Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Williby v. Hearst Corp.

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

July 10, 2017

HARRY J. WILLIBY, Plaintiff,
v.
HEARST CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT RE: DKT. NOS. 79, 87

          EDWARD J. DAVILA United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Harry Williby brings claims against Defendants Hearst Corporation, Hearst Television, Inc., and Ernesto Mourelo arising from a comment that Mourelo left on Williby's YouTube channel. Defendants move to strike under California's anti-SLAPP statute and to dismiss for failure to state a claim, for lack of personal jurisdiction, and for failure to serve process. Williby also seeks leave to file an amended complaint.

         Defendants' motion to dismiss will be GRANTED. Williby's motion for leave to file an amended complaint will be DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Williby operates a YouTube channel where he posts a variety of videos, including clips from news broadcasts.[1] First Am. Compl. (“FAC”) ¶ 39, Dkt. No. 75. Defendant Ernesto Mourelo, an employee of Hearst Television, Inc. (“HTV”), sent a series of DMCA takedown notices to YouTube because he believed that Williby uploaded videos that infringed HTV's copyrights. Id. ¶ 41. Williby responded by filing DMCA counter-notices. Id. ¶ 42. After the videos were re-posted to YouTube, Mourelo posted a comment on Williby's YouTube channel page that stated: “Fight Piracy on YouTube. You stole this clip from a legitimate news source. It's called copyright infringement.” Id. ¶ 48.

         Williby then filed this action, pro se, bringing claims for defamation and intentional interference with prospective economic relations against the Hearst Corporation and Ernesto Mourelo. Compl., Dkt. No. 1. Defendants moved to dismiss or strike. Dkt. No. 49. This Court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss, with leave to amend, on the basis that (1) the Hearst Corporation was not a proper defendant and (2) this Court lacked personal jurisdiction over Mourelo. Order Granting Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss (“MTD Order”), Dkt. No. 73.

         Williby filed an amended complaint (Dkt. No. 75), and Defendants now move to dismiss or strike. Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss or Strike (‘MTD”), Dkt. No. 79. Williby did not oppose Defendants' motion. Williby has also moved for leave to file a second amended complaint.[2] Dkt. No. 87.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Rule 12(b)(2)

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) allows dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction. When the motion to dismiss is a defendant's first response to the complaint, the plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing that personal jurisdiction exists. See Data Disc, Inc. v. Sys. Tech. Assocs., Inc., 557 F.2d 1280, 1285 (9th Cir. 1977). While a plaintiff cannot “ ‘simply rest on the bare allegations of its complaint, ' uncontroverted allegations in the complaint must be taken as true” and “[c]onflicts between parties over statements contained in affidavits must be resolved in the plaintiff's favor.” Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004) (quoting Amba Marketing Sys., Inc. v. Jobar Int'l, Inc., 551 F.2d 784, 787 (9th Cir. 1977), and citing AT&T v. Compagnie Bruxelles Lambert, 94 F.3d 586, 588 (9th Cir. 1996)).

         B. Rule 12(b)(6)

         A motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of claims alleged in the complaint. Parks Sch. of Bus., Inc. v. Symington, 51 F.3d 1480, 1484 (9th Cir. 1995). Dismissal “is proper only where there is no cognizable legal theory or an absence of sufficient facts alleged to support a cognizable legal theory.” Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). The complaint “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.' ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).

         C. Pro Se Pleadings

         Pro se pleadings must be construed liberally. Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000). The Court “need not give a plaintiff the benefit of every conceivable doubt” but “is required only to draw every reasonable or warranted factual inference in the plaintiff's favor.” McKinney v. De Bord, 507 F.2d 501, 504 (9th Cir. 1974). The Court “should use common sense in interpreting the frequently diffuse pleadings of pro se complainants.” Id. A pro se complaint should not be dismissed unless the court finds it “beyond doubt ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.