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Wine Bottle Recycling LLC v. Niagra Systems LLC

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 11, 2013

WINE BOTTLE RECYCLING LLC,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
NIAGRA SYSTEMS LLC, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE MOTION FOR JURISDICTIONAL DISCOVERY

Now before the Court is Plaintiff Wine Bottle Recycling LLC's ("Plaintiff") ex parte motion for jurisdictional discovery. ECF 19 No. 35 ("Ex Parte Mot."). The Ex Parte Motion is far from a model 20 of clarity. Plaintiff does not cite to case law concerning 21 jurisdictional discovery and otherwise fails to enunciate the 22 standard for granting or denying a motion for such discovery.

Indeed, Plaintiff's entire legal argument appears to boil down to 24 the circular and conclusory contention that Plaintiff is entitled 25 to jurisdictional discovery because Plaintiff has requested it.

See Ex Parte Mot. at 5-6. 27

Requests for jurisdictional discovery should normally be granted where "pertinent facts bearing on the question of jurisdiction are controverted or where a more satisfactory showing 2 of the facts is necessary." Butcher's Union Local No. 498 v. SDC 3 Inv., Inc., 788 F.2d 535, 540 (9th Cir. 1986) (quotations omitted).

On the other hand, "[w]here a plaintiff's claim of personal 5 jurisdiction appears to be both attenuated and based on bare 6 allegations in the face of specific denials made by defendants, the Court need not permit even limited discovery . . . ." Terracom v. Valley Nat'l Bank, 49 F.3d 555, 562 (9th Cir. 1995). 9

In this case, it is unclear whether pertinent facts are controverted, whether a more satisfactory showing is necessary, or court what Plaintiff needs to obtain from jurisdictional discovery. Further, since Plaintiff contends that it has already established the prima facie showing of jurisdiction necessary to survive a Rule 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss, Ex Parte Mot. at 2, 5, it is unclear why jurisdictional discovery is necessary at all. See Martinez v. Manheim Cent. California, 1:10-CV-01511-SKO, 2011 WL 1466684, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 18, 2011) ("Where the court makes its determination 18 on the basis of the pleadings and affidavits, a plaintiff need only 19 make a prima facie showing of jurisdiction [to survive a Rule 12(b)(2) motion].").

The Ex Parte Motion is also procedurally improper. Contrary 22 to Civil Local Rule 7-10, Plaintiff has failed to cite a statute, 23 Federal Rule, local rule, or Standing Order which would authorize 24 it to proceed ex parte. Additionally, granting Plaintiff's motion 25 would unnecessarily delay the adjudication of Defendants' motion to 26 dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, which has been pending 27 for almost six months. See ECF No. 12. 28

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's Ex Parte Motion for 2 jurisdictional discovery is DENIED without prejudice. Plaintiff 3 may again request jurisdictional discovery through its opposition 4 to Defendants' pending motion to dismiss for lack of personal 5 jurisdiction. Any future requests for jurisdictional discovery 6 shall be made in a manner consistent with the guidance set forth in 7 this Order.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

20130111

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