Lisa H. Miller writes in the Internet Defamation Law Blog about Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed Defendant # 1, 06-1590-cv (2nd Cir. 2008), a case which addresses the question: "Can a plaintiff sue anonymously in an internet defamation setting?" The answer is yes, as long as the plaintiff's need to remain anonymous outweighs the public's need for disclosure. While this decision isn't exactly ground-breaking (since the 9th Circuit already addressed the question of whether a litigant may sue anonymously in Does I through XXIII v. Advanced Textile Corp., 214 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2000)), it is instructive because the court listed a set of factors to consider determine whether plaintiff's desire for anonymity outweighs the public's need for disclosure. For example, "(f) whether defendant is prejudiced by allowing plaintiff to press claims anonymously." I mean, when wouldn't a defendant be prejudiced by a court allowing plaintiff to file anonymously?
In any event, It will be interesting to see if other courts adopt these factors and how they choose to apply them.