Buy a digital copy of the court file for the In Rem lawsuit for the domain name <costarica.com>. The Plaintiffs CostaRica.com, Inc. Sociedad Anonima (“CostaRica.com”) and Alejando Solorzano-Picado brought the lawsuit to recover their stolen domain name.
Click here to download a free copy of the costarica.com complaint to see details of the case.
The Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that their costarica.com domain name was stolen from their Melbourne IT account in the middle of 2015. The thief, based in Egypt, did not change the name servers so that the owners wouldn’t realize the domain name was stolen until after the limitation period for conversion passed.
The case, filed in 2016 as an in rem lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Virginia, Alexandria Division, is the jurisdiction where Verisign is based. Verisign is the .com registry. After the alleged thief failed to respond to the dispute, the judge granted the plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment. Steven Rinehart represented the plaintiffs in this in rem lawsuit.
United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ordered Verisign to transfer the domain name CostaRica.com back to its previous owners:
Order Adopting Report and Recommendations re costarica.com
ORDER AND DEFAULT JUDGMENT that the Court adopts, as its own, the findings of fact and accepts the recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Buchanan; Plaintiffs Costarica.com, Inc. Sociedad Anonima, a foreign corporation,and Alejandro Solorzano-Picado’s Motion for Default Judgment (Dkt. No. 10) is GRANTED ; for the reasons stated in the Report and Recommendation (Dkt. No. 15), and pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55, DEFAULT JUDGMENT BE ENTERED in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendant costarica.com VeriSign, Inc., which is located in this District, is directed to change the registrar of record for costarica.com and transfer the exclusive ownership and control of Plaintiffs to an account specified by Plaintiffs’ counsel; Name.com, if selected by Plaintiffs to continue as the registrar, transfer exclusive ownership and control of costarica.com to Plaintiffs. Signed by District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee on 3/30/17. (pmil, )
In rem is a Latin term which means “against or about a thing.” “Jurisdiction in rem” is the legal term used to describe the exercise of power by a court over property (either real or personal) or a “status” against a person over whom the court does not have “in personam jurisdiction”.
The Plaintiffs claimed court didn’t have In personam jurisdiction over the domain registrant, Amal Zakero, because he is an individual who resides in Egypt and he did not have the requisite minimum contacts within the USA for this Court to establish in personam jurisdiction over him. Amal Zakero did however maintain a mailing address in Menlo Park, California, and he used a US-based domain name registrar, so that might not necessarily have been true.
In personam Jurisdiction
In personam Jurisdiction refers to a courts power to adjudicate matters directed against a party, as distinguished from in-rem proceedings over disputed property.
In Rem Claims
The Disputed Domain was stolen from Plaintiffs and registered to Registrant, in violation of Plaintiffs’ rights at common law, statute, and in its COSTARICA.COM™ and COSTA RICA™ trademarks (the “Marks”), which are protected under 15 U.S.C. §§ 1125(a). In their third claim for relief, the Plaintiffs made a common law claim for Conversion:
51. Plaintiffs incorporate herein by reference each and every allegation in the preceding paragraphs of this complaint.
52. Plaintiffs have property rights in and are the owner of the Disputed Domain.
53. Registrant has taken control of the Disputed Domain and is wrongfully exercising control and authority over the Disputed Domain.
54. The control and authority exercised by Registrant deprives Plaintiffs of control and the income and business generated from the Disputed Domain.
55. Registrant is wrongfully exerting domino over Plaintiffs’ property in denial of Plaintiffs’ rights.