Petroliam Nasional Berhad v., Inc.

Filing 131

ORDER re 127 Declaration in Opposition filed by Petroliam Nasional Berhad; ORDER denying Rule 56(d) motion. Signed by Judge Hamilton on 11/17/2011. (pjhlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/17/2011)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 8 PETROLIAM NASIONAL BERHAD, 10 Plaintiff, 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 9 v. 12 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S RULE 56(d) MOTION GODADDY.COM, INC., 13 No. C 09-5939 PJH Defendant. _______________________________/ 14 15 Plaintiff Petroliam Nasional Berhad seeks an order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil 16 Procedure 56(d) continuing or denying defendant, Inc.’s motion for summary 17 judgment. 18 In support of the request, plaintiff’s counsel Perry Clark filed a declaration in which 19 he states that information regarding GoDaddy’s communications with the registrant of the 20 disputed domains, regarding GoDaddy’s policy and conduct regarding Petronas’s 21 trademark claims at issue in this case, and regarding the volume, nature, and GoDaddy’s 22 handling of claims like plaintiff’s trademark claims at issue in this case is in the possession 23 of GoDaddy. 24 Mr. Clark asserts that GoDaddy has “refused to provide certain discovery regarding 25 this information;” that on October 26, 2011, the parties submitted a joint letter re this 26 discovery dispute after meeting and conferring; that the court referred the dispute for 27 resolution to Magistrate Judge Maria Elena James; and that after the referral, plaintiff “is 28 pursuing its motion to compel according to that order.” Mr. Clark claims that “the 1 information outlined above will raise a genuine issue of material fact and, therefore, that the 2 present summary judgment motion of GoDaddy should be denied as premature pursuant to 3 Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(d).” 4 Rule 56(d) provides that “[i]f a nonmovant shows by affidavit or declaration that, for 5 specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition, the court may” 6 either “defer considering the motion or deny it,” or “allow time to obtain affidavits or 7 declarations or to take discovery,” or “issue any other appropriate order.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 56(d). 9 To obtain postponement or denial under Rule 56(d) for further discovery, the declaration of the party opposing the motion must show “facts indicating a likelihood that 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 controverting evidence exists as to a material fact;” “specific reasons why such evidence 12 was not discovered or obtained earlier in the proceedings;” “the steps or procedures by 13 which the opposing party proposes to obtain such evidence within a reasonable time;” and 14 “an explanation of how those facts will suffice to defeat the pending summary judgment 15 motion.” See Schwarzer, Tashima & Wagstaffe, Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial (2011 16 ed.) § 14:114 (citing cases). 17 Here, the declaration of plaintiff’s counsel does not provide specific reasons why 18 Petroliam cannot present facts essential to its opposition. In addition, the declaration does 19 not explain how the material sought in the outstanding discovery dispute is connected to 20 any particular argument raised by GoDaddy in its motion. Nor does the declaration show 21 any facts indicating a likelihood that controverting evidence exists as to particular material 22 facts – indeed, there is no indication as to which material facts the allegedly missing 23 discovery applies. In short, the declaration provides no explanation as to how the evidence 24 will suffice to defeat GoDaddy’s motion. 25 In addition, the purpose of Rule 56(d) motions is to provide a method to enable a 26 party to avoid being “railroaded” by the other side’s filing of an early summary judgment 27 motion (i.e., before discovery cutoff). See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 326 28 (1986); Schwarzer, et al., § 14:113. The case management and pretrial order in this case 2 1 set a discovery cut-off date of October 19, 2011, and a summary judgment hearing date of 2 December 7, 2011. Thus, GoDaddy’s motion can in no way be considered early or 3 premature. 4 Finally, the case management and pretrial order set the pretrial conference date for 5 February 9, 2012, and the trial date for March 5, 2012. Given the upcoming holidays and 6 the fact that the issues raised in this case are somewhat complex, continuing the date for 7 the summary judgment motions would make it impossible for the trial to go forward as 8 scheduled. 9 GoDaddy’s motion, the Rule 56(d) request is DENIED. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 Accordingly, plaintiff having failed to establish good cause to continue or deny 12 IT IS SO ORDERED. 13 Dated: November 17, 2011 ______________________________ PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?