Lawsuit against AOPA suffers jurisdictional setback

May 19, 2014

A U.S. District Court magistrate in Portland, Ore., has recommended that a patent infringement lawsuit against AOPA be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction.

The findings and recommendation in the case brought by SD Holdings in connection with AOPA’s FlyQ Web—a free-to-members online flight planning tool—was issued April 24 by Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta. The recommendation to dismiss was based on the judge’s determination that SD Holdings had not shown why AOPA should be subject to being sued in Oregon. The recommendation now undergoes review by a U.S. District Court judge.

Acosta’s recommendation to dismiss was issued “without prejudice,” which permits the lawsuit to be re-filed in another jurisdiction. He also recommended dismissal without prejudice of AOPA’s motion to recover fees and costs of defending the action, deferring on that matter to the court that ultimately considers the case.

On May 9, SD Holdings filed objections to the dismissal recommendation. AOPA has until May 23 to respond, said AOPA General Counsel Ken Mead.

It was not known when the judge who takes the findings and recommendations under advisement would rule, Mead said.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz | Aviation Writer

Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.