Attorney Steve® Subpoena Response Resource Center – Our Law Firm can help you if you received a Subpoena or need to file a lawsuit and serve one. If you received a subpoena from Strike 3 Holdings, LLC, or Malibu Media, LLC you have found the right place! We can help.
VIDEO: Click on the picture above to learn more about what a "subpoena" is. Basically, it is just a court order to someone to do something. In BitTorrent litigation, the command is to your ISP to turn over the internet subscriber's name and address so that Strike 3 (or Malibu Media) can do a "due diligence" search. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our legal channel. We are now up over 22,000 SUBSCRIBERS and NEARLY THREE MILLION VIDEO VIEWS and growing fast. We put out more FREE information dealing with torrent litigation and updates than any other firm I know of.
Torrent Litigation August 2020 update: Make sure to check our my Strike 3 Subpoena Response "Survival Guide" where I answer the top 15 most common questions I get from potential clients. We offer free consultations if you have received a subpoena, and keep in mind there can be critical deadlines that could significantly affect your legal rights.
You can reach us at (877) 276-5084 or email us through our contact form and we will contact you.
Our intellectual property law firm is a leader in Copyright Infringement Defense in the State and California and across the United States. Copyright cases are brought as federal copyright infringement cases and the potential damages for copyright infringement can be enormous.
We represent a wide range of companies and individuals in cases dealing with infringement and alleged infringement of:
- Software downloads and infringement (pirated software and crack codes). See our Software Audit practice area. We are a Nationwide leader in software copyright audits and compliance
- IPTV (pirate broadcasting of TV shows)
- Boxing piracy (showing fights without a proper commercial license in restaurants and bars)
- Jewelry infringement (ex. L.A. Gem )
- Accusations of illegal movie file-sharing (individuals accused of illegal porn movie downloads particularly, with Malibu Media and Strike 3 holdings.
- Photo infringement (ex. Higbee cases, ImageRights and PicRights, AP, Agence-France-Presse)
- Apple counterfeit products - illegal online sales
- "Fair Use" infringement disputes including DMCA takedowns (YouTube law)
Our boutique copyright firm represents several VERY LARGE YouTube channel creators. We have also helped many movie and film producers with fair use opinion letters (click to fill out our quote form). Many times, when you find yourself locked in a federal court litigation subpoenas will start flying. A subpoena is usually a demand one party to the litigation sends to a non-party (often times a business) seeking records that may help in the litigation. It is important to understand what a subpoena is, potential grounds to Quash the subpoena, and the need to have "standing" to challenge the subpoena on a quash motion.
What is a Subpoena?
In short, a subpoena is a command from a court ordering a party to a litigation (or even a non-party) to appear and give testimony or produce documents. How you respond is critical, and usually you have options but a limited time to act. Many times, a subpoena makes people nervous, but it does not always mean bad news. Sometimes, a lawsuit may be pending and someone just wants documents, or to have you appear for testimony. In torrent defense cases, the Plaintiff (usually Strike 3 Holdings, LLC), sends a subpoena to your ISP (ex. Cox, Verizon, Comcast, Frontier, etc.) and they are seeking your name and address. You may see language like this on a document, asking you to respond by a stated deadline.
Another way to look at it is basically a subpoena is a form Attorneys fill out and sometimes need to seek court approval to issue. It is a legal command by a court telling someone, or a company, to do something. If the subpoena is not followed, or quashed (see below), then a “contempt of court” could issue and jail time is possible (though not usually likely). So, a subpoena normally gives you notice that a legal action is pending, and that there is something you need to do. Having counsel review this document immediately is thus very important because responding, or not responding, and HOW YOU RESPOND can greatly affect your legal rights. Many times, the Plaintiff attorney will provide additional time to respond.
How does a subpoena need to be served?
Generally a subpoena needs to be personally served but many times lawyers will just mail it to you or drop it off on your porch assuming you will respond. We can help you analyze issues to make sure service is proper, with proper time to respond is provided.
What does it mean to have "standing" to move to quash a subpoena?
The law is clear that:
“a party has no standing to move to quash a subpoena served upon a non-party except to the extent the party has a personal right or privilege in the documents being sought.” Party Animal, Inc. v. Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Co. Inc., 2019 WL 9044932, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 3, 2019); see also, e.g., In re REMEC, Inc. Sec. Litig., 2008 WL 2282647, at *1 (S.D. Cal. May 30, 2008) (“As a general proposition, a party lacks standing under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 45(c)(3) to challenge a subpoena issued to a non-party unless the party claims a personal right or privilege with respect to the documents requested in the subpoena.”).
Types of subpoenas we can help you respond to
We can help parties who have received subpoenas relating to any of the following:
- DMCA subpoena
- Reporter subpoena [California Shield Laws | Reporter's Privilege]
- Copyright infringement actions (ex. lawsuits by Malibu Media, LHF Productions, Strike 3 cases)
- Subpoenas relating to trademark infringement cases
- Right of publicity cases
- General business law (ex. breach of contract / unfair competition / CA financial elder abuse) cases
- California DRE Subpoenas (we have a long history of handling DRE real estate licensing disputes involving statement of issues, accusations and transaction investigations requesting all your records under California Business and Professions Code section 10048.
- Strike 3 Holdings John Doe lawsuits
- Infringement actions involving software, comics, jewelry, computer fonts, film, video, music and other copyrighted content
Call our Subpoena Hotline at (877) 276-5084.
Click here to watch Attorney Steve® explain Motion to Quash
VIDEO: Click on the picture above to watch the video. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our popular legal channel. As we like to say, “Be Smarter Than Your Friends.” We have over 26,700 subscribers on our march to 100,000. We are now over 3M video views.
A motion to quash is ONE RESPONSE you can make when you receive a subpoena. There are certain requirements under both state and federal law, but since most of our cases are FEDERAL in nature (copyright law is exclusive federal court jurisdiction). Under the federal rules, you can seek to quash (some mistakenly refer to it as "squash") under the following grounds:
F.R.C.P. [Rule 45] - You must have LEGAL GROUNDS to Quash a Subpoena
Quashing or Modifying a Subpoena
(A) When Required.
On timely motion, the court for the district where compliance is required must quash or modify a subpoena that:
(i) fails to allow a reasonable time to comply;
(ii) requires a person to comply beyond the geographical limits specified in Rule 45(c);
(iii) requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter, if no exception or waiver applies; or
(iv) subjects a person to undue burden.
(B) When Permitted.
To protect a person subject to or affected by a subpoena, the court for the district where compliance is required may, on motion, quash or modify the subpoena if it requires:
(i) disclosing a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information; or
(ii) disclosing an unretained expert's opinion or information that does not describe specific occurrences in dispute and results from the expert's study that was not requested by a party.
(C) Specifying Conditions as an Alternative.
In the circumstances described in Rule 45(d)(3)(B), the court may, instead of quashing or modifying a subpoena, order appearance or production under specified conditions if the serving party:
(i) shows a substantial need for the testimony or material that cannot be otherwise met without undue hardship; and
(ii) ensures that the subpoenaed person will be reasonably compensated.
We can help you analyze these rules including whether the federal courts "MUST QUASH" or "MAY QUASH"
BitTorrent File Sharing Litigation Information
Options when you are served a subpoena – The "Motion to Quash Subpoena"
One of the main options you have when faced with responding to a subpoena is filing a “Motion to Quash” the subpoena. This means, to basically make it "null and void" (or quashed) so that you do not have to respond, or to modify the subpoena. This is not a good option in a Strike 3 lawsuit in Federal court in California (where we are the clear leader representing CA clients) because the judges are not allowing a quash of the "early discovery" subpoena. This means, they will get your name and address (but will be bound to keep this anonymous and only file a lawsuit UNDER SEAL). So, the quash in California federal courts, including the Central district and Northern District and even in the Southern district federal courts is normally not a realistic option.
NOTE: Persons sued as "John Doe" defendants in Miami-Dade County (Florida) "bill of discovery cases" when challenged, Strike 3 is not pursuing these claims. See my "Subpoena survival guide" link above for more in-depth information on this topic.
There are some things to know:
BURDEN OF PERSUASION: The burden of persuasion in a motion to quash a subpoena and for a protective order is borne by the movant.” This means, you have to convince the judge that there is good cause to quash the subpoena. One ground may be that you are being sued in one state (ex. in the Northern or Central District of California) when in fact you live in Scottsdale, Arizona (and should be sued perhaps in Arizona district court).
USUALLY DISCRETIONARY – A determination to grant or deny a motion for a protective order or a motion to quash a subpoena is discretionary. This means it is totally up to the judge so you have to make your best case (unless it fits into one of the mandatory categories noted above).
If you are involved in a copyright infringement lawsuit, arbitration or mediation, contact us for a free initial consultation at (877) 276-5084.
How much do file sharing (p2p) cases settle for?
VIDEO: Click on the image above to watch Attorney Steve® respond to this commonly asked question. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our legal channel. As you will see, there are many different factors that need to be looked at and analyzed.
Do you have a RIGHT to remain anonymous?
Another question that pops up, is some people believe they have a right to remain anonymous when sued. That is not necessarily true. In many cases, the Courts want lawsuit records open to the public. We also know companies are using the Miami-Dade county courts to "unmask" internet users, and DMCA subpoena's to do the same. Courts will allow a certain degree of unmasking to allow intellectual property rights owners (ex. trademarks, patents, trade secrets, copyrights and domain name holders) to protect their intellectual property, and unmasking should not be confused with the right to block EMAIL CONTENT from being disclosed under the Stored Communications Act (which prevents service providers from disclosing the CONTENTS of your "Stored Communication" such as email or text message records.
Courts have discussed this and the first amendment:
PRIVACY OF INTERNET USERS
Courts in this Circuit have recognized that Internet users have a limited First Amendment privacy interest in anonymous Internet usage, including “the use of [peer-to-peer] file copying networks to download, distribute or make available for distribution copyrighted” material in electronic form. See Sony Music, 326 F.Supp.2d at 564.
“To the extent that anonymity is protected by the First Amendment, a court should quash or modify a subpoena designed to breach anonymity.” See Arista Records, 604 F.3d at 118 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(c)(3)(A)).
However, in the file-sharing context, First Amendment protection “is limited, and is subject to other considerations.” Sony Music, 326 F.Supp.2d at 564. In particular, “parties may not use the First Amendment to encroach upon the intellectual property rights of others.” Id. at 563 (citing In re Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., 918 F.2d 140, 143 (11th Cir.1990)).
Therefore, in analyzing whether the First Amendment requires the court to quash a subpoena for an Internet subscriber's identifying information, courts in this Circuit have applied the five-factor test set forth in Sony Music, evaluating:
(1) the concreteness of the plaintiff's showing of a prima facie claim of actionable harm;
(2) the specificity of the discovery request;
(3) the absence of alternative means to obtain the subpoenaed information;
(4) the need for the subpoenaed information to advance the claim;
(5) the objecting party's expectation of privacy.
See Arista Records, 604 F.3d at 119 (endorsing these factors as “an appropriate general standard for determining whether a motion to quash, to preserve the objecting party's anonymity, should be granted”) (citing Sony Music, 326 F.Supp.2d at 564–65).
We can help you analyze whether there is a way to quash a subpoena that is not specific, or where information could be obtained in a less intrusive fasion.
Listen to Attorney Steve® discuss the BitTorrent lawsuit process
VIDEO: This is another important video if you receive a subpoena from an adult pornographic movie company like Malibu or Strike 3. Click here for more information about Strike 3 Cases.
Our federal court experience is extensive!
Our law firm has gone toe-to-to with some of the largest BIGLAW firms in the United States. We have fought, literally, some of the biggest companies in the world, including all major banks in the United States. Attorney Steve® has appeared on Fox News three times.
Moreover, we have extensive federal court experience (over 175 federal court cases handled) and excellent, (STRIKE THAT), I would say UNBELIEVABLE past client reviews on Avvo. When it comes to facing copyright legal issues, whether as a Plaintiff or Defendant, or even if you are in arbitration or mediation, it is important to have some with in-depth experience in copyright law, and real-life experience "in the trenches." We have been fight hard for our clients, both individuals and small and medium sized business since 2004.
Contact a Subpoena Lawyer
We have been practicing law since 2004. We have VAST federal court experience including issuing and responding to subpeonas in federal court lawsuits including but not limited to Strike 3 and Malibu Media cases. Contact us for a free initial consultation at (877) 276-5084 or leave us an email through our contact form. We offer low flat rate fees for many non-litigation cases.