A Florida judge denied an RIAA attempt to dismiss counterclaims filed against it in Atlantic v. Boyer yesterday, allowing all six of the complaints to proceed.
Last month, defendant Eva Boyer filed six counterclaims in response to a standard RIAA copyright-infringement suit filed against her by Atlantic, Warner Bros., UMG, and Sony BMG. She accused the RIAA of civil conspiracy, computer fraud, trespass, deception, extortion, and abuse of process – and each claim was upheld by United States District Judge Richard A. Lazzara.
Recording Industry vs. The People notes that Boyer’s claims are nearly identical to the five out of six surviving claims filed against the RIAA in UMG v. Del Cid, which settled in October of last year. Coincidentally, Atlantic v. Boyer and UMG v. Del Cid share the same presiding judge, in addition to the same counsel for both the plaintiffs and the defendant.
Writing on Slashdot, Vandenberg & Feliu, LLP attorney Ray Beckerman, who coauthors Recording Industry vs. The People, says he underestimated the RIAA’s “chutzpah” for filing the same motion to dismiss a second time:
“I opined that ‘it is highly unlikely that the RIAA will make a motion to dismiss counterclaims,’ since I knew they'd be risking sanctions if they did,” wrote Beckerman under his alias, NewYorkCountryLawyer. “In essence [they] thumbed their nose at the judge, making the dismissal motion anyway.”
In its motion to dismiss, one of the RIAA’s claims (PDF) argued that Lazzara’s prior ruling in UMG v. Del Cid was “wrongly decided,” accusing the court of failing to heed proper burdens of proof, citing revised standards in Twombly v. Bell Atlantic. Lazzara disagreed, noting that a review of the case, and its resulting order, “reflects otherwise.”
Seemingly annoyed with the RIAA’s repeat claims, Lazzara denied the RIAA’s motion to dismiss the morning after it was filed – going so far as to tell Boyer to not worry about filing a response:
“Because the Court has previously resolved all of the issues raised in Plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss,” wrote Lazzara, “and because the Court is not convinced that its prior decision was wrong, the Court needs no response from Defendant and the motion is due to be denied.”
The RIAA has ten days to answer Boyer’s counterclaims.