Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Judge Searns Orders Plaintiffs to Explain Joinder

On Septebmer 21st, New Sensations v. Does 1-201, 12-cv-11720, a judge in the District of Massachusetts has ordered the plaintiffs in these peer-to-peer cases to show cause why all the does should not be severed.  What makes this remarkable is that Judge Searns entered the order without any such order being requested by the Does.  This is a strong indication that the court is prepared to revisit the issue of joinder which was allowed in the Liberty Media case (discussed here).

Forcing the plaintiffs to pay an up-front filing fee for each John Doe defendant could spell the end of these peer to peer cases, and if judges are willing to make that sort of order even before the subpoenas go out, the plaintiffs may ultimately conclude that the game just isn't worth the candle.