United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER.
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(IN CHAMBERS) - NOTICE OF RELIEF FROM AUTOMATIC STAY AND
REQUEST FOR DECISION ON FULLY BRIEFED MOTION FOR PARTIAL
SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Dkt. 94, filed June 20, 2017)
November 3, 2016, plaintiff UL LLC filed this action against
defendants The Space Chariot, Inc., Kevin Walker, Donabelle
Escarez Mortel (aka Donabella Mortel), and John Does 1-10.
Dkt. 1. UL asserts five claims: (1) trademark infringement,
15 U.S.C. § 1114; (2) counterfeit of registered marks,
15 U.S.C. § 1114; (3) unfair competition and false
designation of original and false and misleading
representations, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); (4) unfair
competition in violation of California Business and
Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq.; and (5)
false advertising under California Business and Professions
Code §§ 17500 et seq. The gravamen of
UL's complaint is that Space Chariot, Walker, and Mortel
("defendants") are using UL marks on various
websites to falsely represent that Space Chariot's
goods-namely, hoverboards-have been certified byUL.
November 3, 2016, UL filed an ex parte application for a
temporary restraining order, seizure order, expedited
discovery, and order to show cause re: preliminary
injunction. Dkts. 4, 7. On the same day, the Court denied
UL's application for a seizure order. Dkt. 12.
November 17, 2016, the Court granted UL's motion for a
temporary restraining order and ordered defendants to show
cause why a preliminary injunction should not be issued. Dkt.
25 ("TRO"). On December 9, 2016, the parties
stipulated to a preliminary injunction. Dkt. 31. Pursuant to
this stipulation, the Court: (1) enjoined defendants from,
inter alia, using UL marks and dispersing personal and
corporate assets; and (2) ordered defendants to, inter alia,
(a) produce all bank statements in their possession or
control, (b) identify all persons affiliated with the domain
spacechariotca.com, and identify the nature of the
relationship between defendants and those domain names, and
(c) provide an accounting of any assets having a value
greater than $5, 000 and the location and identify thereof.
Dkt. 33 ("Preliminary Injunction"). On April 10,
2017, the Court granted UL's motion for civil contempt
and sanctions on the grounds that defendants violated
portions of the TRO and the Preliminary Injunction. Dkt. 74
January 9, 2017, the Court denied Walker and Mortel's
motion to dismiss UL's claims against them. Dkt. 36.
April 19, 2017, Walker and Mortel filed a notice that they
had petitioned for bankruptcy. Dkt. 79. Accordingly, on April
21, 2017, the Court stayed this action as to Walker and
Mortel. Dkt. 82.
April 20, 2017, the Court granted UL's motion for partial
summary judgment on its first and second claims (trademark
infringement and counterfeit of registered marks) as against
Space Chariot. Dkt. 81 ("Summary Judgment Order").
15, 2017, the Court granted defense counsel's motion to
withdraw as counsel. Dkt. 87. Because Space Chariot is a
corporate entity and may not appear pro se, the Court ordered
Space Chariot to retain new counsel within 30 days or risk
the imposition of sanctions or the entry of default.
Id. at 2. To date. Space Chariot has failed to
retain new counsel.
20, 2017, UL filed a notice that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
had lifted the automatic stays imposed by 11 U.S.C. §
362 so that UL could pursue relief against Walker and Mortel.
Dkt. 94; dkt. 94-1, Exs. A, B (bankruptcy court orders
granting UL's motion for relief from stay). Accordingly,
the Court lifts the stay of this action as to Walker and
Mortel. See dkt. 82. UL requests that the Court
grant partial summary judgment against Walker and Mortel, as
requested in its original motion. Dkt. 94 at 1.
Summary Judgment Order, the Court set forth the undisputed
facts of the case and concluded:
UL has presented undisputed evidence showing that
defendants used a "spurious mark which is
identical to or substantially indistinguishable from"
the UL Marks "in connection with the sale, offering for
sale, distribution, or advertising of any goods or
services." 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114; 1127.
Accordingly, a rational trier of fact could not find for
defendants on UL's claims for trademark
infringement and counterfeiting of a registered mark.
Judgment Order at 17 (emphases added). Because this action
was stayed as to Walker and Mortel, the Court granted
UL's motion for partial summary judgment only as against
Space Chariot. Id. Nevertheless, the Court's
findings and conclusions applied equally to Walker and
Mortel. Now that the Bankruptcy Court's automatic stay