Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-14
ORDER granting 4 Motion for Discovery. Counsel is reminded to read the order in its entirety for critical deadlines and information. Signed by United States Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones, Jr. on 10/6/2017. (Edwards, S.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DIVISION OF NORTH CAROLINA
VENICE PI, LLC,
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
providers Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, AT&T Internet Services, and Greenlight
(each individually, the "ISP"), which Plaintiff asserts will be able to identify the 14 "Doe"
Defendants named in the complaint. Plaintiffhas the internet protocol ("IP") address associated with
each Defendant, along with the city and county in which the alleged infringement occurred, but seeks
to obtain by subpoena the name and address, telephone number, email address, and Media Access
Control ("MAC") address of each Defendant. Pl. 's Mem. [DE-5] at 2 & Compl., Am. Ex. 2 [DE10].
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 order of the court,
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 procedural 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
picture without consent or permission in violation of Plaintiffs copyright, Compl.
'i!'il 34-35, 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(f) conference. Accordingly, for good cause shown,
Plaintiffs motion is allowed as follows:
( 1) Plaintiff may serve on the ISP 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) The ISP 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 the ISP of a subpoena authorized
herein, the ISP shall serve written notice of the subpoena on the Doe Defendant about whom
documents are sought in the subpoena. If the ISP 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 after the date of service by Plaintiff of the
subpoena on the ISP;
(4) The ISP shall not produce any documents in response 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 the
ISP of the filing of any motion to quash or modify a subpoena within one day after the filing of the
motion. The ISP 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
(6) Except as expressly provided herein, by further order of the court, or in the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff may not engage in discovery in this action prior to the conduct of a Rule
SO ORDERED, the~ day of October 2017.
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