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Inzajat Technology Fund, B.S.C v. Hamid Najafi

March 9, 2012

INZAJAT TECHNOLOGY FUND, B.S.C., PLAINTIFF,
v.
HAMID NAJAFI, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Howard R. Lloyd United States Magistrate Judge

** E-filed March 9, 2012 **

NOT FOR CITATION

ORDER (1) VACATING CONFIRMATION OF ARBITRATION AWARD; (2) REASSIGNING THE CASE TO A DISTRICT JUDGE; AND REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

United States District Court For the Northern District of California

Plaintiff Inzajat Technology Fund, B.S.C. ("Inzajat") brought this action to enforce an 18 arbitration award entered in London between it and defendants Hamid Najafi and Michael 19 Cummiskey.*fn1 Inzajat is a Bahraini fixed term venture capital fund that sought to invest in Broadlink 20 Research FX LLC ("Broadlink"). Najafi, who currently resides in the United Arab Emirates, was the 21 chief executive officer of Broadlink at all times relevant to this action. 22 Inzajat petitioned the court for an order confirming the award, which this court granted on January 20, 2012. Dkt. No. 23. At the time the court entered its order, Inzajat had consented to the 24 undersigned's jurisdiction, but Najafi had not. Although he was served with the summons and 25 petition to confirm the arbitration award on August 25, 2011, Najafi did not oppose it and only filed 26 an appearance after this court had already entered its order. After his appearance, the court set a 27 deadline of March 5, 2012 for Najafi to consent to the undersigned's jurisdiction. He has not done 28 so. Because not all parties have consented to proceed before a magistrate judge, this court is unable 2 to provide the dispositive relief sought by plaintiffs. 3

Accordingly, because the court's order confirming the arbitration award was improvidently 4 issued, it is now VACATED, and the court ORDERS the Clerk of the Court to reassign this case to 5 a district court judge. For the reasons stated below, the undersigned RECOMMENDS that the 6 district judge confirm the arbitration award. 7 8 defendant's pending motion for a Stay of Enforcement of Judgment are VACATED. The parties 9 may renotice them before the to-be-assigned district judge. 10

A. Authority to Confirm a Foreign Arbitral Award

This court's authority to hear and rule on a petition to confirm a foreign arbitration award 13 arises under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the 14 "Convention"), implemented by the Federal Arbitration Act. 21 U.S.T. 2517; 9 U.S.C. 203 ("[a]n 15 action or proceeding falling under the Convention shall be deemed to arise under the laws and 16 treaties of the United States."). On application by a party to an arbitral award under the Convention, 17 the Federal Arbitration Act compels a court to issue "an order confirming the award as against any 18 other party to the arbitration. The court shall confirm the award unless it finds one of the grounds for 19 refusal or deferral of recognition or enforcement of the award specified in the said Convention." 9. 20

Convention unless we determine that "one of the grounds for refusal or deferral of recognition or 22 enforcement of the award specified in the [sic] said Convention." Polimaster Ltd. v. RAE Sys., 623 23

The court must confirm the arbitration award unless one of the seven enumerated grounds 25 for refusal or deferral is established. See 21 U.S.T. 2517, Art. V. In his recently filed Motion to Stay 26

Enforcement of Judgment, Najafi has not raised any of the enumerated grounds for refusal to 27 confirm the award. Upon its own review of the possible rounds for refusal to confirm an award, this 28 court believes that none are applicable here. As the court is not aware of any evidence that there are

The March 20, 2012 hearings on plaintiff's pending motion for Entry of Judgment, and

DISCUSSION

U.S.C. ยง 207. [The Ninth Circuit] must confirm an arbitration award falling ...


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