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Dec 15, 2021

Court Denies Motion for Indicative Ruling in Ancestry.com Case

A Northern District of California Magistrate Judge ruled against plaintiffs last Friday, dealing another blow to their efforts to hold Ancestry.com accountable for the alleged misappropriation of their names, images, and likenesses by the world’s biggest online genealogy company through its collection of their yearbook photos and information for commercial purposes.

After their case was dismissed for lack of constitutional standing and they appealed, the plaintiffs sought an indicative ruling from the court. The request asked Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler to either grant a motion to reconsider her dismissal ruling or make an indicative ruling that the motion presents a “substantial issue” and that she would accept remand from the Ninth Circuit to hear it.

In last week’s decision, the court said it would only partly consider the motion because of a lack of an underlying Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) “extraordinary circumstance” motion. “Because there is no pending Rule 60(b) motion, there is no basis for the court to say whether it would deny or grant the motion. The court can, however, state whether the proposed Rule 60(b) motion would raise a ‘substantial issue’ without tying ‘the district court to a particular ruling on the motion after remand,’” the court explained.

(Some) details may be found at https://lawstreetmedia.com/news/tech/court-denies-motion-for-indicative-ruling-in-ancestry-com-case/.