Welcome. This portal provides information on how to proceed pseudonymously in federal and state litigation and an overview of various civil and criminal claims that might be available to victims of online invasions of privacy. Under the menu feature to the right, you will find the following information:
Summary & Overview:
First, you will find a brief overview of pseudonymous litigation including general information about why you may wish to proceed under a pseudonym if you are filing a case based on a privacy violation. The "How to Proceed" page describes three possible procedural paths to bringing a case under a pseudonym and provides a general list of reasons/factors that may support an argument to proceed pseudonymously. Finally, don't miss the notes of caution page. It describes some important things to consider before proceeding pseudonymously.
The Federal section includes a procedural component, “Filing Under A Pseudonym,” which sets forth the federal multi-factor test for balancing the plaintiff’s interest in anonymity against both the public interest in disclosure and any prejudice to the defendant, along with relevant case law. It also includes a substantive component, which identifies a number of key federal laws that may be used in civil and criminal actions against perpetrators of online invasions of privacy.
Like the Federal section, each state identified in the list to the right includes a place for a description of the procedural and substantive components of our research. For example, the California section includes a procedural component, “Filing Under A Pseudonym,” which describes California case law and/or statutes on the use of pseudonyms in litigation. It also includes a substantive component, which identifies a number of specific causes of action and remedies that victims of online invasions of privacy may seek through: (1) civil statutes; (2) common law; (3) restraining orders; (4) family law; and (5) criminal law.
As you browse the list of the 50 states, you will notice that California is the only state that is complete with both the procedural and substantive research components. Thanks to the hard work by Claire Kelleher-Smith and Linda Lara of the Samuelson Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law, the Federal and California sections have been fully developed. In addition, the procedural component of the site ("Filing Under A Pseudonym") for each of the 50 states is published here thanks to the research work of Clare Tarpey, a 2010 graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law.
What about the other 49 states? It is our long-term strategy to complete the substantive components for each and every state in the United States. To do that, we are enlisting law school clinics and third year law students to conduct state-specific research. We are also reaching out to law firm pro bono committees for research assistance. If you are a law professor, law school clinic instructor, and/or third year law student pursuing an independent study for academic credit, and wish to take responsibility for the completion of one or more states substantive research, please send us an email (founders [at] withoutmyconsent [dot] org) introducing yourself and tell us in what capacity you would like to collaborate on this project.