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Vogel v. GoDaddy

A California real estate entrepreneur brought suit in federal court in Washington, D.C. against GoDaddy and four John Doe defendants, claiming diversity jurisdiction and alleging that they had defamed him (and committed other torts) by posting web sites criticizing him as a slumlord, and had trespassed by entering his property to take some of the posted photos purporting to show the conditions of the properties.  The entrepreneur then issued two dozen subpoenas to identify his detractors, seeking three successive extensions of time to serve the defendants.  A law firm that received one of the subpoenas sought leave to file an amicus brief arguing that the time should not be further extended because Doe defendants cannot be sued in diversity and that, in any event, there was no persona jurisdiction to sue the Does.  The district judge has suspended further discovery pending a showing by plaintiff of the basis for jurisdiction.  The court agreed with Public Citizen’s amicus brief that plaintiff could not assert diversity jurisdiction in the hope that discovery would established the citizenship of the defendants, and hence dismissed the act ion for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”