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United States District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division
March 13, 2020, Decided; March 13, 2020, Filed
Case No.: SACV 19-01153-CJC(ADSx)
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT [Dkt. 28] AND DISMISSING WITH PREJUDICE THE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Linda Hall brings this putative class action against Defendants Time, Inc., Meredith Corp., and unnamed Does. (Dkt. 26 [First Amended Complaint, hereinafter "FAC"].) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants automatically renewed her subscription to People Magazine in violation of California law. (See id.) In September 2019, the Honorable Judge Andrew Guilford dismissed Plaintiff's original complaint with leave to amend. (Dkt. 22.) Plaintiff then submitted the operative First Amended Complaint ("FAC"), and [*2] Defendants filed the instant motion to dismiss. (Dkt. 28 [hereinafter "Mot."].) While their motion was pending, the case was reassigned to this Court. (Dkt. 36.) For the following reasons, Defendants' motion is GRANTED, and the FAC is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.1
Plaintiff alleges the following facts in the FAC, which are essentially identical to the allegations in her original complaint. Defendants publish People Magazine. (FAC ¶¶ 10-11, 18.) In 2017, Plaintiff purchased a 40-issue subscription for the magazine online after seeing an advertisement on Instagram. (Id. ¶¶ 19-36.) According to Plaintiff, their "offer flow" involved navigating two separate webpages—the "Advertisement Page" and the "Checkout Page." (Id. ¶¶ 19-36.) The FAC attaches screenshots of both pages as exhibits. (See FAC Ex. B at 1-2 [hereinafter "Ad Page"], 3-6 [hereinafter "Checkout Page"].) Identical exhibits were attached to the original complaint. (Compare id. with Dkt. 1 [hereinafter Compl."] Ex. B.)2
The Instagram advertisement led Plaintiff to the Advertisement Page. (Id. ¶ 20.) It promotes a special offer of 40 issues for $40 with a "FREE TOTE!" (Ad Page at 1.) At the bottom of the page was a red [*3] button to "checkout now." (Id. at 2.) Directly above the checkout button was a disclaimer: "All magazine subscriptions will automatically renew annually." (Id.) Clicking the checkout button led Plaintiff to the Checkout Page, where she was prompted to provide payment and subscription information. (Checkout Page; FAC ¶¶ 23-35.) The Checkout Page included another notice about Defendants' automatic renewal policy below the payment information fields and above a red "submit order" button. (Checkout Page at 5.) The notice was highlighted in yellow with a bold typeface header: "Automatic Renewal Notice." (Id.) It provided the following information:
After your initial term, your magazine subscriptions will automatically renew annually until you tell us to stop. You will receive a reminder of the renewal approximately 30 days in advance. Your credit card or method of payment will be charged at the time of purchase, and before the start of each new annual term, at the rate stated in the notice. You can contact customer service or cancel, at any time.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44149 *
LINDA HALL, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. TIME, INC., MEREDITH CORP., and DOES 1-100, Defendants.
Subsequent History: Affirmed by Hall v. Time, Inc., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 15368, 2021 WL 2071991 (9th Cir., May 24, 2021)
Prior History: Hall v. Time, Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 228322, 2019 WL 8107879 (C.D. Cal., Sept. 24, 2019)
renewal, automatic, notice, subscription, terms, Checkout, cancel, consumer, allegations, motion to dismiss, conspicuous, magazine, continuous service, button, original complaint, alleged violation, leave to amend, Advertisement, exhibits, postcard, district court, acknowledgment, disclosure, violations, annually