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Catching Up on the Parler v. AWS Dispute – Technology & Marketing Law Blog

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I blogged Parler’s unsuccessful request to get injunctive aid stopping AWS’s termination of Parler as a purchaser. Since then, Parler dismissed the federal courtroom lawsuit, filed a state court lawsuit, AWS eliminated the second lawsuit to federal courtroom, and the events at the moment are preventing over the right discussion board. Specifically, Parler filed a movement to remand the lawsuit to state courtroom or to dismiss in favor of permitting Parler to re-file in state courtroom. I assumed it might be helpful to unpack the most recent goings on.

When Parler sued initially, it asserted a federal antitrust declare. Although it sought injunctive aid, it had not formally served AWS with the lawsuit papers. Although Parler misplaced the preliminary spherical in federal courtroom, Parler was free to dismiss the case as a result of AWS had not answered the criticism.

The state courtroom lawsuit didn’t embody any federal claims. Thus, the one foundation to be in federal courtroom was if AWS correctly eliminated the dispute based mostly on range jurisdiction. The bar to removing was the so-called “forum defendant rule,” which says {that a} lawsuit which may be in any other case detachable as a result of range jurisdiction can’t be eliminated if “any of the parties in interest properly joined and served as defendants is a citizen of the State in which such action is brought.” To get round this rule, AWS tried a “snap removal” earlier than service is achieved. By doing so, AWS might argue that no Washington defendant had been “served,” so removing didn’t violate the discussion board defendant rule.

Parler’s Motion to Remand accuses AWS of gamesmanship and says that courts frown upon “snap removals.” This movement is famous for listening to on March 26, 2021. It’s being heard by Judge Rothstein, who additionally heard Parler’s request for a preliminary injunction.

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Why did Parler attempt to transfer the lawsuit to state courtroom? One speculation: State courtroom judges are typically thought of extra plaintiff-friendly. Unlike federal judges who attempt to trim their dockets, state courtroom judges will typically enable lawsuits to cycle by way of discovery and even previous dispositive motions.

What’s the distinction between Parler’s new criticism and the outdated one? The second criticism is extra detailed. It has good soundbites. While Parler doesn’t embody a federal reason for motion for antitrust, the brand new criticism doesn’t ignore the antitrust factor. Its declare under the Washington Consumer Protection Act focuses on AWS’s allegedly anticompetitive actions. Without the antitrust angle, Parler should argue that it was wrongly kicked off AWS’s platform. This argument is all the time an extended shot. It should still be an extended shot, however the antitrust overtones undoubtedly assist Parler (which is preventing an uphill battle based mostly by itself approach to content material moderation and styling itself as a community that welcomes these whose content material is probably not welcome elsewhere).

What to make of Parler’s request to remand? That’s a tricky query. There’s loads of gamesmanship to go round. Courts are combined of their remedy of snap removing as a tactic. Here’s a link to a July 2020 ruling from the Western District of Washington (Robart, J.) addressing the propriety of snap removing. Interestingly, given Parler’s standing as an LLC, it’s unclear whether or not range jurisdiction exists within the first place.

Case quotation: Parler, LLC v. Amazon Web Services, Inc., et al., 21-cv-00270 (King County Case No. 21-2-02856-6 SEA) (Complaint) (Notice of Removal) (Motion to Remand)

Previous submit on the case: “Court Rejects Parler’s Demand That Amazon Host Its Services

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