Two pretrial motions might stop a Strike 3 Holdings subpoena in Pennsylvania and New Jersey federal courts, including a Motion to Quash or Motion for Protective Order. Both carry legal implications but could result in favorable outcomes for specific cases. Discuss your legal options with a copyright infringement attorney to determine if filing a motion is right for you.
In this article, the Philadelphia Strike 3 Holdings defense lawyers at Shuttleworth Law PC explain how a subpoena affects you, the options for fighting one, and what happens if the court denies your request. We conclude by sharing how you can get a personalized case evaluation at no cost if your case is in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
Why Strike 3 Holdings Wants to Subpoena Your ISP
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC wants to subpoena your current or former internet service provider (ISP) to reveal your identity. They will use your personally identifiable information to name you as a defendant in their Pennsylvania or New Jersey copyright infringement lawsuit. In court pleadings and documents, their lawyers will refer to you as a “John Doe” defendant, only identified by an IP address.
How Strike 3 Holdings, LLC Found You
At some point, Strike 3 Holdings, a pornographic film company, determined that someone at an internet protocol (IP) address under your internet service account illegally downloaded their copyrighted materials. They received court approval to subpoena your ISP, requiring them to forward your information to the attorney for Strike 3 Holdings. Failure to comply with the subpoena is considered contempt of court, so many companies are more than willing to respond.
Upon receipt of the subpoena, your ISP must send you a notification letter and a copy of what they received to give you a reasonable chance to respond. They will send this information to the name and address on file as the subscriber. The letter will provide you with important information, so it is critical to keep it in a safe location.
What a Subpoena Does
A subpoena to produce is a civil court order that requires the recipient to produce documents. In the case of Strike 3 Holdings, they want your ISP to provide your name, address, and other details confirming your identity by subpoena. A judge was willing to sign the order for a subpoena since they believed the plaintiff’s lawyers sufficiently proved their motion.
Getting a subpoena does not necessarily mean anything has been decided by the courts or your ISP to reveal your identity. Our civil system allows you to prevent or modifya subpoena by filing a motion with the end goal of working in your favor under specific circumstances. A granted motion against their subpoena could result in your identity remaining anonymous, not being released, or contingent upon something else.
Read the Subpoena Letter From Your ISP Carefully
The letter and copy of the subpoena sent by your ISP will contain critical details about the request, including the date by which you have to respond, the court overseeing your case, the court case number, the associated IP address, and instructions for responding. Note these dates because not responding will result in the ISP providing your account information to Strike 3’s litigators, thereby revealing your identity and causing them to move forward with litigation against you.
Motions to File Against a Strike 3 Holdings Subpoena
Motions are powerful pretrial defense tools that help your position effectively when used correctly. It is important to remember that every case is unique, and either of these options may not be suitable for you. Getting legal advice from Strike 3 Holdings’ defense lawyers before deciding is critical since they can accurately explain the impact on your rights.
Depending upon the circumstances, however, we may recommend one of two motions that could prevent the subpoena from happening or, at the very least, never reveal your identity, even if it goes to court. These options include a motion to quash or a protective order.
Here is a closer look at each type of motion below:
Type 1. Motion to Quash
Under Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, you are allowed to file a motion to quash a subpoena. It is a written request made to the court to stop or change the subpoena provisions partially or entirely. An attorney can help you build a lawful request after discussing your case.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey federal courts will allow you to file this type of motion based on the following grounds:
- The court lacks jurisdiction
- The subpoena was untimely
- You did not receive proper service
- The subpoena goes beyond the scope of discovery
- Strike 3 is requesting privileged information
The court presiding over the case will schedule a hearing. At this hearing on the Motion to Quash, your defense attorney will argue the merits and facts of your request before a judge and affected parties.
Strike 3 will also be able to present additional facts and evidence if necessary. The judge will rule in one party’s favor or ask for more information which may be reheard later at another setting. If the judge rules in your favor, they will quash the subpoena or modify it.
Type 2. Motion for Protective Order
A motion for a protective order prevents your ISP from releasing your information to Strike 3 Holdings. However, proceedings will continue against you as an anonymous defendant. You also carry the burden of proof when demonstrating your request under Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Your burden of proof must show that:
- Good cause exists for the court to enter the order of protection against a subpoena
- The order of protection entry would expose you to unreasonable annoyance, burden, embarrassment, expenses, or oppression
If a judge grants your motion, you will still have to defend your case during the discovery/pretrial stage of the lawsuit. However, your identity will remain anonymous throughout the settlement or litigation process. Working with legal counsel and taking their advice will help you navigate the events that follow a motion for a protective order.
You will file your motion to the court that issued the subpoena. The subpoena will clearly state which court is presiding over your case in the document’s header. This court is typically where litigation against you is currently pending.
Alternatives to Fight Striking 3 Holdings’ Subpoenas
You have a few options when defending yourself against Strike 3 Holding’s copyright infringement claims. If your case was not a good candidate for a motion to quash or protective order, you would be named as a defendant in a lawsuit. At this point, your attorney may recommend a few different ways to respond while considering the bigger picture, including cost versus benefit.
Your options may include the following:
- Option 1. Defend your case in civil court
- Option 2. Settle or negotiate with Strike 3 Holdings
You do not want to ignore their lawsuit. Failing to respond to the subpoena your ISP provided to you will result in an adverse action against you, including Strike 3 getting a judgment for their total demand amount. In some cases, this could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages you would have to pay without ever fighting their allegations.
Get Legal Advice When Mounting a Serious Defense
The choices you make when defending an IP infringement/copyright lawsuit in federal court in Pennsylvania or New Jersey affect your future. There are risks and implications associated with filing a motion against a subpoena, making it critical to get legal advice from an experienced Strike 3 Holdings defense firm, such as Shuttleworth Law PC. We will review the subpoena, listen to your side of the story, and offer our thoughts on an initial strategy.
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC has been winning cases, but they have been losing them, too, even at the subpoena stage. Civil laws are incredibly complex and intricate, and while lawyers and courts oversee the legal process, an error can occur. Under these circumstances, you might not be aware of their mistakes or weak arguments unless you have an attorney looking out for your rights.
Get the information you need and deserve to bring as much control back to your side of the case as possible by discussing it with our legal team at no cost or obligation. You could walk away with a sense of direction and hope as soon as today.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Shuttleworth Law PC
Our Pennsylvania and New Jersey Strike 3 Holdings defense lawyers hold decades of experience fighting against subpoenas and representing clients in civil court. You are not responsible for copyright infringement claims that never happened or remain unproven.
Shuttleworth Law PC represents individuals that face accusations by this company. Find out more about your legal options during a Free Case Evaluation at (215) 774-1371 or message us confidentially online.