The eight-page decision by Hamilton County Judge Steven Martin granted Larry Flynt’s motion to dismiss Jimmy Flynt’s first amended complaint.
Martin ruled that the court battle for control of the Hustler business should take place in California, instead of Ohio.
“In this case, we have a Nevada resident [Jimmy Flynt] bringing an action against a California resident,” the decision said. “Only a small portion of the dispute involves Ohio corporations. The defendant has suggested California as an appropriate venue for this lawsuit.”
The brief said California would clearly be more convenient for everyone involved, especially taking into account Larry Flynt’s health concerns.
Before dismissing the lawsuit, however, Martin said several of Jimmy Flynt’s claims would have survived early challenges from his brother and the case could possibly have proceeded to trial.
The most important of those claims was that Larry Flynt may have violated his brother’s rights as a partner at Hustler.
Larry Flynt and his lawyers have repeatedly said Jimmy Flynt was an employee — not a partner — and that he never played a major role in the operation of the company.
“While determining that a number of Jimmy's claims should be dismissed outright for failure to state a claim, the court dismissed the entire case, holding that California would be the more appropriate forum to determine the claims that can even be asserted,” Larry Flynt attorney Amanda Lenhart told XBIZ.
“To the extent that Jimmy could pursue any claims, he would have to file a new lawsuit in California.”
Dismissing close to a dozen counts, Martin agreed with Larry Flynt’s attorneys who said that there was a glaring lack of relevant details that would support a plausible claim.
“The plaintiffs are essentially asking the court to review the entire complaint to see if the court can make up a cause of action for the plaintiffs. This is not the job of the court. Merely reciting the legal elements of a cause of action without specific reference to alleged facts in a complaint this long simply does not state a cause of action,” Martin said.
Jimmy Flynt attorney Robert Hojnoski told XBIZ that they are exploring their options and have not made any decisions yet, though they still believe Cincinnati is the appropriate place to litigate the case.
"The fight will go on," Hojnoski said. "They're partners now and they were partners then and we intend to prove that."