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United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
January 10, 2012, Argued; March 6, 2012, Filed
[*215] OPINION OF THE COURT
JORDAN, Circuit Judge.
A group of former customers (collectively, "Appellants" or "the named plaintiffs") of Synapse Group Inc. ("Synapse") successfully petitioned under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f)1 for interlocutory review of an order denying class certification. More specifically, Appellants challenge the decision of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey to deny certification of a Rule 23(b)(2) injunctive relief class consisting of Synapse customers who received automatic renewal notifications in connection with magazine subscriptions obtained through Synapse. Because [**2] we conclude that Appellants, none of whom are current Synapse customers, lack standing to seek the remedy they are pursuing on behalf of the class, we will affirm the District Court's order denying class certification.2
A. Synapse's Magazine Sales
Synapse, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Time Inc. ("Time"), is the largest marketer [*216] of magazine subscriptions in the United States. It conducts its business operations under several other names, including Magazine Direct, New Sub Magazine Services, SynapseConnect, Synapse Solutions, and CAP Systems. Aiming to "bring magazine publishers and potential subscribers together by promoting trial offers [**4] that might evolve into long-term subscriptions," Synapse markets over 800 magazines to consumers through "credit card issuers, catalogers, retailers, airlines, and internet companies." (App. at 643.)
The majority of Synapse's magazine subscriptions are offered under what is known as a "continuous service plan" whereby a customer's subscription does not expire unless and until the customer opts to cancel it. To secure subscribers to those plans, Synapse offers introductory promotional offers under which customers can receive magazine subscriptions for free or at greatly reduced rates. Although the offers are varied, all customers provide a credit or debit card number upon signing up and are informed that, once the promotional rate expires, their card will be charged at the regular subscription rate, unless the subscription is cancelled.
1. Synapse's Advance Notification of Future Charges
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
672 F.3d 213 *; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 4593 **; 2012 WL 695655
CHARLES MCNAIR; THEODORE AUSTIN; DANIELLE DEMETRIOU; USHMA DESAI; JULIE DYNKO, Appellants v. SYNAPSE GROUP INC.
Subsequent History: As Corrected March 9, 2012.
Motion denied by McNair v. Synapse Grp. Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199299 (D.N.J., Aug. 24, 2012)
Prior History: [**1] On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. (D.C. No. 06-cv-5072). District Judge: Hon. Jose L. Linares.
McNair v. Synapse Group, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121078 (D.N.J., Nov. 15, 2010)
customers, subscription, magazine, Postcard, injunctive relief, renewal, cancel, automatic, class certification, notice, notification, offers, named plaintiff, consumers, certify, damages, billed, monetary relief, subscribe, exterior, save, amended complaint, additional term, future injury, class member, credit card, repetition, deception, marketer, evading
Civil Procedure, Special Proceedings, Class Actions, Appellate Review, Appeals, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Standing, General Overview, Justiciability, De Novo Review, Burdens of Proof, Elements, Injunctions, Grounds for Injunctions, Mootness, Conduct Capable of Repetition, Appellate Jurisdiction, Interlocutory Orders