Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ste. Genevieve Media, LLC v. Pulitzer Missouri Newspapers, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

October 18, 2016

STE. GENEVIEVE MEDIA, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
PULITZER MISSOURI NEWSPAPERS, INC. d/b/a DAILY JOURNAL, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ABBIE CRITES-LEONI MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This action is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 14.) Plaintiff opposes the Motion, and this issue is fully briefed.

         I. Background

         This cause was originally filed in the Circuit Court of Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, and was removed to this court pursuant to both the Court's diversity jurisdiction, and federal question jurisdiction. Plaintiff Ste. Genevieve Media, LLC, is the owner-operator of the Ste. Genevieve Herald, a weekly print and electronic newspaper with its principal place of business located in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. Defendant Pulitzer Missouri Newspapers, Inc., is a Delaware Corporation registered in the State of Missouri, doing business as the Daily Journal, a print and electronic newspaper with business offices located in Park Hills, Missouri. In the original Complaint, Plaintiff asserted a claim under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (“MMPA”), alleging the Daily Journal misappropriated and plagiarized its news articles without consent or attribution. (Doc. 6.)

         Defendant moved to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing Plaintiff lacked standing under the MMPA, and that Plaintiff's claim was preempted by the Copyright Act. (Doc. 9.) In response, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, in which Plaintiff abandons the MMPA claim and alleges two new claims-a “hot news” misappropriation claim, and an unjust enrichment claim. (Doc. 11.)

         Defendant then filed the instant Motion to Dismiss, arguing that Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim is preempted by the Copyright Act, and Plaintiff's “hot news” misappropriation claim fails as a matter of law. (Doc. 14.)

         Plaintiff subsequently filed a Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 25), which the Court granted on September 29, 2016 (Doc. 27). The Second Amended Complaint adds an additional count of copyright infringement against Defendant-Count III- based on a recent copyright registration. (Doc. 28.) The Court ordered that Defendant's pending Motion to Dismiss shall apply to the Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 27.) Defendant has filed an Answer to Count III of the Second Amended Complaint, but has not moved to dismiss this claim. (Doc. 29.)

         II. Legal Standard

         The purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is to test the legal sufficiency of a complaint so as to eliminate those actions “which are fatally flawed in their legal premises and deigned to fail, thereby sparing litigants the burden of unnecessary pretrial and trial activity.” Young v. City of St. Charles, 244 F.3d 623, 627 (8th Cir. 2001) (citing Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 326-27 (1989)). A complaint must be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it does not plead enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 560 (2007). A petitioner need not provide specific facts to support his allegations, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per curiam), but “must include sufficient factual information to provide the grounds on which the claim rests, and to raise a right to relief above a speculative level.” Schaaf v. Residential Funding Corp., 517 F.3d 544, 549 (8th Cir. 2008), cert. denied, 129 S.Ct. 222 (2008) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-56 & n. 3).

         In ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court must view the allegations of the complaint in the light most favorable to the petitioner. Kottschade v. City of Rochester, 319 F.3d 1038, 1040 (8th Cir. 2003). “To survive a motion to dismiss, a claim must be facially plausible, meaning that the factual content ... allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the respondent is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Cole v. Homier Dist. Co., Inc., 599 F.3d 856, 861 (8th Cir. 2010) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). When determining the facial plausibility of a claim, the Court must “accept the allegations contained in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party.” Id. (quoting Coons v. Mineta, 410 F.3d 1036, 1039 (8th Cir. 2005)).

         III. Discussion

         As previously noted, Defendant argues that Plaintiff's Unjust Enrichment Claim is preempted by the Copyright Act, and Plaintiff's “hot news” misappropriation claim fails as a matter of law.

         A. Unjust Enrichment Claim

         In Count II of the Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant has “enjoyed substantial profits through the misappropriation and use of Plaintiff's Articles.” (Doc. 28 at & 38.) Plaintiff contends that Defendant “would not have made such sales or earned the profits there from but for the misappropriation and use of Plaintiff's articles.” Id. at & 39. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant's gain in sales and profits came at the expense of Plaintiff, and that Defendant has been “unjustly enriched as a result of its misappropriation and use of Plaintiff's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.