(CN) – A man who says he discovered recording artist Drake saw his case dismissed by a federal judge May 8, but he can try again.
James ‘Jas’ Prince and Young Empire Music Group LLC sued Cash Money Records Inc. last year, claiming that Prince and Young Empire helped Aubrey Graham aka Drake secure his deal with the record label.
They claim they discovered Drake in 2007 “long before he became the popular recording artist he is today,” according to the ruling.
Prince and Young Empire say they helped Drake sign with Aspire Music Group before Aspire gave Drake’s exclusive recording services to Cash Money in 2009. Aspire is not a party to the case.
A settlement agreement purportedly gave Prince and Young Empire 22 percent of net profits from Drake’s contract with Cash Money. But Prince and Young Empire allege that Cash Money has not given them an accounting of profits and the money paid to them so far has been arbitrarily decided upon.
They sued for seven counts including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and interference with a business relationship.
U.S. District Judge James King granted Cash Money’s motion to dismiss but gave the Prince and Young Empire leave to file an amended complaint within 10 days. King ruled that they have not correctly invoked the court’s jurisdiction.
“Not only did plaintiffs fail to list the citizenship of the one principal of the LLC it identified, plaintiff Prince, but plaintiffs further failed to allege whether plaintiff Prince is the sole member of the LLC, or whether there are other members and their respective citizenships,” King wrote. “For these reasons, plaintiffs jurisdictional allegations fail to invoke this court’s diversity jurisdiction.”
The judge also held that Aspire should be joined as a defendant because the contract in question was between Aspire and Cash Money.
“While the complaint alleges that Cash Money has paid certain sums directly to plaintiffs, the agreements upon which those payments – and this complaint – are based necessarily involve advances ‘payable to Aspire,'” he wrote. “The court concludes that the relief plaintiffs seek in this case cannot be afforded without impacting Aspire’s rights, and that therefore Aspire is an indispensible party to this action.”
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