DALLAS COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Defendants in the ongoing streaming lawsuit in Dallas County brought forward by a number of Texas cities, including the city of Amarillo, are requesting that the case be moved from state court to federal court, according to documents filed earlier this month.
According to documents filed in Dallas County District Court on Sept. 7, the respective attorneys for Netflix, Hulu and Disney’s streaming services have indicated that they will file a notice of removal “on or before Sept. 19, 2022.”
A notice of removal, if signed by all the defendants and filed in federal court, begins the process of transferring a civil action from state to federal court. This process is laid out in U.S. Code 1446, titled “Procedure for removal of civil actions.”
This comes after 25 Texas cities filed a lawsuit against the streaming services over the payment of municipal franchise fees. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, these cities, including Amarillo, Abilene, Austin, Fort Worth and Houston, are alleging that the platforms did not pay these fees which are laid out in the Texas Public Utility Regulatory Act.
The cities allege that video service providers are required to pay municipalities a franchise fee under PURA if programming is delivered over “wireline facilities located at least in part the public right of way,” including utility poles over streets, along sidewalks or beneath roads. Municipalities use that money to fund basic city services.
The request to move this case to federal court comes after Eric Moye, the district judge for the 13th District Court in Dallas County, filed documents saying the case was “set for dismissal” at 2 p.m. Oct. 10. Moye cited Rule 165A of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, which outlined the reasons why a case would be dismissed “for want of prosecution,” including “on (the) failure of any party seeking affirmative relief to appear for any hearing for trial of which the party had notice.”
“At the dismissal hearing, the court shall dismiss for want of prosecution unless there is good cause for the case to be maintained on the docket,” the rule reads. “If the court determines to maintain the case on the docket, it shall render a pretrial order assigning a trial date for the case and setting deadlines for the joining of new parties, all discovery, filing of all pleadings, the making of a response or supplemental responses to discovery and other pretrial matters. The case may be continued thereafter only for valid and compelling reasons specifically determined by court order.”
This is a developing story. MyHighPlains.com will update this article as new information becomes available.
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