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My brother-in-law ran for District Attorney in a small district in a southern US state. He hired a person to set up an campaign website for him. Additionally, the domain name of FIRSTNAMELASTNAME (my bother-in-law's name) was registered by this person in the com, net, and org extensions. Now the elections are over (he lost) and he would like the domain name for a business site. They have contacted the person and asked to buy the domain name, even though their contract with him states that they already own the domain. He refuses all offers and doesn't make a counter offer.

The domain was registered at a small Wild West affiliate registrar. While checking out the whois information I came across some interesting information. While the net and org domains shows the squatters information, the com domain shows my Brother-in-Law's name, address, telephone number, and email address as the registrant, technical contact, and administrative contact. That being the case, I attempted to open an account at the registrar in my Brother-in-Law's name and initiate a transfer of the domain. However, the registrar states that an email is being sent to the squatters email address, not my brother-in-law's email address for confirmation. The squatter then denies the transfer.

He is an attorney and has sent C&D's and formal requests to the squatter to no avail. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on how he can go about regaining his domain name? Can a civil suit regain his domain or does he need to go through WIPO? We don't want to alert the squatter to the Whois information because it would be real easy for him to change it. Is there some way to compel the registrar to transfer the domain based upon the whois information without contacting the squatter? If it helps, his first name is so unique, that and exact "FIRSTNAME LASTNAME" search on Google brings up only 4200 results and EVERY one is about him.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


Comments (9)

More than likely this type of dispute would have to be settled in court.

A registrar is not going to hand over a domain without a court order or a UDRP ruling.


Comment #1

Even though the Whois information shows his name, address, telephone number and email address? What about domains that are stolen? Do they require a UDRP or court order to get them back? I thought the Whois information being as is was going to be his strongest argument. Shows what I know. This is why I have come here for advice. Thanks Brad.


Comment #2


Take a screen shot of the Whois, save it, and print it out. If you go to court, this could be valuable evidence.


Comment #3

Well, it depends. Normally a registrar is not going to turn over a domain unless there was clear evidence it was stolen.

It is a case by case basis as far as this stuff goes.

Your best bet is to consult someone who specializes in domain law.


Comment #4

You might try small claims court first. Chances are, the squatter won't even show up...

Comment #5

I thought that also, but will a small claims court order be enough to compel the registrar to transfer the domain?..

Comment #6

Not only should your brother-in-law take this person to court, but he should also file a complaint with the better business bureau, post a complaint on and make this guy's information public and known so that he doesn't do this to other customers in the future. Maybe a bit of Internet justice will change his mind.

If that doesn't work, apply baseball bat to kneecap, repeat if necessary...

Comment #7

Do not waste your time with WIPO..

Here's the rub in this case. Believe it or not, since the registrant information is that of your brother in law, WIPO will not process the case in your favor as the proper Respondent is also the Complainant!.

Forget small claims too... since he is an attorney, he should just file a civil case in Federal court and get it done with...

Comment #8

We could have a case of identity theft, which is a federal offense..

Archive the current whois if you haven't already...

Comment #9

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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