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Preliminary Injunction Motion denied

On Monday, December 8th, the U.S. district court for the Central District of California denied Barbara Chase-Riboud's motion for a preliminary injunction against the opening of Amistad, the film. As a result of this ruling, Amistad will open as scheduled later this week.

District Judge Audrey B. Collins heard arguments from both sides and then issued her decision. She determined that Ms. Chase-Riboud had failed to show a likelihood that she would prevail on the merits in a full trial and had failed to demonstrate that she would suffer irreparable harm without and injunction. In addition, Judge Collins noted that Dreamworks had spent $70-75 million on the film already, and that the hardship it would suffer if the premiere of Amistad were delayed would outweigh the harm Ms. Chase-Riboud would suffer if the film were allowed to debut on schedule.

The court's decision does not decide the case once and for all; it merely means that Amistad may debut before a final verdict is reached. A full trial on Ms. Chase-Riboud's suit is expected next year.

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Prepared by Michael Peil for the Legal Information Institute. Last edited 9 December 1997 at 16:00.