DIRECTV v. Loussaert
United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
218 F.R.D. 639 (S.D. Iowa 2003)
DIRECTV (plaintiff) is a California company that transmits scrambled television signals to its customers via satellite. Each customer has a satellite receiver and access card that unscrambles the channels for which she has paid. DIRECTV worked with law enforcement to make several raids on mail shipping facilities that were distributing technology used to unscramble and pirate DIRECTV’s signal. The raids revealed evidence that Eversoll and six other defendants (defendants) had separately purchased pirating hardware over the course of seven months. DIRECTV sued the defendants in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. Eversoll then filed a motion to sever his case. Eversoll asserted that each defendant had acted independently, at different times, and for their own purposes, and therefore the acts of each defendant were not part of the same transaction or occurrence. Thus, Eversoll argues joinder was improper under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 20. DIRECTV claims that FRCP 20’s requirements should be given a liberal construction and that joinder promotes judicial efficiency.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gritzner, J.)
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