Rockers Hawthorne Heights are celebrating a partial victory in the group's ongoing legal battle with record label bosses at Victory. Chicago, Illinois judge JAMES MORAN gave the rock group permission to record for any label, dismissing claims from Victory boss TONY BRUMMEL that the band were signed exclusively to his indie label. But Moran refused to rule on other claims of copyright ownership, trademark infringement and invasion of privacy, insisting the court needed more information. The dispute between Hawthorne Heights and Victory began last year (06) when the group members attempted to sue Brummel to escape their Victory contract and record for EMI. The five-piece claimed that Brummel's "tactics" and "scheming" severely damaged the band's reputation and its relationship with fans. Brummel and his partners fought back, stating the major label "poached" the band from Victory, even though the group still had two more records to deliver under its contract. In ruling on Monday (05MAR07), Judge Moran also dismissed the band's claim for fraud.