• Federal judge calls Patriots fans’ lawsuit ‘plainly without merit’

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    Tom Brady  AFP File PHOTO

    Tom Brady
    AFP File PHOTO

    A federal judge punctured a lawsuit filed by seven New England Patriots fans over the Deflategate controversy in a ruling this week.

    F. Dennis Saylor, a U.S. District Court judge in in Massachusetts, ruled Friday that an appeal of his decision to deny the fans a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction “would not be taken in good faith, as it is plainly without merit.” The fans sought the return of the Patriots’ first-round pick.

    Saylor also denied a request by the plaintiffs to waive appellate fees.

    “[The] plaintiffs have not submitted sworn affidavits as to their financial circumstances, as required by statute,” Saylor wrote.

    Earlier this month, Saylor denied the fans both a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction days after their lawsuit was filed.

    “The federal courts are courts of limited resources, funded by the taxpayers, and it would not be a prudent expenditure of those resources to permit the motion to progress to the hearing stage,” Saylor wrote.

    The plaintiffs sought an injunction ahead of the NFL draft, which begins on Thursday. The Patriots were forced to forfeit their first-round pick — which turned out to be the 29th overall selection — as result of the investigation into defeated footballs used by the team during the 2014 AFC title game.

    Quarterback Tom Brady was also suspended four games for his role in Deflategate, but the ban hasn’t been enforced. A federal judge overturned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s arbitration ruling before the start of the 2015 season.

    The NFL appealed that judge’s decision, and the outcome of that appeal is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

    TNS

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