Posts tagged "Clear"

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority v. Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-017-18)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. 1884CV00268-BLS2 ____________________ MASSACHUSETTS BAY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY v. CLEAR CHANNEL OUTDOOR, INC. ____________________ MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION This lawsuit arises from the imminent expiration of a 15-year license agreement under which Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc., has been operating billboards on property owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. The MBTA recently issued a request for responses by parties willing to enter into a six month license to operate the same billboards after the current license expires. The MBTA received bids from Outfront Media LLC, which agreed to enter into a six-month license, and Clear Channel, which refused to accept a term that short. The MBTA disqualified Clear Channel. It then awarded a six-month license to Outfront Media. The MBTA brought this suit seeking declarations that its request for responses was lawful, Clear Channel is not entitled to enforce its right of first refusal, and Clear Channel is contractually obligated to transfer the disputed billboards as well as whatever permits are needed to operate the billboards to the MBTA. Clear Channel has asserted counterclaims alleging that the MBTA breached the existing contract by offering a new license on terms that are not commercially reasonable and by not allowing Clear Channel to exercise its contractual right of first refusal, and that Clear Channel therefore has no contractual obligation to transfer the billboard structures to the MBTA at the end of the current license term. The MBTA now seeks a preliminary injunction that would bar Clear Channel from interfering with any use of the billboards on MBTA property, or terminating or otherwise disposing of its existing permits for billboards on MBTA property. Clear Channel seeks a preliminary injunction that would bar the MBTA from proceeding with the new license it has issued to Outfront Media or otherwise interfering with Clear Channel’s ownership of billboard structures and associated permits. The Court will ALLOW the MBTA’s motion and DENY Clear Channel’s motion. – 2 – 1. Legal Background. 1.1. The Public Interest in MBTA Advertising Revenues. The MBTA is a governmental entity, established by the Legislature as a “political subdivision of the commonwealth” that consists of 65 cities and towns within the MBTA’s service area. G.L. c. 161A, § 2 (political subdivision) & § 1 (defining the cities and towns within the “area constituting the authority”). The MBTA is now governed by the board of directors of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Id. § 3. “The MBTA’s essential function is to provide mass transportation services” in the greater Boston metropolitan area. See Massachusetts Bay Transp. Auth. v. City of Somerville, 451 Mass. 80, 86 (2008). The MBTA obtains most of its operating funds from taxes […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 2, 2018 at 2:57 am

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Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority v. Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-006-18)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. 1884CV00268-BLS2 ____________________ MASSACHUSETTS BAY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY v. CLEAR CHANNEL OUTDOOR, INC. ____________________ MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING CLEAR CHANNEL’S MOTION FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER In 2003 the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority granted Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc., a 15-year license to operate billboards on MBTA property. That license will expire in early March 2018.1 The MBTA recently issued a request for responses by parties willing to enter into a six month license to operate the same billboards beginning after the Clear Channel license expires. The MBTA received bids from Outfront Media LLC, which agreed to enter into a six-month license, and Clear Channel, which refused to accept a term that short. The MBTA disqualified Clear Channel. It intends to award a six-month license to Outfront Media. The MBTA brought this action. It seeks declarations that its recent request for responses is lawful, Clear Channel is not entitled to enforce a right of first refusal contained in its 2003 license, and neither of these disputes is subject to the arbitration clause in the 2003 license. It also seeks certain preliminary injunctive relief to enforce terms of the parties’ existing license. The parties agreed upon a schedule for the filing of cross-motions for a preliminary injunction, with a hearing on those motions now scheduled for February 22. Clear Channel has filed an emergency motion seeking a temporary restraining order that would bar the MBTA from taking any steps to license its billboards to or contract with Outfront Media, or from “interfering in any way with Clear Channel’s rights in the billboards themselves or the permits necessary to operate those billboards.” The Court will DENY this motion for a TRO because Clear Channel has not met its burden of showing that it is entitled to the requested relief. “A preliminary 1 The parties have submitted two different versions of their license. One states that it terminates on March 3, the other says March 5. – 2 – injunction [or a TRO] is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as of right.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008). To the contrary, “the significant remedy of a preliminary injunction should not be granted unless the plaintiffs [have] made a clear showing of entitlement thereto.” Student No. 9 v. Board of Educ., 440 Mass. 752, 762 (2004). Clear Channel has not yet made such a showing. 1. Clear Channel Has Asserted No Claims. Clear Channel’s request for injunctive relief is premature because Clear Channel has not asserted any counterclaims or any other kind of affirmative claim against the MBTA. To obtain preliminary injunctive relief, “the applicant must show a likelihood of success on the merits […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 2, 2018 at 1:04 pm

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