Says collected evidence in violation of the federal, Minnesota, and New Jersey wiretapping statutes, and the Minnesota private investigator statute.
The attorneys for Jammie Thomas, the native-american single mother of two accused by the RIAA of illegally "making available" 24 songs on KaZaA back in 2005, and who has the distinction of being the first file-sharer to be tried by a jury, have filed a motion to suppress the evidence collected by anti-piracy firm Media Sentry for use by the RIAA.
They argue that MediaSentry collected evidence in violation of federal, Minnesota, and New Jersey (where Media Sentry was based) wiretapping statutes, as well as the Minnesota private investigator statute – making the act a crime.
"MediaSentry collected the evidence against Jammie Thomas in violation of the
Minnesota Private Detective Act and the federal Pen Register and Trap and Trace Devices Act and Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986," reads the motion. "These violations were crimes under Minnesota law and federal law."
"A federal court has power to suppress illegally obtained evidence when that evidence was obtained at the direction and under the supervision of lawyers in violation of their ethical obligations," it adds.
The recording industry’s only evidence that Jammie Thomas ever downloaded or
shared music on KaZaA is the evidence that MediaSentry collected. MediaSentry collected this evidence in violation of federal and state criminal statutes that prohibit wiretapping and require that private investigators be properly trained and licensed. It collected this evidence at the direction and under the supervision of lawyers for the RIAA.
Thomas’ attorneys conclude by saying that suppression is the proper remedy for violations of these ethical rules under both federal common law and the Minnesota wiretapping statute – particularly since these lawyers were on notice from multiple state attorneys general that what they were doing was illegal and since the evidence is being used in a national litigation campaign, not in a single, isolated case.
"It is an unethical strategy created by lawyers to obtain evidence by criminal means and use this evidence to intimidate individuals, usually unrepresented by counsel, into settling so often that out of more than 30,000 defendants over seven years, Jammie Thomas is the first to take her case to trial. What drives this campaign is the illegal evidence that MediaSentry collects. What would end it is suppression of that evidence."
Thomas initially lost her trial by jury, but the judge admitted to making a mistake and granted Thomas a retrial. The RIAA appealed, but they lost that appeal, paving the way for a brand new trial, which is slated to begin June 15th in Minneapolis, Minnesota.