NCAA, et. al. v. Christopher J. Christie, et. al. (New Jersey Sportsbetting / PASPA Litigation)

Memorandum Opinion by Judge Shipp (21 Dec 2012): Ruling in favor of NCAA and Professional Sports Leagues' Legal Standing to sue NJ

by Ian Imrich
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MEMORANDUM OPINION (Shipp, District Judge) re Plaintiff Legal Standing -- Denying Defendant New Jersey's Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgement:

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"This matter comes before the Court upon several motions filed by the Parties. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”), National Basketball Association (“NBA”), National Football League (“NFL”), National Hockey League (“NHL”), and Office of the Commissioner of Baseball doing business as Major League Baseball (“MLB”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs” or “the Leagues”) filed their Complaint on August 7, 2012. (Compl., ECF No. 1.) On August 10, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a “Motion for Summary Judgment and, If Necessary to Preserve the Status Quo, a Preliminary Injunction” seeking to enjoin Defendants Christopher J. Christie, Governor of the State of New Jersey, David L. Rebuck, Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and Assistant Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, and Frank Zanzuccki, Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission (collectively, “Defendants” or the “State”), from implementing N.J. Stat. Ann. 5:12A-1, et seq. (West 2012) (“New Jersey’s Sports Wagering Law” or “Sports Wagering Law”). (Pls.’ Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 10.)

On September 7, 2012, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) asserting that Plaintiffs lacked standing pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution. (Defs.’ Mot. Dismiss, ECF No. 29-1.) Plaintiffs filed their Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss on October 1, 2012. (Pls.’ Opp’n to Defs.’ Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 39.) Defendants replied to Plaintiffs’ Opposition on October 9, 2012. (Defs.’ Reply, ECF No. 43.)

On November 21, 2012, following expedited discovery regarding standing, Defendants filed a Cross Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendants’ Cross Motion challenged Plaintiffs’ standing and raised constitutional challenges to the controlling federal statute. (Defs.’ Cross Mot., ECF No. 76.) Defendants submitted their Statement of Undisputed Material Facts along with their Cross Motion. (Defs.’ SUMF, ECF No. 78-2.) On December 7, 2012, Plaintiffs filed their Reply in response to Defendants’ Cross Motion and in support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment. (Pls.’ Reply, ECF No. 95.) Plaintiffs included their Response to Defendants’ Statement of Undisputed Material Facts. (Pls.’ Response to Defs.’ SUMF, ECF No. 96-13.)

On November 21, 2012, the State filed a Notice of Constitutional Question. (ECF No. 79.) The Court certified the Notice of Constitutional Challenge to the United States Attorney General on November 27, 2012. (ECF No. 84.) As a result of the constitutional challenge and pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.1(c), the United States Attorney General has until January 20, 2013, to enter an appearance in this case. (ECF No. 84.) Therefore, the Court limited the December 18, 2012 Oral Argument to the issue of standing. (ECF No. 106.)

For the reasons stated below, and other good cause shown, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have demonstrated, based on undisputed material facts, standing to challenge New Jersey’s Sports Wagering Law. As such, the Court denies both of Defendants’ motions: the Motion to Dismiss in full and the Motion for Summary Judgment in so far as it challenges Plaintiffs’ standing."

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Reference Info: Decision | Federal, 3rd Circuit, New Jersey | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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