iMEGA Again Defends Kentucky Domain NamesBy: Adam Baker, Thursday December 9th 2010
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In November 2010, the Commonwealth of Kentucky filed a motion for a case management order in the long standing matter of the 141 domain names. The Commonwealth sought to break down the domain names into smaller groups with the stated objective that it would be easier to manage the smaller groups. The online gambling industry knows that in reality it would be easier to coerce the domain name owners if tackled in smaller groups. Again iMEGA has come to the rescue of the domain name owners.
On December 6 iMEGA filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the domain name holders. In a 13 page plea the counsels for iMEGA made out a case for intervention on three basic counts. The first point was that the case management order requested for by the Commonwealth of Kentucky leads to a process that is not permitted by law and not in accordance with the order of the Kentucky Supreme Court. Therefore the request of the Commonwealth should be denied. In fact the counsel for iMEGA stated that the motion for case management is actually a "motion for a forfeiture hearing by another name." The second reason for seeking intervention was the assertion that the Commonwealth's action is without basis in Kentucky law and therefore this Court is without subject matter jurisdiction to proceed. The counsel for iMEGA pointed out that the Court needs to consider the jurisdictional and constitutional questions the seizure actions have raised before proceeding with the case. The third reason given by iMEGA was "for the general purpose of representing its members' interests against all claims in this action."
The counsel for iMEGA also clarified that iMEGA had fulfilled the condition set by the Kentucky Supreme Court for establishing its standing to represent the domain name owners. The Supreme Court had asked iMEGA to produce one domain name owner and accordingly Yatahay Limited had in an affidavit admitted ownership of the domain "truepoker.com" and had provided proof of its membership in iMEGA. Therefore the issue of iMEGA's standing should not now be a hurdle.
On the basis of iMEGA's filings, Judge Thomas Wingate passed an order granting the motion put forward by iMEGA and giving it permission to intervene. The next hearing has been fixed for December 13, 2010. Thomas Wingate was the judge who had passed the initial seizure order against the domain names. When iMEGA challenged the order, Judge Wingate ruled that the association had no standing to represent the domain names. The matter went up to the Supreme Court of Kentucky where iMEGA established its standing, but the Supreme Court sent the case back to Judge Wingate for a fresh hearing on the other issues. Before that could happen, the Commonwealth filed its motion for a case management order leading to the present situation.
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