Hachem v. Unknown Party et al

Filing 5

ORDER that Plaintiff's renewed Application Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1782 (Docs. 1 , 4 ) is GRANTED. Signed by Judge Douglas L Rayes on 11/7/2017. (MMO)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Houssam Hachem, Plaintiff, 10 11 ORDER v. 12 No. MC-17-00057-PHX-DLR Unknown Party, et al., 13 Defendants. 14 15 16 Before the Court is Plaintiff Houssam Hachem's renewed application for an order 17 under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 granting leave to obtain discovery for use in a Canadian 18 proceeding. (Docs. 1, 4.) The Canadian litigation is an action by Plaintiff against 19 presently unknown Defendants based on an anonymous and allegedly defamatory posting 20 published at www.thedirty.com ("Website"). (Docs. 1-1, 1-2 at 4.) Plaintiff contends 21 that his only reasonable means to discover Defendants' identities is to subpoena the 22 information from Dirty World, LLC, which operates the Website. 23 Upon application by any interested person, 28 U.S.C. § 1782(a) allows a district 24 court to order a person residing or who may be found within its district to produce 25 documents or give testimony for use in a foreign proceeding. 26 27 28 There are thus three threshold requirements for compelling discovery under § 1782: (1) the person from whom discovery is sought must "reside" or be "found" in the district; (2) the discovery must be for use in a proceeding in a foreign tribunal; and (3) the applicant must be an "interested person." 1 In re Godfrey, 526 F. Supp. 2d 417, 418 (S.D.N.Y. 2007). 2 As the plaintiff in the Canadian litigation, Plaintiff is an interested person within 3 the meaning of the statute, and he seeks discovery for use in a foreign proceeding. The 4 Court previously denied Plaintiff's request, however, because he had not adequately 5 shown that Dirty World resides or is found in the District of Arizona. (Doc. 3.) In his 6 renewed application, Plaintiff provides this missing information. 7 attaches e-mail correspondence with counsel for Dirty World confirming its presence in 8 Arizona. (Doc. 4-1.) Based on this supplemental information, the Court finds that 9 Plaintiff meets the threshold requirements of § 1782(a). Specifically, he 10 When the threshold requirements of § 1782(a) are met, "[t]he statute authorizes, 11 but does not require," the district court to compel the requested discovery. Intel Corp. v. 12 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., 542 U.S. 241, 255 (2004). In exercising its discretion to 13 grant or deny a request under § 1782, the court considers several factors, including: (1) 14 whether the "person from whom discovery is sought is a participant in the foreign 15 proceeding;" (2) the nature and character of the foreign proceeding, and whether the 16 foreign court is receptive to judicial assistance from the United States; (3) whether the 17 request is an attempt to circumvent foreign proof-gathering restrictions; and (4) whether 18 the discovery request is "unduly intrusive or burdensome." Id. at 264-66. The court may 19 also consider whether the requested materials are located outside the United States. See 20 Four Pillars Enter. Co., Ltd. v. Avery Dennison Corp., 308 F.3d 1075, 1079-80 (9th Cir. 21 2002). In weighing these factors, the court must be mindful of "the twin aims of the 22 statute: providing efficient means of assistance to participants in international litigation 23 in our federal courts and encouraging foreign countries by example to provide similar 24 means of assistant to our courts." In re Metallgesellschaft AG, 121 F.3d 77, 79 (2d Cir. 25 1997) (internal quotations and citation omitted). 26 Plaintiff seeks to subpoena seven categories of documents related to the allegedly 27 defamatory web posting. (Doc. 1-3 at 6.) These documents do not appear unduly 28 intrusive or burdensome, and are targeted at uncovering the identities of those responsible -2- 1 for the posting so that they may be named as defendants in the Canadian litigation. Dirty 2 World is not a party to the Canadian litigation, and there is no indication that the 3 Canadian court would be unreceptive to judicial assistance from the United States or that 4 Plaintiff's application is an attempt to circumvent Canadian proof-gathering restrictions. 5 For these reasons, 6 7 8 IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's renewed Application Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782 (Docs. 1, 4) is GRANTED. Dated this 7th day of November, 2017. 9 10 11 12 13 Douglas L. Rayes United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3-

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