On October 19, 2016, the United States District Court for the Central District of California (Honorable R. Gary Klausner) granted ZACR’s motion to intervene and determined that ZACR was an indispensable party to the litigation pending between DCA and ICANN over the .Africa gTLD. Judge Klausner further held that ZACR’s indispensability destroyed the basis for the federal court’s jurisdiction. The case was then remanded to the California state court (Los Angeles Superior Court) for all further proceedings.
The matter was ultimately assigned to the Honorable Howard L. Halm. On November 15, 2016, DCA filed a new motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent ICANN from delegating the .Africa gTLD to ZACR, while the litigation is pending. ICANN and ZACR filed extensive opposition papers. On December 22, 2016, the Court (Hon. Judge Halm) held almost 2 hours of oral argument to address DCA’s motion. Ultimately, in a written order dated December 22, 2016, the Court denied DCA’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The Court ruled that the denial was based upon the written and oral arguments made by counsel for ICANN and ZACR. Among other things, ICANN and ZACR contend that DCA failed to meet the requirements for a preliminary injunction because DCA has no likelihood of success in the lawsuit and DCA can show no irreparable harm if .Africa is delegated to ZACR while the litigation is pending. The Court’s ruling cleared the way for ICANN to delegate .Africa to ZACR.
On January 4, 2017, DCA filed an ex parte (emergency) temporary restraining order (“TRO”) asking the Court to prevent ICANN from delegating .Africa to ZACR. The Court denied DCA’s ex parte request for a TRO on the grounds that there was no exigency that required an immediate ruling. The Court further clarified that the prior order denying DCA’s preliminary injunction motion was based upon all arguments submitted by ICANN and DCA (thereby rejecting DCA’s contention in its ex parte papers that the ruling did not include ZACR’s arguments). However, the Court agreed to consider DCA’s new arguments as grounds for a new motion for a preliminary injunction. DCA was given until January 6, 2017 to file its motion. ICANN and ZACR shall file opposition papers by January 18, 2017. DCA will then be given an opportunity to file a reply. The Court has scheduled a hearing on DCA’s latest motion for a preliminary injunction on January 31, 2017.
ZACR motions to reconsider and vacate Preliminary Injunction Ruling
ZACR states that there is no merit to DCA’s claims against ZACR, and the lawsuit should be dismissed.