A trio of judges on California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal have denied a petition from 20th Century Fox, a setback for the studio in its multi-front battle with Netflix over the streaming service’s alleged poaching of a pair of still-under-contract Fox executives.
“The petition is denied,” the judges wrote in their ruling Friday. The added: “Petitioner has an adequate remedy at law by way of appeal.”
In short, despite Fox’s desire to take the legal tussle to a higher jurisdiction after suffering numerous frustrations in Los Angeles Superior Court, the appellate court won’t get involved. It means Netflix has some breathing room in the potentially wide-ranging dispute over exactly how binding industry employment contracts are in the state — and Hollywood. It also means Fox must to get back in the ring with L.A. Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg and appeal his rulings directly.
Fox did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment on the ruling. The two sides were actually in front of Rosenberg earlier this week in Santa Monica court arguing over matters of discovery, where both sides got a little and lost a little. With a settlement looking unlikely, the case is seemingly headed to trial.
20th Century Fox and Fox 21 TV Studios originally filed their lawsuit against Netflix in September 2016 over the latter’s hiring of Fox execs Tara Flynn and Marco Waltenberg. Fox claimed Netflix “illegally” poached employees under contract. Netflix then counter-sued, claiming Fox’s fixed-term contracts violate state law.