Monday, August 15, 2005

Beverly Hills BMW case

I worked on the Beverly Hills BMW website from 1999 to 2003. A cybersquatter obtained the BeverlyHillsBMW.com website and wanted $10,000. BH BMW decided to go with BeverlyHillsBMW.net instead.

Within a couple of weeks I found out who was cybersquatting the .com website. It was a close friend of their web designer! They'd done this cybersquatting scam to BH Ford and other clients. I told them to release the domain name or I'd tell their clients about their scam. They would buy the main domain name themselves before they got the contract to design their website. I then purchased it and offered it for free to BH BMW. I instantly signed it over to BH BMW for no money. I received a "thank you" letter from Step Jones.
Thank you letter from Step Jones of Beverly Hills BMW.


BH BMW never put the paperwork through. I received a notice that they had not paid hosting. I paid hosting and even renewed the domain name. I again signed papers to transfer ownership. They again did not file the papers. The .com extension always pointed to BeverlyHillsBMW.net The website was always live the entire time I controlled the domain name.

BH BMW was bought out by Sonic Automotive. They reduced everyone's salary and fired quite a few people including Klakauskas and Waddington. I continued to provide service for their website. I sent in a bill which they never paid.

In 2005 they realized that I controlled BeverlyHillsBMW.com and asked me to turn it over. I told them I'd turned it over three times before but they never finalized the transfer. They could pull up the old transfers and transfer it themselves. In the  meantime I'd been paying for hosting, renewing the domain and working on search engine rank. I told them to pay my bill and I'd hand over the domain name again. They refused and sued me.

Original lawsuit

Statement of the AGM of BH BMW.
http://www.marycummins.com/Klakauskas.pdf

Statement of Waddington
http://www.marycummins.com/waddington.pdf

Statement of Seth Waskow
http://www.marycummins.com/sethwaskowdeclaration.pdf

My motion to strike Waskow's statement
http://www.marycummins.com/mottostrikewaskow.pdf

My motion in response to BMW
http://www.marycummins.com/mary_cummins_motion_bmw.pdf

We finally settled. I transferred the domain name again and they paid my bill. They never should have sued me. They wasted $7,900 on legal fees and still had to pay my bill. They originally demanded that I turn over the domain name but refused to pay their outstanding bill. This could have been handled with a polite phone call but instead their lawyer wanted to make some money by turning it into a lawsuit.


Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.


Sunday, June 5, 2005

Mary Cummins wins Kathy Knight-McConnell lawsuit

On July 7, 2003, Kathy Knight-McConnell sued Mary Cummins for securities law violations, trademark infringement, defamation, and other claims in federal court in New York. At the time of the litigation, Knight-McConnell ran a forum for investor discussions and published a newsletter on various stocks. According to a court decision in the case, Cummins, a stock trader from California, posted statements on website discussion groups and on her own website describing Knight-McConnell as a securities fraud "criminal" and "paid to lie to investors," among other things.

In addition, Knight-McConnell alleged that Cummins intentionally maligned certain stocks that she promoted in order to drive their price down in violation of the securities laws. Knight-McConnell also claimed that Cummins violated trademark law by linking to Knight-McConnell's website without permission, using Knight-McConnell's name in the post-domain path of URLs for seven of her web-pages, and posting links on Internet chat forums and discussion boards directing users to visit these pages.

In a July 2004 opinion, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald dismissed the securities and trademark claims. The court indicated that Knight-McConnell had no standing to bring a securities law claim because she did not allege that she purchased or sold the stocks in question in reliance on any statement by Cummins. The court dismissed the trademark claim because linking to Knight-McConnell's site without permission was not likely to cause confusion as a matter of law:

"Even if we assume that plaintiff's name is a valid and protectible mark, plaintiff has not alleged that the defendant engaged in any conduct that is likely to cause confusion as to the origin of the defendant's website. The mere appearance on a website of a hyperlink to another site will not lead a web-user to conclude that the owner of the site he is visiting is associated with the owner of the linked site. This is particularly true in this case because defendant's website advertises real estate and web design services, not investment services, and defendant is continuously dissassociating herself from plaintiff by criticizing her and accusing her of misconduct."

Judge Buchwald also determined that using Knight-McConnell's name in URL paths was not likely to cause confusion as a matter of law because a URL "merely shows how the website's data is organized within the host computer's files" and does not suggest affiliation, source, or sponsorship.

Looking at Knight-McConnell's many state law claims, Judge Buchwald determined that the complaint likely stated a cause of action for defamation, but that a defamation claim was not sufficient to confer personal jurisdiction on the court. Buchwald indicated that Knight-McConnell's tortious interference with contract claim might be sufficient to establish jurisdiction under New York's long-arm statute, but that Knight-McConnell had failed to adequately plead this cause of action. The court dismissed the complaint without prejudice and granted Knight-McConnell permission to amend her complaint.

Knight-McConnell amended her complaint, but, upon a renewed motion by Cummins, Judge Buchwald dismissed the case for lack of personal jurisdiction in June 2005.

Full docket report
http://www.freecourtdockets.com/Dockets/Knight-McConnell-v-Cummins-1-03-cv-05035-New-York-Southern-Federal-District-Court-Docket-Page-1-87407-87407.htm

Independent review of the case by Citizen Media Law Project. I have no idea why these people had an interest in this frivolous case. Of course this was the very beginning of internet law.
http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/knight-mcconnell-v-cummins

Mary Cummins is a real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California. She also advocates for the protection of investors from stock scams especially those perpetrated by company paid stock promoters. She aided the SEC in their prosecution of stock promoter John Westergaard in 2000 and 2001. She also warned investors about stock scams involving the following companies, TMOT Titan Motorcycle Company, EZR Easyriders, UMCC Ultra Motorcycle Company, NPCT Nanopierce, JNOT Jag Notes and others.

Kathy Knight-McConnell was a company paid stock promoter at the time of the lawsuit. She worked for Nanopierce symbol NPCT. NPCT was never profitable.

Here is her old website. I saved copies of all of it. Click "about" to see her photo of herself. Click "boycott raging bull" to see how she feels about me. Click "NPCT" to see her paid tout job.
http://web.archive.org/web/20030206180859/http://investortoinvestor.com/

Pdf copy of the docket from Pacer

http://www.marycummins.com/kathy_knight-mcconnell_vs_mary_cummins_docket.pdf

I wish I could find her original complaint. I had to read it three times just to try to figure out what the hell she was suing me for. It was all over the place. Finally figured it out and replied.

May 25, 2004. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF
DEFENDANT’S RULE 12(b) MOTIONS TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF
SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION, LACK OF PERSONAL
JURISDICTION, IMPROPER VENUE, and FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM

http://www.marycummins.com/knight_mcconnell_motion_to_dismiss.pdf

Knight-McConnell then filed a motion to strike my motion to dismiss claiming I had a ghost writer. March 25, 2005 Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald orders me to "send an affidavit attesting to the fact and explaining how you obtained the legal scholarship that is reflected in the motion papers." It's called being stressed out of your mind that you are being sued so you stay up many long nights researching how to write and file papers. This was also my second pro se lawsuit as a defendant. I was previously sued for something similar in a Philadelphia court, see Ashton Technology vs Mary Cummins. I learned a lot from JohnDoes.org . They pointed me in the right direction to similar cases. I also learned a lot from Silicon Investor "Investment chat board lawsuits" thread. A lawyer did not write any of my documents or help me in any way.

http://www.marycummins.com/knight_Mcconnel_judge_order.pdf

April 26, 2005. The judge is satisfied with my affidavit. Plaintiff's motion to strike defendant's motion to dismiss is denied.

http://www.marycummins.com/knight_mcconnell_motion_denied.pdf

Knight-McConnell filed an amended complaint and I replied
http://www.marycummins.com/mary_cummins_reply_to_knight-mcconnel_amended_complaint.pdf

PIKE & FISCHER INTERNET LAW & REGULATION review of case. Note, I never had to pay any fees because the court never had jurisdiction over me. I should have never been served in the first place. The final current docket reflects this. I'm amazed they wrote such a lengthy article about this frivolous case. This was the beginning of internet law so maybe that's it. Or maybe it was because it was a pro se vs a pro se?

http://techlawadvisor.com/docs/knight-mcconnell.pdf

I found my old due diligence page for Kathy. None of the links work. Note, the photo of Kathy in question was posted on the main page of her own website. I added the "toxic funding is awesome!" part, that's it. This is a photo she herself had on the main page of her website.

http://www.marycummins.com/kathy_knight-mcconnel_stock_promoter.html

Mary Cummins wins lawsuit, Los Angeles, California, real estate, Animal Advocates

Mary Cummins wins lawsuit, Los Angeles, California, real estate, Animal Advocates

Mary Cummins wins lawsuit, Los Angeles, California, real estate, Animal Advocates

Mary Cummins wins lawsuit, Los Angeles, California, real estate, Animal Advocates