United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF POWER INTEGRATIONS,
INC.'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION RE: DKT. NO. 50
VAN KEULEN United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is the motion of Plaintiff Power Integrations, Inc.
(“Plaintiff” or “PI”) for leave to
file a motion for reconsideration. Dkt. 50 (“motion for
leave”). PI seeks leave to file a motion for
reconsideration of this Court's November 18, 2018 order
granting Defendant The Penbrothers International Inc.'s
motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.
See Dkt. 49 (“dismissal order”).
to Civil Local Rule 7-9(a), a party may file a motion for
reconsideration of any interlocutory order only upon
obtaining leave of the Court. A party seeking reconsideration
must show, inter alia, (1) “[t]hat at the time
of the motion for leave, a material difference in fact or law
exists from that which was presented to the Court before
entry of the interlocutory order for which reconsideration is
sought”; (2) “[t]he emergence of new material
facts or a change of law occurring after the time of such
order”; or (3) “[a] manifest failure by the Court
to consider material facts or dispositive legal arguments
which were presented to the Court before such interlocutory
order.” Civ. L.R. 7-9(b). A motion for leave to file a
motion for reconsideration may not “repeat any oral or
written argument made by the applying party in support of or
in opposition to the interlocutory order which the party now
seeks to have reconsidered.” Civ. L.R. 7-9(c).
motion for leave, PI argues that (1) the Court relied on
Hudnall v. Payne, No. 13-cv-04728-WHO, 2014 WL
524079, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15016 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 6, 2014)
“[a]s the basis for denying Power Integrations'
requests for jurisdictional discovery and leave to amend,
” but Power Integrations did not have a chance to
address that case because it was not raised until the
rebuttal portion of Penbrothers' oral argument at the
October 29, 2019 hearing on Penbrothers' motion to
dismiss; and (2) the Court's dismissal order did not take
into account allegations in the First Amended Complaint about
the alleged conspiracy between Penbrothers and Silanna to
secretly raid the engineers of PI to work for Silanna in
California, which give rise to a “strong
inference” that Penbrothers knew that the effect of the
alleged raid was directed to and would be felt in California.
Dkt. 50 (motion for leave) at 2-3.
arguments do not meet the standard required before leave to
file a motion for reconsideration may be granted. PI's
argument regarding Hudnall mischaracterizes the
Court's dismissal order and the record in this case.
Contrary to PI's argument, the Court did not rely on
Hudnall as “the basis for denying
Power Integrations' requests for jurisdictional discovery
and leave to amend.” Dkt. 50 at 1 (citing Dkt. 49
(dismissal order) at 7) (emphasis added). Read in full, the
relevant portion in the dismissal order states:
PI's argument in favor of jurisdictional discovery is
little more than a hunch that some of Penbrothers'
communications with Silanna may have been sent to or from
California; even if this is true, it would not provide a
sufficient basis for jurisdiction. “[O]rdinarily use of
the mails, telephone, or other international communications
simply do not qualify as purposeful activity invoking the
benefits and protections of the forum state.”
Hudnall v. Payne, No. 13-cv-04728-WHO, 2014WL
524079, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 6, 2014) (quoting Peterson
v. Kennedy, 771 F.2d 1244, 1262 (9th Cir.
1985)). Accordingly, PI's request for jurisdictional
discovery is denied, and the dismissal of the FAC as to
Penbrothers is WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.
Dkt. 49 (dismissal order) at 7-8 (citation omitted). As thus
explained in the order, the Court's denial of discovery
was based first and foremost on the fact that PI had offered
only a “hunch” that discovery would lead to
evidence of mail or other contacts between Penbrothers and
Silanna in California. See Id. at 7 (“At the
hearing, PI argued that it should be given the opportunity to
conduct jurisdictional discovery if the Court was inclined to
rule against it, arguing that it is not believable that
Penbrothers could have recruited the Individual Defendants
without some contacts with Silanna in California”);
see also Dkt. 45 (transcript of Oct. 30, 2019
hearing) at 19:22-20:3 (“It's just not believable
that Penbrothers would be able to find those employees and
target them and set up these offer letters and offer
employment, essentially, by Silanna, even though under the
guise of Penbrothers without any communication, without any
contact with Silanna in California. It's just not
credible.”). The conclusion that PI's request for
jurisdictional discovery was based only on a hunch is
reinforced by statements in its motion for leave. See,
e.g., Dkt. 50 (motion for leave) at 4 (referring to
purported communications between Penbrothers and Silanna
“whether directly or through yet another secret,
Court further explained in the dismissal order, even if
PI's “hunch” was correct that Penbrothers had
communications with Silanna in California, under
Hudnall and related authority, such communications
ordinarily do not qualify as purposeful activity subjecting
an out-of-state defendant to personal jurisdiction in
California. Dkt. 49 (dismissal order) at 7.
these circumstances, the Court exercised its “broad
discretion” to deny jurisdictional discovery,
explaining that denial of discovery is not an abuse of
discretion “when it is clear that further discovery
would not demonstrate facts sufficient to constitute a basis
for jurisdiction, or when the request for discovery is based
on little more than a hunch that it might yield facts
relevant to jurisdiction.” Dkt. 49 (dismissal order) at
7 (citing Los Gatos Mercantile, Inc. v. E.I. DuPont De
Nemours & Co., No. 13-CF-01180-BLF, 2015 WL 4755335,
at *11 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 11, 2015)).
PI's argument that it did not have an opportunity to
address Hudnall or Peterson well-taken.
Although it did not address those cases specifically, PI
argued in its opposition brief and at oral argument that it
should be permitted to conduct discovery into
Penbrothers' communications with Silanna. See,
e.g., Dkt. 33 (opposition) at 7 n.4 (requesting
opportunity to take jurisdictional discovery, arguing that
evidence submitted by Penbrothers is “conspicuously
silent on Penbrothers' communications with
Silanna”); Dkt. 45 (transcript of Oct. 30, 2019
hearing) at 21:2-14 (arguing that there is an inference that
there must be communication between Penbrothers and Silanna
California and requesting jurisdictional discovery if more is
the same argument PI repeats in its motion for leave. Dkt. 50
(motion for leave) at 4-5 (arguing that PI should be
permitted to conduct discovery into nature and extent of
Penbrothers' communications with Silanna).
similar reasons, the Court also rejects PI's argument
that the dismissal order did not take into account
allegations in the First Amended Complaint about the alleged
conspiracy between Penbrothers and Silanna to secretly raid
the engineers of PI to work for Silanna in California. PI
argues that the allegations of its complaint give rise to a
“strong inference” that Penbrothers knew that the
effect of the alleged raid was directed to and would be felt
in California. But as the Court noted in the dismissal order,
the FAC is silent as to where most of the acts in this case,
including those giving rise to the alleged conspiracy between
Penbrothers and Silanna, occurred. Dkt. 49 (dismissal order)
at 6. PI argues that the Court can “infer” from
the allegations of the FAC that the effect of the alleged
conspiracy was directed to and would be felt in California.
To the extent this argument repeats PI's argument that
discovery might reveal communications between Penbrothers and
Silanna in California, the Court rejects that argument for
the reasons set forth in the dismissal order and above. To
the extent PI's argument is that personal jurisdiction
over Penbrothers can be premised on the fact that Penbrothers
might have foreseen an effect on PI in California, that
improperly repeats arguments that PI made and the Court
rejected in connection with the motion to dismiss. See,
e.g., Dkt. 33 at 5-6 (arguing that “jurisdiction
may attach if the defendant's conduct is aimed at or has
an effect in the forum state”) (citation omitted); Dkt.
49 (dismissal order) at 5-7 (discussing “effects test,
” and concluding that the relationship between the
defendant and the forum must arise out of contacts that the
defendant himself created, and the plaintiff cannot be the
only link between the defendant and the forum).
the arguments raised in PI's motion for leave were all
presented and considered in connection with Penbrothers'
motion to dismiss. Accordingly, PI has not demonstrated that
there is now a “material difference in fact or law
… from that which was presented to the Court before
entry of the interlocutory order”; that new material
facts have emerged or a change of law has occurred; or that
the Court failed to consider material facts or dispositive
legal arguments that were presented to it. Civil L.R. 7-9(b).
Accordingly, the motion for leave to file a motion for
reconsideration is DENIED.