UN4 Productions, Inc v. Doe 1 et al
ORDER granting 4 Motion for Discovery. Counsel should read the order in its entirety for critical information. Signed by US Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones, Jr on 7/3/2017. (Briggeman, N.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DIVISION OF NORTH CAROLINA
UN4 PRODUCTIONS, INC.,
This matter comes before the court on Plaintiffs motion for leave to take discovery prior to
conducting a conference pursuant to Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. [DE-4].
Plaintiff seeks leave to serve one or more subpoenas pursuant to Rule 45 on the internet service
provider , ("ISP") Century Link, which Plaintiff asserts will be able to identify the eight "Doe"
Defendants named in the complaint. Plaintiffhas the internet protocol ("IP") address assocfated with
each Defendant, along with the city and county in which the alleged infringement occurred, but seeks
to obtain·by-subpoenathenameand address, telephone number, email address, and Media Access
Control ("MAC") address of each Defendant. Pl.' s Mem. [DE-5] at 3-4 & Compl. Ex. B [DE-1-2].
Under the Federal Rules, discovery is not permitted until after the parties have conferred as
required by Rule 26(f), except in certain specified circumstances, including by orc:J.yr10-Hhe:oourt.
Fed. ·R. Civ. P. 26(d)(l). For good cause" a court may allow expedited discovery. See Me2 Prods.,
Inc. v. Does 1-16, No. 4:16-CV-279-FL, 2016 WL 7017268, at *1 (E.D.N.C. Dec. 1, 2016) (citations
omitted). "Factors that courts consider under this test include the proced\i.ral posture of the case,
whether the discovery requested is narrowly tailored, whether the party seeking the information
would be irreparably harmed by waiting until after the parties conduct their Rule 26(f) conference,
and whether the information sought would be unavailable or subject to destruction in the absence
of expedited production." Id. (citation omitted).
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants are using online media to distribute Plaintiffs motion
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picture without consent or permission in'\!folation of Plaintiffs copyright, Compl.
iii! 32-33, and
seeks identifying information about Defendants in order to effect service and litigate the
infringement claims. The information sought is narrowly tailored to serve this purpose and will
enable the parties to conduct the Rule 26(£) conference ..
for good cause shown,
Plaintiffs motion is allowed as follows:
(1) Plaintiff may serve on Century Link a subpoena for documents containing the name,
permanent address, current address, telephone number, e-mail address, and MAC address of each
Doe Defendant, and Plaintiff shall attach to each subpoena a copy of this order;
(2) Century Link is ordered to provide the documents sought in each subpoena in accordance
with the terms of this order;
(3) Within seven days after the date of Plaintiffs service on Century Link of a subpoena
authorized herein, Century Link shall serve written notice of the subpoena on the Doe Defendant
about whom documents are s,ought in the subpoena. If Century Link or the Doe Defendant about
whom documents are sought in a subpoena wishes to have the subpoena quashed or modified, a
motion to quash or modify the subpoena must be filed with the court and served on counsel for
Plaintiff prior to the return date for the subpoena (which is the date specified in the subpoena for
production of the documents sought). The return date shall be no.earlier than 21 days afte,r the date
of service by Plaintiff of the subpoena on Century Link;
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(4) Century Link shall not produce any documents in res_ponse to a subpoena prior to the
return date or, if any motions to quash or modify are filed with respect to the subpoena, unless and
until an order is entered denying any such motions and permitting production pursuant to the
subpoena (in which case production shall be in accordance with the terms of such order). Plaintiff
shall notify Century Link of the filing of any motion to quash or modify a subpoena within 1one day
after the filing of the motion. Century Link shall make appropriate arrangements to ensure that it
has notice of any motions to quash or modify a subpoena before it produces any documents in
response to the subpoena;
(5) Any documents produced to Plaintiff in response to a subpoena may be used solely for
the purpose of prosecuting Plaintiffs infringement claims in this action; and
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(6) Except as expressly provided herein, by further order of the court, or1n the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff may not engage in discovery in this action prior to the conduct of a Rule
United States Magistrate Judge
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