Montana Supreme Court Commission on Self-Represented Litigants v. Legal Aid Administration, LLC et al
DEFAULT JUDGMENT in favor of Montana Supreme Court Commission on Self-Represented Litigants against Legal Aid Administration, LLC. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 6/29/2011. (dle)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
MONTANA SUPREME COURT COMMISSION )
ON SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS,
LEGAL AID ADMINISTRATION, LLC, and
The Clerk of Court entered default against the Defendant, Legal Aid
Administration, LLC (“Legal Aid”), on April 12, 2011. After the entry of default,
the Plaintiff filed a Motion for Entry of Monetary Judgment and Permanent
Injunction, along with an Affidavit of Counsel on Costs. Because Legal Aid
defaulted and has not appeared, all allegations in the Complaint are deemed
admitted. May 24, 2011, this Court conducted a hearing on the motion for default
judgment. Upon review of the motion, the complaint, and based on the
representations made at the hearing, the Court finds the following:
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. The Montana Supreme Court Commission on Self-Represented Litigants,
was created on April 25, 2000.
2. The Montana Supreme Court Commission on Self-Represented Litigants
is the creator of certain legal forms related to the practice of family law in
Montana. The general title of these forms is “Introduction to Family Law in
3. A true and accurate copy of the Plaintiff’s copyright registration for the
Introduction to Family Law in Montana, as issued by the Untied States Copyright
Office and dated August 31, 2005, is attached to the complaint as Exhibit “A.”
4. The Montana Supreme Court Commission on Self-Represented Litigants
labeled the base of each page of its Copyrighted Materials with a statement
providing “© 2007 Montana Supreme Court Commission on Self-Represented
Litigants and Montana Legal Services Association. Use of this form is restricted
for not-for-profit purposes.”
5. On or about March 30, 2010, Legal Aid contracted with a citizen and
resident of Montana in a document entitled “Service Agreement.”
6. Pursuant to the Service Agreement, the Montana citizen was required to
pay $389.00 for certain services performed by Legal Aid, which included
preparation of legal documents.
7. Legal Aid provided to the Montana Citizen legal documents substantially
similar (if not identical to) the Plaintiff’s Copyrighted Materials.
8. The materials provided by Legal Aid included the statement providing
“© 2007 Montana Supreme Court Commission on Self-Represented Litigants and
Montana Legal Services Association. Use of this form is restricted for not-forprofit purposes.”
9. Legal Aid’s distribution, sale, and reproduction of the Copyrighted
Materials was undertaken without consent from the Montana Supreme Court
Commission on Self-Represented Litigants.
10. Legal Aid marketed, reproduced, distributed, and sold Plaintiff’s forms
to other parties.
11. The Montana Supreme Court Commission on Self-Represented
Litigants has been damaged by the acts of Legal Aid.
12. Through the wrongful reproduction, distribution, and sale of the
Plaintiff’s forms, the Defendant has benefitted and wrongfully reaped profits.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over copyright infringement
cases. 28 U.S.C. § 1338.
2. Venue is proper in this judicial district. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b), 1391(c)
3. Plaintiff is the copyright owner of certain forms identified as “The
Introduction to Family Law in Montana” (“Copyrighted Materials”).
4. Plaintiff’s copyrights in the Copyrighted Materials are valid and existing.
5. Legal Aid infringed on the Plaintiff’s copyrighted interests in the
Copyrighted Materials by reproducing copies, distributing, and/or preparing
derivative works of the copyrighted work or portions thereof. 17 U.S.C. § 106.
6. Legal Aid’s actions of copyright infringement were willful, malicious,
intentional, and designed to usurp the goodwill and intellectual property of the
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504, a Monetary
Judgment is entered against Legal Aid in the amount of $20,000.00 in favor of the
Plaintiff. This judgment against Legal Aid shall accrue interest from this day
forward at the legal rate of 10% per annum.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Legal Aid, its directors, and its officers
are permanently enjoined from manufacturing, producing, reproducing,
distributing, marketing or developing works derived from, copied from, or
substantially similar to the Copyrighted Materials.
Dated this 29th day of June, 2011.
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