LAS VEGAS, NV—In the first ruling by the Supreme Court of Nevada on four separate but related actions before it that stem from the ongoing Consipio v Private lawsuit in the District Court, the full seven members of the high court today found moot a petition filed in December 2010 by Private Media Group and individual members of the company’s board of directors that sought to overturn a lower court order issued Oct. 21, 2010 that allowed Consipio Holding to vote 5.6 million shares during Private’s November 2010 annual shareholder's meeting.
Today’s ruling was limited in scope due to the fact that the results of the November election were subsequently invalidated by Nevada judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, the presiding judge in Consipio, on June 20, 2011, not least because Consipio was able to vote only a portion of the total 5.9 million shares for reasons that go to the heart of this seemingly interminable case.
According to the ruling, Consipio’s lawyers argued that the matter is not moot “because the October 21st order has not been materially modified, the district court is treating it as a continuing order, and enforcement will be sought at any upcoming election.”
On the other hand, the ruling continued, “Consipio argues that because this writ petition seeks relief only from the district court's October 21st order relating to its voting rights at the November shareholder election, and the district court invalidated the election, this case is moot. In making this argument, Consipio concedes that the October 21st order is of no continuing force and effect. Consipio further argues that this case does not fall under the mootness exception for important issues that are capable of repetition.”
Because of Consipio’s concessions, the court concluded that the “election's invalidation rendered the writ petition moot, and since the issue is factually specific to that election, it is not capable of repetition,” and dismissed the petition. Had it issued a “denial” of the writ instead of "dismissing" it, the court would have rendered a decision on the substance of the writ.
Needless to say, Consipio still believes it retains the right to vote the entirety of the 5.9 million shares at any future shareholder meeting. However, barring any contrary ruling, it appears the plaintiffs will now have to seek a reconfirmation of Judge Gonzalez’ previous ruling granting them that right in order to do so.
Calls for comment were not returned immediately.
The Nevada Supreme Court Order is accessible here.