easily pursue counterclaims when they manage to pull the entire suit right out from underneath you before you can have your day in court. And when you file your own suit afterwards for redress, the same judge who already refused you your just and due attorney fees gets to tell you, "Too late now, suckers!"

Yes, what do you do?


Alter_Fritz said...

"And when you file your own suit afterwards for redress, the same judge who already refused you your just and due attorney fees gets to tell you, "Too late now, suckers!"

Yes, what do you do?"

you tell this judge respectfully that he made a manifest error of law and then you hope that the judge is man enough to admit his error like this judge davis did.
And if it is a stubborn CYA type judge that is clearly colluding with the RIAA you first hope for the judicary process to deal with him and if that does not work/help, you google for votefromtherooftops.jpg!

Anonymous said...

This is an important practice tip for those helping defendants. Bring your counterclaims during the original action - don't wait until later.