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Judge Set to Hear N.Y. v. Charter Internet Speed Suit Forced to Recuse; He’s a Subscriber

Judge Engelmayer

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will have to wait to bring his lawsuit claiming Charter/Spectrum is ripping off New York consumers with false speed claims until the courts can find a judge that isn’t a Charter/Spectrum subscriber.

U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer recused himself from hearing the case in state court Wednesday because he has a conflict of interest – he’s a Charter/Spectrum customer and could receive monetary damages if the cable company is found culpable.

“I am obligated to recuse,” Judge Engelmayer said, while also apologizing for not doing so earlier. As a former Time Warner Cable customer, he was unfamiliar with the Spectrum brand and only recently realized Charter Communications had acquired Time Warner Cable. “I can barely use a toaster. I have no idea what internet service I subscribe to.”

Charter Communications is trying to get the case heard in a presumably more friendly venue – federal court, and the case is on hold until Schneiderman completes his argument to have the case heard by a New York court. Charter argues that Schneiderman should not be allowed to bring enforcement actions under state law in state courts just because he is dissatisfied with the performance of the FCC.

The New York Attorney General brought the action after allegedly finding extensive evidence Time Warner Cable was not delivering the internet speeds the company promised in its advertising and in some cases left customers with equipment incapable of supporting the higher speeds customers purchased.

If Schneiderman can successfully keep the case in New York, the courts will have to find a judge with Verizon FiOS or no internet at all — a tall order in a state where Charter/Spectrum’s service area covers Buffalo to Manhattan and all points in-between.

Currently there are 5 comments on this Article:

  1. psychic99 says:

    “I can barely use a toaster. I have no idea what internet service I subscribe to.”

    And this is why we have so many bad decisions involving tech in the courts. How can judges make decisions based upon things they don’t understand?

  2. FredH says:

    The interesting (sad) part – here was a judge that was going to decide the fate of a possible multi-million settlement against one of the largest ISPs in the country and he readily admits “I can barely use a toaster. I have no idea what internet service I subscribe to.”

  3. Yuji Saeki says:

    Re: “I can barely use a toaster. I have no idea what internet service I subscribe to.”

    And this is why we have so many bad decisions involving tech in the courts. How can judges make decisions based upon things they don’t understand?

    —————

    I’m glad someone else saw that too. Much like Texas and Patent lawsuits.

  4. Genn says:

    Judges are supposed to interpret laws and how they apply to the facts of the case. As time goes on there will be new judges of a younger generation whose knowledge and experience with tech and the internet will be extensive in comparison to the majority of those on the bench currently. Judges are capable of learning new things, they have had to adapt to computer-based changes that help move cases along but there simply aren’t enough of them to deal with the massive volume of cases and budget cuts have led to fewer court rooms and sometimes whole courthouses have been eliminated.

    It’s a complicated system but it’s the one we have in the U.S.

  5. Chuck Hypocrite Schumer says:

    It’s April now did the yearly TWC(but now charter instead) strike a better deal thread start yet?







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