Congratulations to the newest group of clients who have been dismissed in the West Coast Productions v. Does 1-5829 case (1:11-cv-00057-CKK) in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
NOT ALL DEFENDANTS HAVE BEEN DISMISSED. THE CASE IS STILL ALIVE.
As we previously discussed, Judge Kollar-Kotelly set a 6/20 deadline where plaintiff attorneys were ordered to either name and serve defendants identified in their 6/1 statement or else she would dismiss them on her own just as she did previously. In short, the judge is pressuring the dismissal of unnamed John Doe defendants through the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(m), which gives the plaintiff attorneys 120 days to amend their complaint and name the defendants, or else they must dismiss them from the case. In the past, where judges have blindly granted extensions to this rule (which are to be granted freely according to the rules), there is a slight trend beginning to form where judges are using this same Rule 4(m) to force the plaintiff attorneys to “name or dismiss” John Doe Defendants.
Similar to a criminal who releases hostages in order to improve their bargaining power and good faith with the authorities, on the SAME DAY the plaintiff attorneys at Dunlap Grubb & Weaver dismissed these hundreds of defendants, they asked for yet another extension of time to name and serve defendants. Until Judge Kollar-Kotelly grants this, her 5/11 Order (Doc. #72) requiring all remaining defendants be named and served or dismissed by June 30th still stands.
The interesting side note here is that while in the past neither they nor the courts have acknowledged that they were suing people for the purpose of soliciting settlement agreements to the tune of thousands of dollars from each defendant, in their extension request, the plaintiff attorneys casually mentioned that they needed the extension to attempt to send letters to the defendants with the intention of having them settle their cases. This appears to be the first admission where they admit to the court that they are soliciting settlements, whereas in the past, both the plaintiffs and the judges have been turning a blind eye to the fact that this is happening.
The dismissal letter can be found below. I congratulate all the defendants who have been dismissed, and I look forward to see what happens on June 30th.