Malibu Media v. John Doe, Case No. 13-CV-3694, Slip. Op. (N.D. Ill. June 3, 2013)(Guzman)
Judge Guzman has denied Malibu Media the right to seek third-party discovery ahead of the Rule 26(f) conference in a recent case. In other words, Malibu will not be able to subpoena the identified Doe’s ISP to obtain his or her name, and, accordingly, will not be able to serve this Doe, or proceed with this litigation. It seems very likely that Malibu will appeal this order as soon as it is able.
In support of his decision, Judge Guzman seemed to follow the recent trend; i.e., that an IP address is not sufficient evidence of who the Doe actually is, and accordingly, should not be allowed to proceed.
We note that Judge Guzman did allow Malibu a bit of hope – in particular, he attacked the qualifications of Malibu’s expert, which perhaps indicated that a better credentialed expert may find success.