||Borough of Longport and Township of Irvington v. Netflix, Inc. and Hulu, LLC
||United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
||Stanley R. Chesler
||Borough of Longport and Township of Irvington
||Netflix, Inc. and Hulu, LLC
Plaintiffs filed a Class Action Complaint on August 13, 2021 alleging that, as providers of video programming and cable television service, Defendants were required to file an application for “individual certificates of approval or a system-wide franchise[.]” See N.J. Stat. Ann. § 48:5A-16. Defendants failed to apply for and obtain certificates of approval and municipal consents and/or a system-wide franchise. Defendants are providing cable television service throughout New Jersey without authorization, and in contravention of the New Jersey Cable Television Act (“CTA”). Such certificates of approval and/or franchise would have authorized Defendants to use public rights-of-way to provide their cable television service and video programming, provided that Defendants make payments to each municipality in which it provides service. The required payment is equal to a percentage of the gross revenues derived from subscription fees paid by subscribers in each municipality. Defendants were required to obtain certificates of approval and municipal consents and/or a system-wide franchise before providing cable television service and video programming in the Borough of Longport and Township of Irvington, and the other New Jersey municipalities. Defendants’ failure to obtain such approval and/or franchise did not relieve Defendants of the obligation to pay fees based on a percentage of their gross revenues derived from subscription fees paid by subscribers in each municipality. Defendants have failed to comply with N.J. Stat. Ann. § 48:5A-30 because they have failed to pay Plaintiffs and the other Class members the required fees. Plaintiffs seek to require Defendants to abide by the CTA, and pay what they owe to New Jersey municipalities.