Phil Cannella Lawsuit: Phil Cannella Files Lawsuit Against Anonymous Blogger – Phil Cannella Lawsuit

Phil Cannella Lawsuit

Phil Cannella Lawsuit – Phillip Cannella LawsuitPhil Cannella Lawsuit,  in a lawsuit filed by Phil Cannella Lawsuit and First Senior Financial Group against an anonymous online blogger, the right to remain anonymous was a central theme of the suit. Hiding behind the protection of the First Amendment, this anonymous online blogger was the source of a slew of alleged defamatory statements Phil Cannella claimed were lies written to destroy his reputation.

Phil Cannella Lawsuit • Phillip Cannella Lawsuit

Phil Cannella filed the suit in federal court in March 2012 claiming violations of the Lanham Act; Defamation; Tortious Interference with Business Relationships and Civil Conspiracy. As the defendants were unknown, the lawsuit was filed against “John Doe” as a fictitious person. A fictitious defendant is a person that cannot be identified by the plaintiff before a lawsuit is commenced. Commonly this person is identified as ‘John Doe’ or ‘Jane Doe’.

“If you do not know the true identity of the person who defrauded you, you may be able to file a civil suit in your county using a John Doe for the defendant’s name.  You would need to provide all the e-mails, letters, wire transfers, etc. that show you do not know the identity or location of the defendant but that you have a clear basis for your civil claims.  Your purpose is not to file for a monetary judgment initially but to obtain a subpoena for the ISP and e-mail providers of the unknown fraudster in order to obtain the person’s name and address so that you can file a civil suit.”

One of the reasons for filing the suit against a “John Doe” is to protect your statute of limitations rights. The statute of limitations sets time limits for various actions that limit the time a person can file a suit claiming wrongdoing. Once the statute has expired, the court lacks jurisdiction to try or punish a defendant. In general, the length of time allowed under a statute of limitations varies depending upon the severity of the offense. For example, breach of contract cases may only be brought within a few years after the event. However, cases involving serious crimes are often longer.

By filing the suit you can then get permission from the judge to proceed with discovery in order to discover the true identity of the defendants at which point the complaint is amended and John Doe is substituted with the defendant’s true name and your statute of limitations rights are preserved because the suit was filed within the set time limitations.

“Naming fictitious defendants stops the statute of limitations (the time in which a party has to file a lawsuit) from running out even though the true name is not yet known. Sometimes during the investigation or discovery (taking depositions or asking written questions under oath) new information about a potential defendant is found and the real name substituted. Then that person is served with a summons and complaint.”

Once the suit was filed, the court granted Phil Cannella the right to proceed with discovery in order to identify the anonymous blogger(s). Subpoenas were issued to numerous entities including Yahoo; Google; WordPress and Comcast among many others demanding they provide identifying information from their records of the people behind the anonymous postings. For example, the blogger used the pseudonym “Watchdog” and had an email account connected to her blog. By issuing a subpoena to the email provider for identifying information about the email address in question, various IP addresses were provided which the blogger had used to access her email account.

The respective ISPs were then subpoenaed for the names of the owners of the IP addresses in question. Lo and behold, the same name popped up repeatedly and finally justice could be served.

The court issued a permanent injunction against the defamatory material and Phil Cannella was able to move forward with his business pursuits.