Righthaven LLC v. Eiser
ORDER adopting 93 Report and Recommendations granting 60 Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction; denying as moot 37 Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; denying as moot [7 8] Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss Defendant's counterclaims; also denying as moot 23 Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss Defendant's original counterclaims. Additional details set forth in Order Signed by Honorable Richard M Gergel on 2/16/2012.(sshe, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Plaintiff and Counter-Defendant,
Defendant and Counter-Plaintiff.
FEB I b A 10: 3S
Civil Action No.: 2:10-cv-3075-RMG
In this case, Plaintiff brings an action for copyright infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §
501. On March 25, 2011, this case was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn
Austin for all pretrial proceedings pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636. (Dkt. No. 24). Multiple motions
were filed by Plaintiff and Defendant, and on January 13, 2012, the Magistrate Judge issued a
Report and Recommendation regarding the disposition of those motions.
(Dkt. No. 93).
Specifically, the Magistrate Judge recommended the following: Plaintiffs motion to dismiss, or
alternatively strike, Defendant's counterclaims (Dkt. No. 23) be found as moot; Defendant's
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (Dkt. No. 37) be found as moot; Defendant's motion
to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Dkt. No. 60) be granted; Plaintiffs motion to
dismiss (Dkt. No. 78) be found as moot; Plaintiffs Amended Complaint (Dkt. No. 36) be
dismissed; and Defendant's counterclaims (Dkt. No. 53) be dismissed. (Dkt. No. 93). The
Magistrate also recommended that Defendant's request for costs and attorneys' fees be granted.
(Id.). On January 30,2012, Plaintiff filed objections to the Report and Recommendation. (Dkt.
No. 95). In the objections, Plaintiff objected to the Magistrate's recommendation that the Court
award costs and attorneys' fees to Plaintiff. (Id.).
Plaintiff did not, however, object to the
Magistrate's recommendation regarding the disposition of any of the other pending motions,
including the recommendation that Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction be granted. (Id.).
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court. The recommendation
has no presumptive weight, and responsibility for making a final detennination remains with this
Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261,270-71 (1976). This Court is charged with making a
de novo detennination of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which specific
objection is made, and this Court may "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings
or recommendations made by the magistrate." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This Court may also
"receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate with instructions."
Where, as in this case, the Petitioner fails to file any specific objections, the Magistrate Judge's
conclusions are reviewed only for clear error, see Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co.,
416 F .3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005), and this Court is not required to give any explanation for
adopting the recommendation of the Magistrate. Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198 (4th Cif. 1983).
As mentioned above, Plaintiff did not object to the Magistrate's recommendation that
Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Dkt. No. 60) be granted.
Having reviewed the record, the applicable law, and the Magistrate's Report and
Recommendation, the Court agrees with the Magistrate's finding that Plaintiff lacks standing to
pursue this suit and that the Court therefore lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this suit. Thus,
Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Dkt. No. 60) is granted,
and Plaintiffs Amended Complaint is dismissed without prejudice.
Because the Court is
granting Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Dkt. No. 60), the
Court denies as moot Defendant's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (Dkt. No. 37).
Further, Defendant has indicated that it will consent to dismissal without prejudice of its
counterclaims against Plaintiff now that the Court has dismissed Plaintiffs Amended Complaint
and now that Defendant has consented to receivership and the assignment and auctioning off of
all of its assets.
(Dkt. No. 88).
Thus, the Court dismisses without prejudice Defendant's
counterclaims against Plaintiff, and the Court therefore denies as moot Plaintiffs motion to
dismiss Defendant's counterclaims (Dkt. No. 78).1
Finally, Defendant has requested that the Court award, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 505, all
costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to Defendant "in the event that [Plaintiff's] Amended
Complaint is dismissed or [Defendant] otherwise prevails on [Plaintiffs] copyright infringement
claim." (Dkt. No. 60 at 44). Now that the Court has dismissed Plaintiff's Amended Complaint,
if Defendant would like to request costs and attorneys' fees pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 505 as
previously indicated, Defendant should file a motion and memorandum of law in support of this
request within 15 days of this Order. Plaintiff shall file a response within 7 days of Defendant's
motion and memorandum. If Defendant wishes to file a reply, Defendant shall do so within 5
days of Plaintiffs response.
Charleston, South Carolina
United States District Court Judge
Also, on March 11,2011, Plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss, or alternatively strike, Defendant's
counterclaims. (Dkt. No. 23). Plaintiff filed this motion in response to Defendant's Amended
Answer and Counterclaims (Dkt. No. 22). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint
(Dkt. No. 36), and Defendant filed a Second Amended Answer and Counterclaims (Dkt. No. 53).
Upon Defendant's filing of the Second Amended Answer and Counterclaims, Defendant's
Amended Answer and Counterclaims was superseded and of no legal effect. See Young v. City
ofMount Ranier, 238 F.3d 567,572 (4th Cif. 2001) (holding that an amended pleading ordinarily
supersedes the original and renders it of no legal effect). Thus, Plaintiff's motion to dismiss
Defendant's original counterclaims (Dkt. No. 23) is also denied as moot.
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