FILED DEC 16, 2011
Plaintiff, vs.. MEETUP INC. 632 Broadway 10th floor New York NY 10002 Defendant. Civil Action No. 2011 CA 009899 B


Introduction Jane Doe, pro se, a registered user of, sues Defendant Meetup Inc. (herein referred "Meetup") for declaratory relief to determine Meetup's liability, in whole or in part, for promotional offers it distributes to members as part of its Perk Program which unfairly place online and offline group members in jeopardy or cause them to incur damages-- including indebtedness, collection activity, and negative credit reporting. In a related case, DC Superior Court Case No. 2011CA004292 B, American Youth Symphony v .John Does #1 to #399 herein referred to as "The Case", Meetup Inc. in its Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Enforcement of Nonparty Subpoena, has set forth its version of facts, of which Plaintiff substantially relies in this case, of the very type of offer which Plaintiff seeks a determination.

Parties 1. Plaintiff JANE DOE is an adult resident of the District of Columbia whose mailing address is ____________________________________ Washington, DC 2xxxx. and is a registered member of

2. Defendant MEETUP INC. is a New York corporation which operates a global website known as with an estimated 8 million online members and 65,000 groups, and is located at 632 Broadway 10th floor New York NY 10002. possesses a platform which allows people in virtually every metropolitan area in the United States and the world, to interact and organize real events with other people within those areas, including Washington, DC.

Jurisdiction 3. The Superior Court of the District of Columbia has personal and subject matter jurisdiction over the parties as Plaintiff is a resident of the District and Defendant is a corporation who conducts substantial business related to this action within the District of Columbia. According to its website, Meetup Inc. has over 2,000 meet up groups in Washington, DC , encompassing tens of thousands of members who reside in Washington, DC. Meetup's business activities within the District are not passive in that it facilitates meeting groups to conduct actual activities within the District. Meetup also solicits and collects fees for its services directly from its members within the District and could reasonably expect to be sued by its online and offline Meetup group members for its activities within the District of Columbia.

4. The relief sought by this action would affect Plaintiff and other persons who may be online or offline members of Meetup groups who are not subject to any binding arbitration agreements with Meetup Inc.

Background Material Facts 5. In May, 2011, American Youth Symphony (AYS) filed DC Superior Court Case No. 2011CA004292 B, American Youth Symphony v .John Does #1 to #399 (herein referred to as "The Case"), alleging some 400 members owed $400 each in cancellation fees for a theater ticket promotional offer made by AYS through

6. The offer was part of a program, The Perk Program, whose content is controlled and monitored by Meetup. Meetup also editorially reviews, edits, approves and distributes the Perk offers to its members.

7. According to Meetup's website, the Perk offers are "reviewed and approved by a Meetup HQ Perks Specialist" and are then targeted to the "right Groups".

8. In "The Case", AYS alleges that Meetup Inc. "historically reviewed, approved, even edited, and presented" AYS' "agreement offers to it's members", including the 400 John Doe members subject to that complaint. AYS also alleges that Meetup Inc. "managed" The John Does' acceptances of AYS' offer and "forwarded the 400 acceptances" to AYS.. AYS characterizes Meetup Inc. as "a broker of those agreements" or offers.

9. In The Case, Meetup Inc. describes its business and activities as an "online social networking platform that facilitates offline group meetings in cities and other communities around the world. Meetup allows its users to find, join, or start groups unified by a common interest." "For example, there is a Washington Nationals Fan Group on Meetup ( that meets in the District of Columbia for pre- and post-game gatherings. Through its

Meetup Perks program, Meetup allows businesses and organizations to make special offers (i.e., Perks) to Meetup Groups meeting specified criteria."

10. To participate in the Perk program, businesses-- who must also become Meetup members to participate-- must submit an offer through the internet platform which goes to the HQ Perks Specialist for review. The offer, which according to the website, may take several days to review, is either accepted, declined or edited by staff for its suitability to members.

11. No offer can circumvent review by to become a Perk. 12. Once an offer is approved, becoming a Perk, the offeror picks region(s), ranging from local to worldwide, and up to 20 group activity types which the offeror wants the Perk to be made available.

13. informs the offeror that he/she will be charged $5 per month for each member group who accepts the Perk offer.

14. Revenues from this activity in's online community, estimated by the Wall Street Journal as exceeding 8 million members and 65,000 groups, is a significant revenue source for Meetup Inc. (400 Groups allegedly accepting AYS' offer would garner $2,000 per month from AYS in revenue for Meetup Inc.) 15. then directly distributes the Perk offer to prospective members via Meetup's website platform and to members' private email accounts.

16. Members are given a series of options to confirm ("click through") and either accept or a decline the Perk offer, also known as a Clickwrap Agreement.

17. In The Case, in its Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Enforcement of Nonparty Subpoena set forth a defense that, in part, attempted to articulate major flaws in the AYS Perk, which was nonetheless reviewed, approved and distributed by

18. In The Case, Plaintiff AYS set out to articulate why the terms of the Perk did in fact entitle AYS to cancellation fees. 19. In The Case, in its Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Enforcement of Nonparty Subpoena, stated that AYS, in an article, stated that it issued $160, 000 in cancellation fees to 400 Meetup groups and that AYS sent those invoices to Meetup's New York office for collection.

20. According to Meetup Inc. in The Case, the AYS action "arises out of one such special offer allegedly made by the American Youth Symphony (the “AYS”) to 399 Meetup Groups." "The gravamen" of the action is that "each of the 399 John Does owes AYS $400 because each allegedly accepted a promotional offer for -“free”tickets to a choice of nine theatrical performances." According to Meetup Inc., AYS states that "a term of the offer was that each -“free”- ticket was subject to a $20 cancellation fee—i.e., the tickets were free only if the recipients actually attended the performance". On this basis, AYS alleges according to Meetup Inc "that the defendants made binding commitments to use a total of 7,980 tickets or pay liquidated damages of $20 per ticket. Meetup Inc. further states that AYS "makes this rather incredible allegation notwithstanding the fact that the total number of seats available for the nine AYS performances was no more than 630."

21. Meetup Inc further states in The Case "In short, this lawsuit and the nonparty subpoena issued to Meetup in connection therewith are the culmination" of AYS efforts "to receive a windfall in cancellation fees arising out of a purportedly - “free”-

offer to the 399 anonymous defendants, who are organizers of Meetup Groups to whom the AYS Perk was offered.

22. Meetup Inc further states in The Case "The subpoena seeks the identities of the organizers" so that AYS can "force them to defend against his frivolous claims."

23. Meetup Inc further states in The Case "The 399 anonymous defendants in this action (“John Does 1-399”) are alleged to be organizers of Meetup Groups", "and Meetup’s records reveal that these groups are located in various states throughout the United States (including California, Georgia, Texas, Michigan, and Nevada) and in various countries throughout the world (including Australia, South Korea, and New Zealand)..".

24. Meetup states on its website that "Meetup Perks are not a daily deal or a coupon service. We're helping Sponsors find local community they can support for a long time to come". 25. As a result of the Meetup Perk Program, members are subject to collection activity by offerors such as AYS..

Plaintiff seeks the court to declare that: 1. The Meetup Perk is not a bona fide third party advertisement or offering. 2. The Meetup Perk can be a legally binding agreement i.e., a "clickwrap" agreement for members. 3. The Members of Meetup groups, which are essentially unincorporated associations, are potentially liable for legal or collection actions taken against their Groups by Perk offerors or Meetup.

4. Meetup is culpable and liable, in whole or in part, for harm caused to members by illegal, deceptive or ambiguous advertisements or offers of the Meetup Perk Program including but not limited to unjust enrichment, collection activities, and negative credit reporting. Respectfully submitted,

____________________ Jane Doe

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