New York files Motion to Dismiss portions of Zuffa’s lawsuit

January 30, 2012

The New York District Attorney and Attorney General filed separate motions to dismiss two claims in Zuffa’s lawsuit in New York City. While the lawsuits seek to dismiss only a portion of the UFC complaint, it appears that the defendants are leaving open a motion to dismiss the entire complaint in total at a later date.

Courtesy of the Fight Lawyer, the two motions are below:

Attorney General’s Motion to Dismiss

District Attorney’s Motion to Dismiss

Payout Perspective:

The crux of both arguments appear to be that despite Zuffa’s claims, the fact remains that New York had a rational basis for enacting the ban at the time it was drafted. And based on this, the statute was not vague and overbroad as it relates to the due process and equal protection claims. They cite to case law which supports the theory that despite changes over the years that may, arguably, antiquate a statute’s purpose, under a rational basis review of a law, so long as there was a rational purpose for it at the time of its introduction it is valid.

Both motions argue that the proper forum for Zuffa’s claims is with the legislature and that if Zuffa wanted to enact change, it should direct its efforts to the legislature.

Via the District Attorney’s motion to dismiss:

…as a proper exercise of judicial restraint, federal courts must uphold a statute that was rational when enacted, even when post-enactment developments cast doubt on the wisdom, logic, or providence of prior legislative decisions

It also argues that legislatures are given “substantial latitude” when it comes to enacting laws under a rational basis review of the law as “imperfections and even inequality must be tolerated.”

The defendants’ motions are persuasive and could set the dominoes in line if the court grants the motion to dismiss Zuffa’s claims. As indicated in its motions, both parties contemplate a further motion to dismiss the rest of Zuffa’s claims if it is successful with this motion.

One Response to “New York files Motion to Dismiss portions of Zuffa’s lawsuit”

  1. Bruce on February 12th, 2012 11:03 PM

    I believe this entire case will be dismissed eventually. The claims will probably fall under the “political question” doctrine and the case will not be justiciable (reviewable). A court is not likely going to compel the legislature to enact a law regulating MMA, they simply do not have such authority. There is no protected class here.

    Moreover, the Plaintiffs’ injury is somewhat speculative since it appears they are claiming they are being denied the right to earn a living and ply their craft; however, there is no right to conduct illegal activity since MMA is banned. They can always box competitively, or teach martial arts, or travel to other states to fight, so they’re not being denied a living. Again, this is not a question for the courts.

    If a legislator bring a bill up in the NY legislature regulating MMA, the case will be dismissed for “mootness”, though the bill may later die.

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