home gTLD's Court Bars ICANN from Delegating .Africa Pending Federal Court Hearing

Court Bars ICANN from Delegating .Africa Pending Federal Court Hearing

A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) has been issued by the United States District Court to order ICANN not to delegate .Africa until a lawsuit by DotConnectAfrica who is represented in this legal proceeding by Brown, Neri & Smith LLP, 11766 Wilshire Blvd., is resolved in its entirety.
 
The United States District Court, Central District of California, in the case of: DOTCONNECTAFRICA TRUST v. INTERNET CORP. FOR ASSIGNED NAMES AND NUMBERS, Case No. CV 16-00862 RGK (JCx), has issued an Order enjoining ICANN from delegating the new gTLD .AFRICA:
 
“On March 2, 2016, DotConnectAfrica Trust (“Plaintiff”) filed this Ex Parte Application for TRO. By way of this application, Plaintiff seeks an order enjoining Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“Defendant” or “ICANN”) from issuing the .Africa gTLD until the Court decides Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, scheduled for hearing on April 4, 2016.
 

Court Stops ICANN from Delegating .AFRICA Pending Federal Court Hearing
Court Stops ICANN from Delegating .AFRICA Pending Federal Court Hearing

“A district court may issue a TRO where the moving party demonstrates the need for immediate relief, and establishes that relief is warranted under one of the following circumstances. Under the traditional criteria, a plaintiff must demonstrate “(1) a strong likelihood of success on the merits, (2) the possibility of irreparable injury to plaintiff if preliminary relief is not granted, (3) a balance of hardships favoring the plaintiff, and (4) advancement of the public interest (in certain cases).” Guzman v. Shewry, 552 F.3d 941, 948 (9th Cir. 2009). Alternatively, “a court may grant the injunction if the plaintiff demonstrates “serious questions going to the merits” and a “balance of hardships that tip sharply toward” plaintiff, provided “plaintiff also show that there is a likelihood of irreparable injury and that the inunction is in the public interest.” Alliance for Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, (632 F.3d 1127, 1131-1132 (9th Cir. 2011).
 
“Upon review of the parties’ arguments, the Court finds serious questions going to the merits. Plaintiff has demonstrated that once the tGLD [gTLD] is issued, it will be unable to obtain those rights elsewhere. Moreover, the injury it will suffer cannot be compensated through monetary damages. In opposition, Defendant states in conclusory fashion only that the African governments and the ICANN community will suffer prejudice if the delegation of the gTLD is delayed.
 
“Based on the foregoing, the Court grants Plaintiff’s Ex Parte Application for TRO. Defendant is enjoined from issuing the .Africa tGLD until the Court decides Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, scheduled for hearing on April 4, 2016.” (emphasis added)
 

 
On March 03, 2016, the ICANN Board has issued an emergency resolution (https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/resolution…) “to prepare to move forward toward delegation of .AFRICA with the party that has signed a Registry Agreement to operate .AFRICA”.  “….Resolved (2016.03.03.01), the Board authorizes the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to proceed with the delegation of .AFRICA to be operated by ZACR pursuant to the Registry Agreement that ZACR has entered with ICANN.”
 
On June 10th 2015, in a landmark decision, an Independent Review Process (IRP), at the International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) ruled that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has violated its Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation following an expert determination of an IRP suit that was filed by DotConnectAfrica Trust in October 2013 to challenge an ICANN Board decision at the American Arbitration Association (AAA), New York, USA. The IRP Panel ruled that ICANN violated is Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation. The IRP is the accountability review processes set out in the ICANN Bylaws.  Documents related to the IRP are available at http://www.icann.org/en/news/irp/dca-v-icann
 

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