Altice USA, Inc. v. N.J. Bd. of Pub. Util.

The Third Circuit revisited Younger abstention. New Jersey Law requires cable television providers to prorate bills when customers start or cancel service mid-month. But a cable provider did not comply with that rule. When the State’s regulatory agency brought an action, the cable provider responded by filing suit in federal court, claiming that the federal Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 preempted the state law. The District Court agreed with the cable provider. The District Court also agreed with the cable provider that Younger abstention was inappropriate. The Third Circuit reversed. It held that the state’s regulatory agency was engaged in a “civil enforcement proceeding was quasi-criminal in nature and, thus, the type of proceeding to which Younger applies.”

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