Kimberlin v. National Bloggers Club et al.

Brief in Opposition to Motion by Brett Kimberlin for Expedited Discovery Seeking Identity of Anonymous Non-Party Blogger

Ronald Coleman
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From the preliminary statement:

On December 12, 2014, plaintiff moved the Court “to issue an order to counsel for Defendant Ace of Spades the person (“AOS”), to identify him.” Merely squeezing the words “the person” and the pronoun “him” into the sentence describing plaintiff’s motion does not change the fact that in his own Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”), Ace of Spades is described, not as a person, but as “a blog registered by Michelle Kerr . . . written by an anonymous blogger.” (¶ 23.) Nor does it change the fact that no anonymous blogger known as “Ace of Spades” is named as a party in this action. For this reason, plaintiff’s motion, incoherent even on its own terms, is a complete waste of this Court’s time and attention in the light of the SAC. A motion sounding in aggrievement for the supposedly unique hurts invoked by anonymously cast slings and arrows cannot, in one fell swoop, also make good a fundamental pleading deficiency so as to add the anonymous hurt-maker as a defendant after three rounds of pleadings and the filing of extensive dispositive motions over the course of many months.

Plaintiff’s motion suffers from other serious deficiencies. It fails to make any semblance of a legal argument showing entitlement to relief. Even if it were couched in the proper procedural context, plaintiff has failed to meet the established legal standards for unmasking anonymous speakers – especially in light of the fact that, as demonstrated by defendant AOS’s pending motion to dismiss, plaintiff’s underlying claims are, regardless of the identities of the AOS blog authors, utterly meritless as a matter of law and that he has a history of utilizing the legal system to harass his journalist opponents – including by using the legal system as a lever in depriving them of their constitutional right to anonymity. And, as the public record shows, once this achieved, Mr. Kimberlin will not hesitate, as he did after using the legal system to identify and defendant Aaron Walker, in subjecting him to exactly the same kind of intimidation, threats and personal harassment Kimberling claims to be victimized by in this lawsuit. As a matter of law and of decency his motion should be denied.

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Reference Info: Legal Memoranda: Pre-Trial Motions | Federal, 4th Circuit, Maryland | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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