United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING
ORDER RE: DKT. NO. 2
WILLIAM H. ORRICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
me is a motion for a temporary restraining order filed by
plaintiff John Harry Bailey against defendant James Nurmi,
the former Chief Technology Officer (“CTO”) of
Thorium Cybersecurity, Bailey's company. Although Nurmi,
who apparently resides in Luxembourg, did not appear at the
hearing, Bailey has submitted evidence showing that Nurmi has
received actual notice of the existence of this case and of
the pending motion. Because Bailey has made a showing of
irreparable harm and the balance of hardships tips in his
favor, I will grant the motion and enjoin Nurmi from
accessing, manipulating, altering, or destroying the source
code or other confidential information he has allegedly
stolen from Thorium's online accounts.
that Bailey will have to serve Nurmi utilizing the procedure
dictated by The Hague Convention, I will extend the Temporary
Restraining Order by fourteen days to the maximum allowed by
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b)(2), twenty eight days.
Because Nurmi has not responded to Bailey's motion, he
may move to dissolve the Temporary Restraining Order at any
time and request the earliest possible hearing date. He
should contact my courtroom deputy, Jean Davis, if he wishes
to do so.
John Bailey is the founder and CEO of Thorium Cybersecurity.
Complaint (“Compl.”) [Dkt. No. 1] ¶ 1. Its
flagship product is Ambitrace, which Bailey describes as
“a robust enterprise data discovery solution that helps
to track sensitive data across all installed
endpoints inside and outside an organization.”
Id. According to the complaint, the enterprise
endpoint security market is expected “to jump to $50
Billion dollars by 2022 in revenue for cybersecurity endpoint
was hired on or about June 20, 2018, and he later became CTO.
Id. ¶ 3. Bailey dismissed Nurmi on July 19,
2019 because of his dishonesty about an outstanding legal
issue and his struggles with substance abuse. Id. Ex.
In addition, Nurmi was failing to perform his duties as CTO,
and was staying up all night drinking and appearing
disheveled at client meeting. See Id. Exs. A, E.
before dismissing Nurmi, Bailey learned that Nurmi had
allowed the company's domain names-thoriumcyber.com,
ambitrace.com, ambitrace.net-to expire so that he could
acquire them himself. Id. ¶¶ 3, 4. In
response to Bailey's request about the domains, Amazon
Web Services indicated that it could not transfer ownership
of ambitrace.com and ambitrace.net without a court order.
Id. Ex. B.
point after his dismissal, Nurmi regained entry to the
company's systems, took control of them, and locked
Bailey out. Id. ¶ 8. On July 15, 2019, Nurmi
sent a message via Signal that he had sold Bailey's
intellectual property (IP) and ceased operations of the
company in the European Union. Id. ¶ 9, Ex. I.
26, 2019, Bailey received an email from Nurmi's lawyer.
Id. ¶ 6; see Id. Ex. E. The email
attached bylaws and a certificate of incorporation for a
company called Ambitrace. Id. According to Bailey,
those documents are associated with a fake company Nurmi
created by forging Bailey's signature. See Id.
¶ 6, Ex. F; Exhibit List 3. The email asserted that
Nurmi is a controlling shareholder, has the power to
terminate Bailey's role, and has a right to access the
accounts. See Id. Ex. E.
initiated this case on November 21, 2019 alleging violations
of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030
and California's Comprehensive Computer Data Access and
Fraud Act, Cal. Penal Code § 502. He moved for a TRO the
same day. Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order
(“Mot.”) [Dkt. No. 2]. On November 25, I ordered
Bailey to attempt service on Nurmi and to provide both Nurmi
and the attorney with copies of his motion. Dkt. No. 8. I
scheduled a hearing for December 3, 2019. Id.
appeared at the hearing and detailed his attempts to reach
Nurmi and his attorney. He sent summonses to Nurmi's
addresses in San Francisco and in Luxembourg. He contacted
Nurmi's attorney's law firm and learned that (i) that
attorney has left the firm, and (ii) the firm is not
representing Nurmi with regard to this lawsuit. Exhibit List
2. It referred him to another attorney, who also is not
representing Nurmi in this case. Bailey shared all case
documents with Nurmi's Ambitrace and personal email
addresses via Google documents. Id. Finally, he sent
a copy of the summons via Signal, which indicated that Nurmi
had opened the message. Id.