Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Does 1-37, No. 15 C 5282, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 25, 2015) (Guzman, J.).
Judge Guzman sua sponte severed Doe 1 from Does 2-37 and dismissed Does 2-37 without prejudice in this BitTorrent copyright case. The Court recognized the split authority on whether joinder was only proper if members of a BitTorrent swarm overlapped in time, or at least acted within hours of each other, but held that temporal proximity was required. Because the Does in this action participated in the same swarm over a period of nearly a week, they were not properly joined.
The Court also held that even if the Does were properly joined, the Court would have exercised its discretion pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 21 to sever the cases because of the administrative difficulty of dealing with 37 defendants raising different defense and arguments.