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Arthur v. GoDaddy - subpoena for cybersquatter.pdf

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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS COUNTY DEPARTMENT- CHANCERY DIVISION ARTHUR HOLMER, Plaintiff I Petitioner, vs. GODADDY.COM, LLC, and COUNTABLE WEB PRODUCTIONS, Defendants I Respondents, ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No. 2014 CH _ _ _ __ 2~~! 14CH 1 £3()2{~: _;:. . EfMJ D§~ t~:~ . . ~~~ LJ ~J t~ ;~= ~\ T I f1E Ot:F ~· ~-; ~sj ~,~ ~) VERIFIED RULE 224 PETITION FOR PRE-LAWSUIT DISCOVERY NOW COMES Plaintiff I Petitioner ARTHUR HOLMER ( Petitioner or Holmer ), by a
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  IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY ILLINOIS COUNTY DEPARTMENT CHANCERY DIVISION ARTHUR HOLMER Plaintiff Petitioner vs. GODADDY.COM LLC and COUNTABLE WEB PRODUCTIONS Defendants Respondents ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No. 2014 CH 2~~ 4CH 3 )2{~: ;~= _ \ ; M D ~ t~ ~ ~~~ L J t~ ~-; ~sj T I f1E Ot:F ~· ~ ~ ~) VERIFIED RULE 4 PETITION FOR PRE-LAWSUIT DISCOVERY NOW COMES Plaintiff Petitioner ARTHUR HOLMER ( Petitioner or Holmer ), by and through his attorneys, Brown, Udell, Pomerantz Delrahim, Ltd., and hereby Petitions this Honorable Court pursuant to Rule 224 of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules for pre-suit discovery to be issued against defendants respondents GODADDY.COM LLC ( GoDaddy ) and COUNTABLE WEB PRODUCTIONS for the purpose of identifying a person or entity (or persons or entities) who may be responsible in damages to Petitioner, and in support thereof, states as follows: 1. On or about August 24, 2014, an unidentified person or entity privately registered the internet domain name, www.arthurholmerchicago.com, (the Offending Website'') with Go Daddy. 2 Plaintiff did not authorize or consent to the registration of the Offending ebsi~~~by . ~- ~ ·.- ;··· this unidentified person or entity, nor its content. 1  3 The Offending Website, a screenshot of which is attached hereto as xhibit A contains several statements that are defamatory p r s and subject the unidentified website registrant to potential liability to Petitioner for claims such as Libel, False light Invasion of Privacy, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Misappropriation, among other possible torts and claims. 4 Arthur Holmer is an experienced real estate developer, investor and professional in the Chicagoland area. With his business team, through entities such as the Wells Street Companies, Inc., Wells Street Equities, LLC, Wells Street Management, LLC, Thomas Investors, LLC, and others, Petitioner has bought and sold, and owned, operated and managed a vast portfolio of complex commercial properties, including multifamily, office, retail and restaurant properties. 5 Arthur Holmer is a citizen of the State of Illinois and a resident of Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. 6 GoDaddy is a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business in the State of Arizona. 7 Countable Web Productions is the creator of the website widget called htmlcommentbox.com and is a Canadian corporation with its principal place of business in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 8 In August 2014, an unknown individual or entity registered the domain name, www.arthurholmerchicago.com and created the Offending Website. The Offending Website declares, in what upon information and belief is a large 48-point font size, ''Welcome to Arthur Holmer's REAL WORLD. Underneath this declarative welcome are several hyperlinks to various documents arising from or regarding litigation that Petitioner has been involved with, directly or indirectly through one of his business entities, since 2009. The hyperlinks are titled, FRAUD, BREAHC OF CONTRACT AND LOAN DEFAULTS, MISCELLANEOUS LAWSUITS, 2   LIENS, FORECLOSURES and CITY CODE VIOLATIONS. The footer to each page of the Offending Website declares: This website is intended to show who the real Arthur Holmer is All information provided is public knowledge. 9 Each page of the Offending Website includes a side column for comments, which may be posted anonymously or under any name and receive anonymous likes or thumbs up. The commenting feature is enabled using a third-party widget or website application called htmlcommentbox.com. 10. No registration or verification of identity is required to enter a comment on the Offending website. The comments to the Offending Website contain defamatory statements about Plaintiff including: COMPLETE FRAUDSTER ; Arthur is a complete and total thief as well as a pathological liar I hope he lands in j il for everything he has done ; Headshot? How about mugshot ; Holmer is also currently under investigation by the FBI for defrauding banks. He'll probably be in j il soon ; and AVOID THIS GUY AT ALL COSTS ... horrible awful terrible Wells Street Companies is a SCAM. 11. The first 4 comments on this website were logged on September 12, 2014- a mere 19 days after the website was first published. Dozens of anonymous or pseudonymous commenters have posted comments since it was published, naming and libeling business associates of Holmer and accusing specific individuals of creating the website. 12. Upon information and belief, the unidentified person or person behind the unidentified entity that registered the Offending Website is a competitor of Petitioner and is seeking to damage Petitioner's reputation in order to gain a commercial advantage or for a business reason. 13. Upon information and belief, the unidentified person or person behind the unidentified entity that registered the Offending Website has used the anonymous / pseudonymous commenting feature to add defamatory and libelous comments to his or her own website. 3  14. Upon information and belief, Countable Web Productions, the creator of the htmlcommentbox.com widget, tracks the IP addresses of commentators. 15. The characterization by the unidentified registrant that the collected links to various lawsuits constitutes Arthur Holmer's REAL WORLD and that Arthur Holmer's REAL WORLD involves fraud, breach of contract and loan defaults, foreclosures, and city code violations, is either false or stated with a reckless disregard for truth. Some, but not all, of the links provided attach filed pleadings containing (in most cases) unverified allegations made by litigants in opposition to Petitioner. Most of the cases cited did not go to trial or result in any judgment or findings of fact- in fact, most setded. 16. Particularly egregious are the characterizations contained within the second level of each of the hyperlinks on the Offending Websites, which ate either demonstrably untrue or made with a callous and reckless disregard for whether they are true. For example, the first link under Fraud is a l nk to a second hyperlink tided Bank Fraud, Breach of Fiduciary Duties, and Conversion of Assets. This second hyperlink connects to 34 pages of scanned .pdfs, including a news article announcing the filing of the lawsuit, a copy of the complaint and other documents regarding the lawsuit, Dom·an et al. v. Wells Street Equities LLC Arthur Holmer and Stephen Muller Case No. 10 CH 49653 (Cit. Ct. Cook County). This case did not go to trial or result in any findings of fact or judgments s a matter of law. Instead, this case was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs on Match 30, 2011 -information that one would only see if one were to read through the entire 34-page attachment to the very last page. 17. Similarly, the second case linked under Fraud, which is characterized s Fraud, Breach of Contract, and Unjust Enrichment for Non-Compliance with Setdement, attaches to a number of scanned .pdf documents involving the related case, Mesta v Holmer 2011 L 0112902 (Cit. Ct. Cook Cty) and Mesta v. Club 720 LLC and Arthur Holmer Case No. 1:09-cv-07722 (N.D. Ill). 4
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