Ancestry.com Operations Inc. and affiliated defendants have asked the U.S. magistrate judge overseeing a right to publicity case against it to decline the plaintiffs’ invitation for an indicative ruling. In last Friday’s opposition, Ancestry argues that the intervening change of law the plaintiffs highlight does not actually modify existing precedent and therefore warrants no different decision.
Previously, the court dismissed the case with prejudice for want of Article III standing. Despite their pending appeal to the Ninth Circuit, the plaintiffs requested what Ancestry refers to as “extraordinary relief” in the form of an indicative ruling under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 60 and 62. At the end of September, the plaintiffs asked the court to either grant a motion to reconsider its dismissal ruling or make an indicative ruling that the motion presents a “substantial issue” and that the judge would accept remand from the Ninth Circuit to hear it.
In substance, the defendants contend that the plaintiffs’ motion rests on “two unsupportable premises.” The first is that the Supreme Court decision TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez merely reaffirms existing law about constitutional standing. Specifically, the defendants argue that the ruling, which Law Street Media previously covered, simply reiterates the court’s previous articulation of concrete injury in Spokeo Inc. v. Robbins.
Additionally, the plaintiffs’ request purportedly relies on the assumption that consideration of TransUnion would prompt the court to reach a different conclusion. Ancestry argues that the court already and implicitly accepted the holding and correctly determined that it does not apply to the statute at issue.
Ancestry urges that there are no extraordinary circumstances warranting reconsideration. The defendants ask that, instead, the court deny the motion and leave the Ninth Circuit to resolve the issue.