Lame Plame Game Flames Out

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The much—publicized Plame civil suit is off to a bad start. The plaintiffs moved for permission to leave their residential address off the complaint. Judge Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia gave the motion short shrift:

Plaintiffs ask that, "[o]ut of respect for [their] privacy in light of their public visibility,"

Pls.' Mot. at 1, they be excused from complying with rules requiring that each party to a civil action include his or her full residential address in the caption of the "first filing by or on behalf of" the party. See L. Civ. R. 5.1(e)(1), 11.1. This Court does not readily grant relief from the ordinary application of such rules, nor does the Court believe that a plaintiff's mere invocation of Case 1:06—cv—01258—JDB Document 5 Filed 08/24/2006 Page 1 of 3 privacy interests and public prominence, without more, warrants an exception to rules that apply to all other litigants. Moreover, the implicit premise of plaintiffs' motion —— that their residential address is confidential —— is questionable. In less than thirty minutes, the Court was able to ascertain plaintiffs' residential address from multiple publicly available sources, including a database of federal government records. Indeed, an attorney who filed this motion on plaintiffs' behalf has stated in a nationally circulated newspaper that he is plaintiffs' next—door neighbor, and the residential address of that attorney also is readily ascertainable. Based on the current record, then, the relief plaintiffs seek is not warranted. [emphasis added]

Case 1:06—cv—01258—JDB Document 5 Filed 08/24/2006 Page 2 of 3
 
Clarice Feldman    8 25 06

The much—publicized Plame civil suit is off to a bad start. The plaintiffs moved for permission to leave their residential address off the complaint. Judge Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia gave the motion short shrift:

Plaintiffs ask that, "[o]ut of respect for [their] privacy in light of their public visibility,"

Pls.' Mot. at 1, they be excused from complying with rules requiring that each party to a civil action include his or her full residential address in the caption of the "first filing by or on behalf of" the party. See L. Civ. R. 5.1(e)(1), 11.1. This Court does not readily grant relief from the ordinary application of such rules, nor does the Court believe that a plaintiff's mere invocation of Case 1:06—cv—01258—JDB Document 5 Filed 08/24/2006 Page 1 of 3 privacy interests and public prominence, without more, warrants an exception to rules that apply to all other litigants. Moreover, the implicit premise of plaintiffs' motion —— that their residential address is confidential —— is questionable. In less than thirty minutes, the Court was able to ascertain plaintiffs' residential address from multiple publicly available sources, including a database of federal government records. Indeed, an attorney who filed this motion on plaintiffs' behalf has stated in a nationally circulated newspaper that he is plaintiffs' next—door neighbor, and the residential address of that attorney also is readily ascertainable. Based on the current record, then, the relief plaintiffs seek is not warranted. [emphasis added]

Case 1:06—cv—01258—JDB Document 5 Filed 08/24/2006 Page 2 of 3
 
Clarice Feldman    8 25 06