Charles Rodrick, owner of a family of websites that publishes the names, photos and other personal information regarding registered citizens and sometimes members of their families, today lost a case filed against him in federal district court when the court entered a default judgment. The case alleged that Rodrick and others he controlled violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act by extorting money from individuals in order to have their personal information removed from those websites.
“This is a major victory for registered citizens in our nation,” stated attorney Janice Bellucci. “The court’s decision today to enter a default judgment in favor of the plaintiffs sends a clear signal to Mr. Rodrick and to others like him who break the law by illegally demanding funds from registered citizens.”
A total of 10 plaintiffs from 5 states challenged Rodrick’s actions in a lawsuit filed in Arizona federal district court in March 2013. The plaintiffs in the case are seeking termination of the websites at issue, payment for their damages, punitive damages as well as attorneys fees and court costs.
Rodrick was initially represented in the case by an attorney, however, his attorney withdrew in November 2013 reportedly due to Rodrick’s failure to pay legal bills. Subsequent to the withdrawal, Rodrick, who has a 10th grade education, filed legal documents he purported to have written that properly cited case law and the complex Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
“The judge in this case wisely granted a motion filed by plaintiffs that required Rodrick to reveal who actually wrote and filed those documents,” stated Bellucci.
The websites owned by Rodrick include Online Detective, Offendex, SORarchives and SexOffenderRecord. According to court records, the Offendex website received revenues in excess of $30,000 per month.