Blackhawk Network, Inc. v. Computer Services, Inc. et al

Filing 28

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE re: JC Steel Targets, Inc. An in-person Show Cause Hearing is SET for April 30, 2024 at 02:00 PM in San Francisco, Courtroom F, 15th Floor before Magistrate Judge Peter H. Kang. Petitioner shall file a response to the Order to Show Cause no later than April 23, 2024. Respondent CSI may file a memorandum addressing its views on the issue no later than April 26, 2024.Signed by Judge Peter H. Kang on 03/26/24. (phklc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/26/2024)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 SAN FRANCISCO DIVISION 7 8 BLACKHAWK NETWORK, INC., Petitioner, 9 v. 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 COMPUTER SERVICES, INC., et al., Respondents. 12 Case No. 23-mc-80303-PHK ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: JC STEEL TARGETS, INC. Show Cause Hearing Date: April 30, 2024 Show Cause Hearing Time: 2:00 p.m. Show Cause Hearing Place: Courtroom F 13 INTRODUCTION 14 This is a miscellaneous action to compel arbitration. On November 14, 2023, Petitioner 15 16 Blackhawk Network, Inc. (“Petitioner”) commenced this action requesting that the Court issue an 17 Order compelling Respondents Computer Services, Inc. (“CSI”) and JC Steel Targets, Inc. (“JC 18 Steel”) to arbitrate certain claims filed by Petitioner before the American Arbitration Association 19 (“AAA”) in San Francisco, California on May 2, 2023. [Dkt. 1]. The issue before the Court and 20 addressed by this Order to Show Cause is the status of JC Steel. 21 The petition identifies JC Steel as a defunct Washington corporation with its principal 22 place of business in Spokane, Washington. Id. at ¶¶ 9, 16. The petition alleges that “JC Steel 23 initially participated in the AAA Arbitration, but then voluntarily dissolved one day after the 24 preliminary hearing and is now refusing to participate.” Id. at ¶ 9. The petition alleges that JC 25 Steel continues to operate, notwithstanding its dissolution, through “a new Washington 26 corporation with a nearly identical name.” Id. at ¶ 10. The “new” corporation through which JC 27 Steel is alleged to now operate, Hall Ventures-JC Steel Targets Inc., is not named as a Party to this 28 action. 1 2 [Dkt. 17]. The affidavit indicates that Petitioner’s process server effected service of JC Steel as 3 permitted by Rule 43 of the AAA Commercial Rules, first, by mailing copies of the petition, 4 summons, and this Court’s Standing Orders to JC Steel’s last known address in Cheney, 5 Washington, and alternatively, by emailing the petition and this Court’s Standing Orders to JC 6 Steel’s owner, Jake Vibbert. Id. at ¶¶ 9-15. 7 United States District Court Northern District of California On January 5, 2024, Petitioner filed an affidavit of service on behalf of JC Steel and CSI. One month after filing the affidavit of service, on February 5, 2024, Petitioner filed a 8 motion to compel arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 4. [Dkt. 18]. On 9 February 20, 2024, CSI filed a response in opposition to Petitioner’s motion to compel, and on 10 February 27, 2024, Petitioner filed a reply. [Dkts. 21, 25]. To date, JC has not responded to the 11 motion to compel or otherwise appeared in this case. 12 DISCUSSION 13 Based on the record presented by Petitioner, it is unclear whether JC Steel has been 14 properly served and thus has notice of this federal court action and the pending motion to compel 15 arbitration. While Petitioner and CSI have both consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction in this 16 case, as of the date of this Order to Show Cause, JC Steel has not submitted any filing indicating 17 its consent (or declination) to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. 18 Under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), all parties named in a civil action (regardless of whether such 19 parties have been served or entered appearances) must consent to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction for 20 dispositive decisions. Williams v. King, 875 F.3d 500, 503-04 (9th Cir. 2017). The pending 21 motion to compel arbitration is a dispositive motion requiring the consent of all parties. See, e.g., 22 Langell v. Ideal Homes LLC, No. 16-cv-00821-HRL, 2016 WL 8711704, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 23 18, 2016). Accordingly, unless the Court obtains consent from JC Steel (or alternatively, 24 Petitioner voluntarily dismisses JC Steel from this action under Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(1)(A)(i)), the 25 undersigned cannot issue an Order on the pending motion to compel arbitration, but instead, must 26 issue a report and recommendation on the motion and refer the case to a district judge. 27 28 In light of the foregoing, Petitioner is hereby ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE before this Court by filing a memorandum (no longer than five (5) pages in length) on or before April 23, 2 1 2 1. Whether and on what grounds JC Steel has been properly served in compliance with the 3 requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and in particular, Federal Rule of 4 Civil Procedure 4, and if not, whether this action should be dismissed for failure to 5 effectuate service and failure to prosecute as to JC Steel. 6 United States District Court Northern District of California 2024 which addresses the following: 2. The steps taken by Petitioner to communicate with JC Steel and the owner of JC Steel, 7 Jake Vibbert, to inform both JC Steel and Vibbert about the pendency of this action, and to 8 discuss sufficiency of service on JC Steel, whether JC Steel will consent or decline 9 Magistrate Judge jurisdiction, the deadline for JC Steel to file the Court’s required form for 10 indicating either consent or declination to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction, and whether JC 11 Steel plans to participate in this action substantively. 12 3. Whether Hall Ventures-JC Steel Targets, Inc. should be added as a named Party in the 13 instant action, and the reasons why or why not, including whether Hall Ventures-JC Steel 14 Targets, Inc. should be substituted for JC Steel, whether adding Hall Ventures-JC Steel 15 Targets, Inc. will cause JC Steel to enter appearance, and the status of any communications 16 with Hall Ventures-JC Steel Targets, Inc. regarding this matter (including issues relating to 17 service on and consent/declination of Magistrate Judge jurisdiction by JC Steel). 18 The Court further ORDERS that Respondent CSI may file its own memorandum 19 (maximum five (5) pages long) addressing its views on the issues above, on or before April 26, 20 2024. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 The Court further ORDERS Petitioner to promptly serve a copy of this Order on JC Steel and to promptly send a copy of this Order to Jake Vibbert by email. An in-person SHOW CAUSE HEARING is SET for April 30, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom F on the 15th floor of the San Francisco courthouse. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: March 26, 2024 ______________________________________ PETER H. KANG United States Magistrate Judge 3

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