In another win for due process, Judges Sam Sparks and Lee Yeakel ruled that recording industry lawsuits in the Western District of Texas would have to proceed individually — rather than 150+ “Does” at a time. See PDF Order. As the judges noted, the RIAA members’ practice violates the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Rule 20(a), joinder, requires that parties be linked in the “same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences.” Moreover,
The filing fees for the recent four cases totaled $600, whereas the filing fees for 254 separate cases would have been $38,100. That is a considerable loss of revenue to the public coffers.
Similar orders have now been filed in Pennsylvania (2x), Florida, and in a movie industry suit in California, plus several DirecTV cases around the country. Note to lawyers and law students — that CivPro is pretty important.