A. Michael v. Charter Communications, No. 4:17 CV 1242 (JMB) (E.D. Mo.) June 30, 2017.
Charter Communications moved to dismiss this putative class action challenging defendant’s privacy practices concerning customer information because, among other matters, plaintiff failed to identify himself.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 10(a) requires identifications of parties to a suit. This is more than administrative matter: it serves the public interest The First Amendment protects the promise of public proceedings by requiring identification of the persons involved, permitting proceeding anonymously only where substantial privacy interests are involved, such as challenges to government activity required disclosures of intimate information, or disclosure of information that would invite criminal prosecution.
The federal trial court found nothing in plaintiff’s case that would overcome the presumption of disclosure of his name, and found doing so of particular importance where plaintiff proposed to represent a public class. Moreover, no protective order tould be entered as the local rules of court require redaction of social security information, home addresses, and financial account information.