Anonymous Panama Papers Leaker May Still be Unable to Sue in Federal Court

Doe v. Federal Republic of Germany was decided by Magistrate Judge Gary Stein (S.D.N.Y.): Plaintiff, who leaked the “Panama Papers,” claims Germany and the Bundeskriminalamt of Germany (“BKA”) breached a contract. Plaintiff alleges if his identity is revealed, his life is in peril as leaders implicated by the Panama Papers are linked to violent acts against him. He attempts to proceed without revealing his identity, but is denied by the court. The magistrate judge insists Plaintiff must disclose his identity to proceed. Other cases are cited where anonymous plaintiffs faced similar risks but complied with disclosure under seal. Plaintiff believes his safety concerns should outweigh legal requirements, due to potential jeopardy to his safety, however the judge disagrees.