Motion to Dismiss Out of State Wholesaler Challenge to California Wholesaler Law Scheduled for December 21, 2018

The Eastern District of California will hear the Motion to Dismiss filed by the state of California on December 21, 2018.   California wholesaler organizations weighed in with an amicus in support of the state and the plaintiff Orion Wine has filed a brief in opposition to the motion to dismiss.

(previous post) Motions to Dismiss Out of State Wholesaler Case in California Filed

The State of California has filed a Motion to Dismiss a Complaint filed by Orion Wine (a Florida company) and a Florida businessman who claim that the three-tier laws of California that require retailers in California to secure their alcohol from California wholesalers is a violation of the dormant Commerce Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause.  A hearing is set for this on September 19.  The hearing will actually consider two issues, the state’s Motion to Dismiss an earlier Amended Complaint as well as the Plaintiff’s request to file a second Amended Complaint to further correct errors in it.  A Joint Status Report highlights the issues and expected future briefings, if any, on this case.

The California Beer and Beverage Distributors and California Wine and Spirits Wholesalers have filed a compelling amicus brief at this stage of the filing to argue why this case should be dismissed as the state laws violate neither the dormant Commerce Clause nor the Privileges and Immunities Clause.

(earlier post) New Shipping Lawsuit Filed in California

A new lawsuit was filed in California by the same law firm that has brought pending challenges in Illinois and Michigan.  Their Missouri challenge was dismissed just last week.

The California lawsuit was filed in federal court in the Eastern District of California. The Complaint on behalf of Orion Wine Imports and an owner of the company claims California laws that prohibit out of state importers and wholesalers from serving California retailers while California importers and wholesalers  are permitted violates the Constitution’s dormant Commerce Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause.

Similar lawsuits have not been successful to date as the courts have noted that the United States Supreme Court’s 2005  Granholm decision was limited to supplier based discrimination, not disparities in states laws regulating the retailer and wholesaler tiers.

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