United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING APPELLANT'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
APPEAL Re: Doc. No. 2
M. CHESNEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is appellant Rejuvi Laboratory, Inc.'s
("Rejuvi") "Motion for Leave to Appeal,"
filed in the bankruptcy court on December 23, 2019, and
transmitted to the district court on December 24,
2019. Having read and considered the motion,
Court rules as follows.
September 27, 2018, Rejuvi filed a petition for bankruptcy.
On January 9, 2019, Maria Corso ("Corso") filed a
Proof of Claim in the amount of $1, 242, 240, and stated the
basis for the claim was a "Personal Injury Judgment in
Australia." (See Bankr. Case No. 18-31069, Doc.
57 Part 2.) In response, Rejuvi filed an Objection, in which
it acknowledged an Australian court had entered a default
judgment against it, but asserted Corso's claim should be
disallowed on the ground that, inter alia,
"[t]he Australian court did not have personal
jurisdiction over Rejuvi." (See Bankr. Case No.
18-31069, Doc. 57 Part 1.) Thereafter, on August 12, 2019,
Rejuvi filed a "Brief Regarding Jurisdiction of
Australian Court," whereby it requested an order
disallowing Corso's claim on such ground, and Corso filed
opposition to such request.
September 12, 2019, the bankruptcy judge conducted a hearing
on Rejuvi's request for disallowance, and, on December 9,
2019, following additional briefing by the parties, issued an
order finding the Australian court had personal jurisdiction
over Rejuvi. In particular, the bankruptcy judge found Rejuvi
had purposefully directed its activities toward Australia,
that the claim Corso filed in Australia arose out of or
related to those activities, and that the exercise of
jurisdiction in Australia was reasonable.
bankruptcy judge's order did not, however, find the claim
should be allowed. Rather, the bankruptcy judge has set a
January 23, 2020, status conference for purposes of
determining how to resolve the outstanding issues presented
by the claim and objection. (See Bankr. Case No.
18-31069, Doc. 159.) Consequently, the order finding the
Australian court had personal jurisdiction over Rejuvi is
interlocutory in nature.
instant motion, Rejuvi seeks leave to appeal that
interlocutory order. Leave of court is required to appeal an
interlocutory order of a bankruptcy court. See 28
U.S.C. § 158(a)(3). Leave to appeal is appropriately
granted where an interlocutory order "involves a
controlling question of law as to which there is substantial
ground for difference of opinion" and "an immediate
appeal from the order may materially advance the ultimate
termination of the litigation." See In re
Bertain, 215 B.R. 438, 441 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 1997);
see also, e.g., Horowitz v. Sulla,
2017 WL 1352211, at *7 (D. Haw. April 11, 2017) (denying
leave to appeal interlocutory order that did not involve
"controlling issue of law").
to the extent Rejuvi refers to any argument it seeks to raise
on appeal, it states "the default judgment cannot be
recognized by a United States court" because
Rejuvi's "contacts with Australia are too attenuated
to confer personal jurisdiction in [an Australian]
forum" (see Mot. at 2:12-14), and, in support
of the instant motion, relies on the declaration of its
president, who discusses therein the nature of Rejuvi's
operations and the types of contacts it has had with
Australia. (See Cheng Decl., filed December 23,
2019.) Under such circumstances, it appears Rejuvi's
position is that there are insufficient facts to support the
findings made by the bankruptcy judge. A challenge to a
judge's application of law to the facts presented,
however, is not the type of challenge appropriate for
interlocutory appeal. See Novatel Wireless Securities
Litig., 2013 WL 12247558, at 2 (November 19, 2013)
(observing interlocutory appeals are reserved for "pure,
controlling issues of law," not challenges to "the
application of law to a particular set of facts").
Indeed, Rejuvi has not shown the order it seeks to appeal
involves a controlling issue of law, much less that any such
issue is one as to which there is substantial ground for
difference of opinion.
even assuming an immediate appeal at this time may materially
advance the resolution of Corso's claim,  Rejuvi has failed
to show leave to appeal at this time is appropriate.
the motion for leave to appeal is hereby DENIED.
IS SO ORDERED.
The matter was reassigned to the
undersigned on January 13, ...