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Federal judge sends case over unsolicited emails back to California state court

By Carrie Salls | Sep 27, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – A class action lawsuit filed by plaintiffs who allegedly received unsolicited emails from Fluent LLC and other defendants will be sent back to the San Francisco Superior Court of California, according to a Sept. 13 ruling from U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The District Court said the plaintiffs argued in their motion for remand that “the entirety of the…titled action should be remanded, for the reason that defendants cannot show plaintiffs have standing under Article III of the United States Constitution (to have the case heard by the federal court).”

According to a Sept. 27, 2017, Legal Newsline story, the district court dismissed the counts against defendant Panda Mail, but the lawsuit filed by lead plaintiff Mira Blanchard also named Fluent, Reward Zone USA LLC and American Prize Center LLC as defendants.

The plaintiffs asked the district court to move the case to the state court on July 25. Fluent had had the case moved to the district court on Aug. 7, 2017. The motion also asked the court to grant payment of the plaintiffs’ court costs, but that request was denied in the Sept. 13 order.

In the lawsuit, Blanchard and the other class members alleged that “they received commercial emails advertising Fluent’s ‘products and services,’ which emails ‘had materially falsified and/or misrepresented information contained in or accompanying the email headers,’” the district court ruling said.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed the information in the emails did not match what the subjects said was contained in the messages, and the emails “contained third-parties’ domain names without permission.”

Although the District Court agreed to send the case back to the Superior Court, Chesney said in her ruling that the fee payment request was denied because “the court declines to find Fluent lacked an objectively reasonable basis for seeking removal and opposing the instant motion to remand.”

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