A U.S. magistrate judge in Los Angeles has denied Discovery Communications’ writ seeking possession of the 7 Little Johnstons in the cable giant’s ongoing legal battle and business falling out with LMNO Productions.
LMNO had been one of Discovery’s leading suppliers since 1999, but earlier this year, Discovery took control of all the shows LMNO was producing for its various cable channels. Discovery accused LMNO of keeping two separate sets of books to conceal deceptive business practices, while LMNO claimed that it was the victim of an embezzling and vindictive accountant who falsified the company’s financial records and took the phony documents to Discovery in order to destroy LMNO’s business.
Discovery’s writ claimed that LMNO has refused to turn over the second season of the 7 Little Johnstons, claiming the show was being “held hostage” in their ongoing dispute.
In a legal setback for Discovery, U.S. Magistrate Judge Steve Kim ruled today that granting the request would be tantamount to deciding the case. “Discovery’s application, if granted, would functionally be dispositive of claims and defenses of both LMNO and Discovery,” he wrote. “The Court cannot decide Discovery’s application here without necessarily (and perhaps prematurely) adjudicating claims and defenses that must be resolved ultimately by the assigned District Judge.”