Goren v. Doe

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

11/09/2012

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Massachusetts

Disposition: 

Default Judgment
Injunction Issued

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
On November 9, 2012, attorney Richard A. Goren filed a complaint in the Superior Court for Suffolk County against John Doe d/b/a Arabianights-Boston, Massachusetts, and Steven DuPont a/k/a Steven Christian DuPont. According to the complaint, on January 31, 2012, defendant Doe... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

John Doe d/b/a Arabianights-Boston, Massachusetts; Steven DuPont a/k/a Steven Christian DuPont

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Massachusetts

Location of Party: 

  • Hawaii

Legal Counsel: 

(defendants defaulted without appearance)
Description

On November 9, 2012, attorney Richard A. Goren filed a complaint in the Superior Court for Suffolk County against John Doe d/b/a Arabianights-Boston, Massachusetts, and Steven DuPont a/k/a Steven Christian DuPont.

According to the complaint, on January 31, 2012, defendant Doe filed a report entitled "Complaint Review: Richard A. Goren" on the consumer reporting website Ripoff Report. Among other things, the report asserted that "Psycho-Richard Goren" has problems with addiction; commits perjury and fraud; abuses the law; and has a history of child abuse, domestic violence, and bisexuality ("the Report"). The complaint further alleged that an anonymous reply to the Report was posted stating that Steven Christian DuPont was "defaming another person," after which DuPont, under an alias, responded that he was not "guilty of any crimes or 'schemes'" and that the anonymous poster was guilty of many crimes. The complaint stated that Goren had previously represented a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against DuPont, and that "[u]pon information and belief DuPont is Doe."

The complaint listed three causes of action: libel, equitable and injunctive relief, and intentional interference with prospective contractual relations. Goren claimed that the Report constituted libel per se and was susceptible only of a defamatory meaning, alleging that the defamatory per se publication was first on a Google search for Goren and that he had suffered a loss of income, damage to his reputation, and emotional distress as a direct result of the publication. Under the claim of equitable and injunctive relief, the complaint alleged that the continued republication of the Report on Google, Bing, and other online search engines presented a continuing threat of irreparable harm to Goren, warranting entry of a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and a permanent injunction enjoining Doe from continuing to publish the Report. The complaint then alleged that Doe's actions constituted intentional interference with Goren's prospective contractual relations and that Goren had suffered damages as a direct and proximate result of this interference.

On November 26, 2012, a justice of the Superior Court entered a preliminary injunction against publishing or republishing the Report. The court held the Report presented a "continuing threat of irreparable harm" to Goren that could not be remedied by an award of damages.

On March 20, 2013, the court entered a default judgment against the defendants and issued a permanent injunction. The judgment noted that Goren had dismissed his claims for libel and intentional interference with prospective contractual relations, leaving only a claim for equitable and injunctive relief. The court permanently enjoined the defendants -- now referred to as Defendant John Doe d/b/a Arabianights-Boston, Massachusetts, n/k/a Christian DuPont, and Defendant Steven DuPont a/k/a Steven Christian DuPont -- from publishing or republishing the Report. The court ordered Doe to "take any and all necessary steps and action necessary or appropriate" to remove, retract, and/or delete the Report from the website. Further, the court appointed Goren as "attorney-in-fact, coupled with an interest, with the power of substitution, in the name and place of" Doe to take all necessary steps to remove the Report.

On March 25, 2013, Goren filed a motion to amend the default judgment and permanent injunction. The motion proposed that the court add an assignment and transfer of the copyright of the Report to Goren "[t]o achieve the purpose of the Default Judgment."

On May 8, 2013, the court entered a judgment and amended permanent injunction. The judgment added to the previous judgment and injunction, explicitly stating that "all rights in and to ownership of the copyright by the author [Doe] of the [Report] is hereby transferred to [Goren], meaning and intending to convey, transfer and assign by this Order and Judgment the full and exclusive ownership of copyright." The order also added that Goren had the power of attorney in his own name, as well as Doe's, to take any action necessary for the Report's removal.

The copyright transfer from this case resulted in a copyright infringement case, Small Justice LLC et al. v. Xcentric Ventures LLC.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Website

Subject Area: 

  • Copyright
  • Defamation
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Massachusetts

Source of Law: 

  • Massachusetts

Court Name: 

Superior Court for Suffolk County, Massachusetts

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

SUCV2012-04121

Relevant Documents: