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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concludes Nevada locality has no private right of action to sue streaming video providers for franchise fees


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the City of Reno was not entitled to file a lawsuit against streaming video providers for franchise fee payments. Reno sought damages for the streaming services providers’ alleged failure to collect franchise fees under Nevada’s Video Service Law. The court held that the law does not create a private right of action for cities to sue for unpaid franchise fees. Reno therefore failed to state a claim against the streaming service providers. Additionally, Reno failed to state a claim under the federal Declaratory Judgment Act because it sought affirmative relief and lacked a cause of action under a separate statute. Because Reno lacked a cause of action, the court declined to address the substantive question of whether the streaming video providers met the definition of a “video service provider” under the law.

City of Reno v. Netflix, Inc. et al., No. 21-16560 (9th Cir. Oct. 28, 2022)


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