A judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by the producer of 2016: Obama’s America against Dinesh D’Souza, the star and director of the film, which has earned $33.5 million domestically and has become the second-most successful political documentary in U.S. box-office history.
Douglas Sain had sued D’Souza claiming the conservative author and activist had been misusing funds generated by 2016, and challenging D’Souza’s authority over how to market and monetize the movie going forward.
Sain, his Sain Communications, Inc., and an entity called Rancho Esperanza had sought a temporary injunction against D’Souza, but Judge Kevin Enright on Thursday denied their request and asked the parties to pursue a different “remedy” to solve their differences.
“The applications before the court are vague, lack specificity, and do not seek to enjoin a particular act,” Enright wrote on Thursday. “The plaintiffs failed to make an adequate showing of irreparable harm to occur in such a way which cannot be later remedied.”
The dispute was over an entity known as OAF, Obama’s America Foundation, which was created as the production company for 2016.
Sain had claimed in his complaint that D’Souza had a 50 percent voting and economic interest in OAF and that he, along with another entity called VGI, had the other 50 percent. D’Souza, on the other hand, claims to have acquired more of a stake in OAF by way of an agreement with VGI, thus giving him a majority say in decisions affecting OAF and the movie. Sain argued that he didn’t approve of D’Souza’s arrangement with VGI therefore it wasn’t valid.
"Ours is not the type of case where a court likes to issue a temporary restraining order," acknowledged Sain's attorney, David King of the King Law Firm in San Diego. "I still felt it was appropriate to halt Mr. D'Souza's efforts to seize unilateral control, but the court effectively ruled this is hard to delineate."