Jun 14, 2011

Fed Judge rules Righthaven lacks standing to sue, threatens sanctions over misrepresentations

Update II: Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Statement

Update: Text of Righthaven v. Democratic Underground, [Case No. 2:10-cv-01356 (D. Nev.)], in which the Court held that Righthaven does not have standing to sue Democratic Underground and that Righthaven faces sanctions.

Wisconsin citizen, Michael Leon, prevailed on April 20 - Now, Wronghaven and Attorney Shawn Mangano are found "disingenuous, if not outright deceitful,” says U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt

"A federal judge in Las Vegas today issued a potentially-devastating ruling against copyright enforcer Righthaven LLC, finding it doesn't have standing to sue over Las Vegas Review-Journal stories, that it has misled the court and threatening to impose sanctions against Righthaven," writes Steve Green at the Las Vegas Sun.

Righthaven LLC is an Internet troll,  "a bottom feeding legal outfit -- [that] has teamed up with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post to sue 'mom and pop' websites, advocacy and public interest groups and forum board operators for copyright violations," writes the Righthaven Victims site.

Righthaven also has targeted numerous disabled military veterans in its particularly repulsive cookie-cutter lawsuit operation, making systemic misrepresentations against multiple co-defendants.

All of Righthaven's cases were stayed in the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit by Senior U.S. District Judge John Kane in Denver on May 19.

Reports Steve Green.

"Because there are serious questions as to whether my exercise of subject matter jurisdiction over Righthaven’s claim of copyright infringement is proper, I think it most prudent to stay the proceedings in all pending cases in this district in which Righthaven is the named plaintiff," Kane wrote in an order filed today [May 19]. "Should I find that I lack subject matter jurisdiction over Righthaven’s claim of copyright infringement, it is likely that I will be required to dismiss all pending actions. A stay will best conserve the parties’ and the court’s resources pending resolution of this fundamental inquiry."

In other Righthaven news, Righthaven's crusade against a 20-year Veteran nurse, Denise Nichols, drew her response filed in federal court.

Nichols whose case was terminated May 6 is seeking attorneys' fees, joining potentially 100s of defendants nationwide.

Nichols writes:
Displaying the same stubborn posture Righthaven LLC has shown this Court and the same reckless disregard for facts, Righthaven again distorts the record in this matter.

On April 20, due to Righthaven’s carelessness admitted to in its STATUS REPORT TO HEARING … for April 20 [FILED 04-18-2011], this Court declared at the beginning of the hearing that the cases against defendant Leon and co-defendant Nichols would be dismissed. The Court did not predicate this directive upon whether Righthaven 'would consent to dismissal with or without prejudice.' It made the directive and order clear at the April 20 hearing, irrespective of what Righthaven wished.

This Court left it to the defendants – as prevailing parties - to decide whether the dismissal would be with or without prejudice.
Facing life-threatening medical issues, I entered into good-faith negotiations with the plaintiff who admits in its April 20 Status Report that 'Righthaven’s Complaint apparently did not name Denise Nichols (‘Nichols’) as a defendant in this action.' ...

Righthaven took this Court’s ruling as an opportunity to engage in bad-faith negotiations before terminating the frivolous suit on May 6, through its Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, and then opposing my effort to obtain the very low amount of $1,600 in attorneys’ fees, which I now request.

To review Righthaven’s behavior in this case, it bears noting the following facts:
  • Righthaven served Denise Nichols with a complaint that fails to mention Nichols
  • Righthaven’s cookie cutter lawsuits made misrepresentations in this case against multiple co-defendants, arguing two separate Venues for alleged infringements that are simply not credible. In one complaint against co-defendant Medbillz, Righthaven names the United States District Court for the Southern District of California as venue. In another complaint served on Leon, Righthaven says the proper venue is the United States District Court, District of Nevada.
  • Righthaven failed to serve defendant Leon within 120 days
  • Reading Righthaven’s tortured April 20 Report, Righthaven also claims that 'Righthaven filed the Amended Complaint in this action by mistake.' (p.2)
Righthaven says I am attempting to ask the Court for a sum to which I am not entitled, though in its opposition Righthaven admits the mistakes are Righthaven’s not mine.

The reason I am responding pro se is I simply cannot afford money for another attorney and Righthaven as made it clear in my co-defendant’s pro bono case that it will oppose any and all claims for attorneys’ fees and costs.

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