Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Does 1-38, No. 15 C 5283, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 23, 2015) (Coleman, J.).

Judge Coleman denied Doe 38’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 20 motion to dismiss Does 2-38 for improper joinder in this BitTorrent copyright case involving the movie The Cobbler. Does 1-38 allegedly participated in a single swarm between March 21, 2015 and April 14, 2015.

The Court recognized its broad discretion to decide whether or not to join defendants in a single case, as well as the split in the Northern District regarding whether Does must have been involved in the same swarm at the same time in order to be joined in a single suit. Coleman sided with the strain of cases that did not require temporal overlap to join swarm defendants. Joinder was proper because each Doe allegedly participated in the same swarm within a one month period downloading identical pieces of the copyrighted movie The Cobbler. The Court warned that it reserved the right to separate defendants later should joinder become unwieldy or if the parties’ defenses make joinder inappropriate.