Augusta National, Inc. v. Green Jacket Auctions, Inc.

Filing 75

ORDER denying 37 Motion to Dismiss and denies alternative motion to transfer; granting in part and denying in part 19 Motion to Seal Document, in which Defendant is Ordered to submit under seal redacted list for the Court's approval; finding as moot 25 Defendant's original motion to dismiss and Plaintiff's 49 Motion for Venue and related Discovery. Signed by Chief Judge J. Randal Hall on 02/08/2018. (jlh)

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IN THE UNITED FOR THE STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA AUGUSTA DIVISION AUGUSTA NATIONAL, * INC., * Plaintiff, * v. CV GREEN JACKET AUCTIONS, 117-096 * INC., * * Defendant. ORDER Before to the dismiss alternative (doc. 37); Court for DENIES motion It to are three motions: improper motion and transfer. Court (3) to venue transfer Plaintiff's Defendant's GRANTS IN to PART (doc. the motion motion and (1) to Defendant's 37); (2) District to seal dismiss DENIES IN Defendant's of New (doc. Jersey 19). and PART motion motion The to Plaintiff's seal. I. Plaintiff owns (''Augusta National") BACKGROUND and operates the Augusta National and the Masters Tournament Golf Club (the "Masters") . Defendant is an online auctioneer of golf memorabilia that has a history Masters. \\ of selling items On August 2, related 2011, to Augusta National and the Defendant listed for auction on its website the National following pieces and "Butler the Jacket," (collectively, Plaintiff's and a Masters belt flag logo On the memorabilia (collectively, "Nelson the map also and bearing "Items") : and (2) flag related to Augusta the Jacket," "Jackets"); trademarked buckle of the "King silverware logo Plaintiff's (the August 14, various Jackets bearing trademarked map 2017, causes Plaintiff of filed action. suit (Doc. in 1.) and the Silverware. (Id. at this Silverware Buckle. Fifth, making and demanded trademark (Id.) related to it their Fourth, sought return. infringement Defendant's false it asserted of injunction statements about at to the related marketing "an (Id. a false the Contemporaneously with its for complaint, (Doc. 4.) auction of at Defendant using it the claim 16.) from [Plaintiff's] (Id. at 18.) Plaintiff also preliminary injunction to prohibit auctioning the Items. Third, (Id. it and the advertising prohibiting it Second, 11.) Items. [Plaintiff], Court issue of title 10.) trademarks, and selling [Plaintiff's] property." a motion and First, asserted a claim for trover with respect to the Jackets asserted Jacket" "Silverware"); requested declaratory relief with respect to the the the (the "Buckle"). asserting to (1) Defendant On August 17, 2017, filed from this Court held a hearing on the motion and granted the requested relief. (Doc. Plaintiff to 16.) It also heard an oral motion by seal certain documents entered into evidence by Defendant. granted Plaintiff's oral motion, but ordered Plaintiff to file a written motion for its consideration. On September 11, 2017, 25.) In transfer the District of New also the case requested the Jersey the filed a motion to dismiss Defendant United States ("New Jersey"). Court 15.) Rule of Civil alternative, to (Doc. Defendant for improper venue under Federal (Doc. dismiss any Procedure requested District (Id. at potential Plaintiff might have asserted in its complaint.1 On (Doc. October 31.) respect Third, First, to trademark the it 2017, Plaintiff alleges website filed an 12 (b) . the Court 9.) Court for the Defendant dilution claim (Id. at 16.) amended complaint. Plaintiff alleges trademark infringement with Items. dilution Defendant's Fourth, 2, The Court with (Id. at respect to trademark and social 13.) all Second, Items. infringement media it (Id. with marketing. alleges at 15.) respect (Id. at to 19.) it requests declaratory relief to determine title to the Jackets and the Silverware. (Id. at 22.) tort of trover with respect to the Items. Fifth, (Id. it alleges the at 23.) Sixth, it alleges false advertising against Defendant under the Lantham Act. (Id.) Seventh, it requests an injunction Defendant "from making false statements about to prevent [Plaintiff], using 1The Court notes "potential" dilution claim because Plaintiff did not allege a separate cause of action for dilution or even cite the dilution statute. Rather, it referred to dilution only in its paragraph setting forth subject matter jurisdiction and in the prayer for relief. [Plaintiff's] (Id. trademarks, selling [Plaintiff's] property." filed motion at 25.) On October dismiss in 16, improper venue, Jersey. dilution 2017, response Defendant 37.) New and to once or, It Defendant Plaintiff's again amended sought to in the alternative, did not, however, a new complaint. dismiss the to (Doc. case for to transfer the case to move to dismiss Plaintiff's claim. II. DISCUSSION A. Motion -to Dismiss for Improper Venue Defendant first asks this improper venue. Venue § Section 1391(b)(1)-(3) 1391. in Court this to case dismiss is this governed establishes action by three 28 for U.S.C. categories of districts in which a plaintiff may properly bring suit: (1) if a all judicial district defendants district are in which any defendant residents of the State in resides, which the is located; (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is (3) if situated; there is no or district in which an action may otherwise be brought as provided in this section, any judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the court's personal jurisdiction with respect to such action. Venue is always proper in any district that requirements of either the first or second categories. fits the Venue is proper in a district that fits the third category, however, only when no other categories. Dist. of category then Atl. Tex., is fits the S. Ct. fallback will Co. 568, lie in ^any to the v. 578 option: subject is requirements Marine Constr. 134 "a venue defendant Id. district If of U.S. Dist. (2013). no court's first Court Thus, other judicial the district personal for W. the venue is in two third proper, which any jurisdiction.'" (emphasis in original). Plaintiff chose Georgia, therefore District is that its a "resides" in substantial occurred proper of this part in challenges the proper choice to file Court venue is District this the must § because under events The Plaintiff (1) 1391(b)(1); § rise in this this asserts and to finds of Defendant (2) the claims 1391(b)(2). Court "resides" whether because: § under District determine giving District Defendant Southern 1391(b). proper assertions. both the first under venue of in a Defendant that venue District is under § 1391(b)(1). Section states that defendant, in 1391(c) a defines corporation any residency "shall be judicial district for venue deemed in which to purposes. reside, It if such defendant a is subject to the court's personal jurisdiction with respect to the civil action Plaintiff in asserts question that . . . Defendant ." 28 waived U.S.C. its right § 1391(c)(2). to challenge this Court's personal jurisdiction when it omitted that defense in its first Rule 12 motion challenging venue. According to Plaintiff, in this District under § argues that defenses, not thus at 7.) and thus Defendant "resides" 1391(b)(1). and "waiver automatically 48 Defendant's waiver makes it "subject to" this Court's personal jurisdiction, venue (Doc. (Id.) personal of a jurisdiction personal constitute a Defendant, however, are separate jurisdiction defense waiver regarding venue." does (Doc. 37 at 4.) As an initial waived its party's right to party fails motion, to other Oldfield v. (11th Cir. not right matter, to challenge Court agrees personal that assert that responsive objection pleading 2009) (citing Fed. personal R. Civ. jurisdiction preliminary injunction or challenging venue. Thus, jurisdiction and in either Defendant is in or S.A., subject its first of the its waived to this Rule 12 appearance." F.3d 1210, 12(h)). at "[A] waived if the general 558 P. Defendant jurisdiction. dispute personal jurisdiction is Pueblo De Bahia Lora, challenge personal the 1218 n.21 Defendant hearing Rule any 12 did for motions challenge Court's a to personal jurisdiction. The question, personal then, is whether a defendant who consents to jurisdiction by virtue of waiver is "subject to" that court's personal jurisdiction for purposes of section 1391(c)(2) and thus "resides" in that court's district under § 1391(b)(1). The Prod. in begins with the v. Burton, 549 U.S. Co. course, that Court a with the corporation court's action in 1391(c) (2) "shall be personal question says "subject to" that a of 84, 91 statutory text."). any judicial district the text which . . . ." 28 about Section U.S.C. corporation how or when a in a court's action in personal question" jurisdiction However jurisdiction with obtained. Accordingly, courts, that an court's personal means respect this "subject to Whenever with the to civil is subject to to the must Thus, become states if only it is "subject to to the court's action civil Section district the states defendant, It respect of a party jurisdiction. resides start, 1391(c)(2). subject to the court's personal jurisdiction. the if respect § BP Am. 1391(c)(2) reside, with See ("We such defendant court's personal defendant 1391(c). (2006) deemed to jurisdiction nothing the in § in civil personal question." obtained. Court out-of-state jurisdiction holds, as have corporation which See 959 consented (D. to S.D. 2016) personal Hillshire Brands Co., ("And because jurisdiction in the South also consented to venue in South Dakota as the court's personal "subject a court's personal jurisdiction for purposes of § 1391(c)(2). 945, is to that LLC v. waiver consents other to" Dakota Provisions, by numerous jurisdiction with 226 F. Supp. defendants Dakota, they are respect to they 3d have have ^subject to the civil action in question.' South Dakota under 28 v. Cal. and are U.S.C. Teliax, personal 11, venue."); ("But, this waived it at *5 right Mut. Cas. Apr. do so. 14, Great 00683, Wolf Lodge of 2015 WL 6082105, Defendants failed to in a timely manner, Kansas at *2 is in this Tire *3 any Defendants Court under & Rubber Co., (N.D. Ind. argument Dec. or (W.D. LLC, Mo. Oct. raise the defense personal ("EMC Rule subject Civil 15, No. 2015) of personal has not 12(h)(1), to this Brenneman 4:15-cv("Because jurisdiction they have waived their objection to personal jurisdiction in this Court. 1391(c), City, contest to Court's personal jurisdiction in this civil action."); v. (N.D. CV-15-112-BLG-CSO, under it *2 Corp. of establishing 2016) and, in Dakota AT&T not ^subject Co., Thus, South did for the purposes jurisdiction to in 4241910, Teliax therefore (D. Mont. Court's its is ^reside' omitted)); 2016 WL because Emp'rs venue (citations district v. defendants to 16-cv-01914-WHO, in this Underberg challenged has No. the subject 1391(b)(1)." 2016) 1466506, each of properly jurisdiction, jurisdiction' 2016 WL § Inc., Aug. Thus, ^reside' 28 No. 8, As a result, in Missouri. U.S.C. § pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Thus, 1391(b)(1)."); 2:14-CV-232-PPS-JEM, affidavit contesting the Northern District of Indiana, lack of personal jurisdiction. venue is proper Timm v. 2014 2014) ("Harley-Davidson personal § WL has Goodyear 6909015, not at provided jurisdiction in thereby waiving the defense of The Court concludes that Harley- Davidson is thus subject to this Court's personal jurisdiction and is deemed pursuant venue to to reside 28 U.S.C. pursuant dismissal or to Practice § 3811.1 the 1391(c)(2), U.S.C. are Defendant jurisdiction this under this an of Indiana appropriate Accordingly, neither see Federal also 14D it has ipso to facto consented to this Court's personal it is "subject to" this Court's personal section 1391(c)(2) and Therefore, thus resides in this venue is proper in this and the Court DENIES Defendant's motion to dismiss. Motion the case obtained. 1391(b). consented District under § 1391(b)(1). In making appropriate."); jurisdiction, jurisdiction by waiver, B. § District [section 1391].") Because District, Northern ("[I]f an entity defendant waives its right to object to personal venue under § 28 transfer in to Transfer Venue alternative, to New First, Defendant Jersey. the party asks Transfer, this Court however, seeking transfer is has to transfer not the easily burden establishing that transfer is warranted. In re Ricoh Corp., F.2d 570, a 573 (11th Cir. 1989). Second, "'plaintiff's of 870 choice of forum should not be disturbed unless it is clearly outweighed by other considerations,' inconvenience outweigh the from the plaintiff's S.E.C. v. Lauer, and a transfer that defendant choice to for would only shift the plaintiff Section 1404(a) 478 F. App'x 550, 554 (11th Cir. does not purposes." 2012) (quoting Robinson v. 1996) ); New Giarmarco & Bill, see also Frontier Fla. Trinity Media, 2010); Rice (N.D. Ga. 2013); (N.D. Ga. 2011). when deciding Rowland v. whether Thompson Indus., Under civil to F. F.3d 253, Ctr. of Supp. Inc., 260 Santa (11th Cir. Ana, Inc. v. 2d 1328-29 (M.D. F. 975 1322, Supp. 2d 1364, 1374 Int'l Paper Co., 2011 WL 1457194, *3 the district court has broad discretion to Inc., Section action 761 PetEdge, Third, 74 Christian Inc., v. P.C., transfer a 856 F.2d 1518, 1404(a), case. 1520 "a district any other district or England (11th Cir. v. ITT 1988). court may transfer any division where it might have been brought" if transfer is based upon the convenience of the of parties, the justice. courts have to been 28 convenience U.S.C. answer two brought in Smithkline Beecham (S.D. 2001). Fla. convenience of § the the witnesses, 1404(a). questions. Section The proposed Clinical The the of Labs., second: parties; transferee Do the (2) 1404 first: 146 the F. § or interest thus requires Could 2d Plaintiff could Nevertheless, a proper have the Court venue, originally finds that, transferring weighing the § 1404(a) venue factors. 10 1355, of and (3) the interests of justice — warrant transfer? v. 1359 (1) the witnesses; Id. a venue brought action Mason factors - convenience The parties dispute whether New Jersey is the court? Supp. 1404 the this in which action. even assuming New Jersey is would not be proper after 1. Convenience of the Parties "A defendant original would forum not be moving is for inconvenient substantially Federal Practice, transfer § 3849; for must show both and that the it inconvenienced by see Lauer, a that the plaintiff transfer." 478 F. App'x at 555 15 (noting that transfer not required when transfer would inconvenience the other parties to the case) . Defendant has failed to show either. a. This District Is Not Inconvenient for Defendant Defendant because: parties as that "New Jersey (1) argues is the warehouse this District a more is convenient containing the inconvenient location for the [Items] are stored in New Jersey and the contracts with the consigners who have title to the [Items] [Defendant's] (Doc. are principals 37 at 16.) First, that this the in New maintains Jersey"; a and (2) "each in New Jersey." presence of The Court finds neither argument persuasive. location District significance there. performed is because of Defendant's inconvenient. Defendant has warehouse The chosen does warehouse to store not show only the has Items Although this might have significance in the context of other legal disputes, which district is this District is more it has no significance convenient. exceedingly easy overnight with minimal expense. 11 in Transferring and can be determining the Items to accomplished Second, Defendant offers no explanation as to why the contracts between Defendant and the consignors support transfer. The issues rightful in this possession anything, to do case of involve the with the Items. perfectly capable of They consignment Defendant and the consignors. is trademark And, infringements have very contracts little, signed even if they did, interpreting the and if between this Court consignment contracts under New Jersey law. Third, Jersey that Defendant's principals have a "presence" in New does not transfer. establish Only Jersey. one (Doc. contends principal, 39.) Massachusetts. The (Doc. that inconvenience other, 38.) Plaintiff Robert sufficient Zafian, Michael better afford lives Carey, Additionally, can to it no any evidence undue Defendant expense give place an undue time demands words, that financial that in this its litigating it, principals has but shown it or that has District is truly inconvenient. 12 District difficulties. strain on its business on for or evidence Defendant convenient litigating this operations other New not in given to in New Defendant would Neither District cause does would through excess employees. Jersey New Defendant travel Jersey than Defendant can afford to travel to Augusta, gives in lives while to warrant might evidence In other be more that this b. New Jersey Would Be Substantially Inconvenient for Plaintiff Defendant makes no argument substantially inconvenienced by ignores fact the convenient District, live in for its employees this These District might and Plaintiff transfer. Plaintiff who District, is be any is and documents parties ownership which underlies documents would Rather, demonstrably to more in relating be be this testify mostly District. will not Defendant headquartered called likely housed in this witnesses evidence when the a this Plaintiff. policies are most 21.) that that to (Doc. key its 48 at pieces of attempt to establish the question of Plaintiff's trover claim. Because so many crucial pieces of evidence and party witnesses are located in Court this District, substantially the concludes inconvenienced by Defendant not that transferring Plaintiff this would case to be New Jersey. In sum, inconvenient — parties. 15 has shown or that New Jersey is Federal Practice § 3849 that more this convenient — shows, inconvenience F. App'x at at best, only that a transfer against transfer. Thus, the for the convenience Defendant's would from the defendant to the plaintiff." 554. is (§ 1404 (a)'s convenience of the parties factor refers "to all of the parties"). evidence District "shift Lauer, 478 of the parties weighs See Garay v. BRK Elecs., 755 F. Supp. 1010, 13 1012 (M.D. Fla. 1991) (finding that the convenience of parties weighed against transfer because the defendant did not establish that the transferee district was more convenient). 2. Convenience of Witnesses The convenience important witnesses of the to witnesses, particularly resolution of the case, nonparty may be the single most important factor to consider on a motion to transfer under § 1404(a). Mut. Cas. Co. Cir. 2010) 15 Federal v. Practice § 3851; Bartile Roofs, Inc., 618 see F.3d 1153, 1169 (10th ("The convenience of witnesses is the most important factor in deciding a motion under § 1404(a)."); v. also Emp' rs Power-One, Inc., 510 F. Supp. 2d 634, plaintiff's own ("[A]side from important factor in § is convenience 1404(a) Cooper Tire the the & Rubber passing Co., choice on a of the 2011 WL 637-38 of motion Bartonics, (S.D. forum, to *5 (M.D. 2007) the transfer witnesses."); 2669469, Ala. Inc. most under LaPenna Ala. v. 2011) ("[T]he most important factor in passing on a motion to transfer venue under § 1404(a) is the convenience of the witnesses."). When evaluating the convenience of witnesses consider the transferee witnesses trial, Federal "relative district at to trial," and the cost Practice § abilities secure the of 3851. cost of the of the live forum and the testimony willing employee witnesses A court's 14 factor, of witnesses to courts proposed important to attend attend trial. evaluation, however, 15 should be "qualitative, or material not quantitative." witness may important witnesses." In its request (Doc. convenience "should not agents of (Id. at of for be intends at afforded number of less Defendant argues that the to call It who great do do not also argues reside weight as reside in they that this are in this District hand-picked Defendant just as argues traveling to New if not more convenient, convenient, that for all of the "important, identifiable non-party witnesses." Defendant's arguments fail, that New that New Jersey might Jersey is the and should be treated as party witnesses." Finally, Jersey would be "one important great 13-14.) witnesses [Plaintiff] 15.) a transfer, it 37 the outweigh Thus, Id. majority of witnesses District. Id. be however, just as more because they show only convenient convenient for (Id.) for witnesses, witnesses. not Defendant identifies multiple witnesses who live outside of this District, but only one might be Defendant witness within fails who driving to lives in distance address the New to Jersey and only one who New fact Jersey. that many Furthermore, of Plaintiff's witnesses live in this District and that these witnesses play an important claim: in proving ownership of the evidence is role more that this convenient a Jackets. District for key is element of In short, inconvenient witnesses. 15 Thus, Plaintiff s Defendant or the that Court trover offers no New Jersey finds that the convenience of witnesses factor weighs against transfer. Garay, 755 F. Supp. at 1012 (finding that the See convenience of witnesses weighed against transfer because the defendant did not establish that the transferee district was more convenient). 3. Interest of Justice The interest of justice prong under § 1404(a) amorphous and Nevertheless, subjective. courts have 15 Federal identified Practice several helpful when determining whether transfer is justice." These factors include: likely receive allow to a consolidation speedy of with the relevant law; the controversy; In 2 011); Inc. , Miss. re Research 626 F.3d Chem. Defendant Defendant claims in Augusta, 978 (6) 417 (3) are "in the interest of whether the transfer relative will familiarity (7th offers only "[it] costs to each party of any obstacles to a fair trial. F. Inc. App'x. v. Cir. 119 F.3d 688, that which 696 one cannot 947, 949 (Fed. Schrader-Bridgeport 2010); Terra Int'l, (8th Cir. for Int'l, Inc. v. 1997). argument Cir. receive a this prong. fair trial by jury Georgia against Plaintiff due to pretrial publicity and jury bias." Plaintiff and Automation, Corp, 3854. where the litigant is more (2) comparative Stanley, 973, factors § (4) the relationship of each community to (5) Morgan trial; litigation; litigating in each forum; See (1) is admittedly has (Doc. 37 at 20.) such a large Defendant argues that because economic 16 impact in Augusta, "[p]otential jurors — land and owners [Plaintiff] the cashiers — have owners an and economic taxi drivers incentive to to see prevail in a case which would only serve to increase grandeur (Id. from business of [the Masters] and stimulate local economies." at 21.) In cites support the prejudice of its "presumed prejudice" standard, inflammatory, pretrial "Vhere publicity argument, standard. a Under [party] Defendant the adduces presumed evidence of prejudicial pretrial publicity that so pervades or saturates the community as to render virtually impossible a fair trial by prejudice bias.'" an is impartial Coleman presumed reserved for drawn assumed and there v. (quoting Mayola v. "The jury Kemp, an 778 Alabama, prejudice is no F.2d 623 that further 1487, is duty to establish (5th Cir. at 1537 1985) 1980)). applicable, Id. jury (11th Cir. 997 rarely situation." community, 1490 F.2d 992, principle extreme from and is (internal quotations and citations omitted). The apply to presumed civil prejudice cases. Defendant in support addresses pretrial criminal trial. 211-193, 2012 second case WL Coleman, of the publicity 778 F.2d at 3886094, at cited by standard, however, the is and bias 1539. *1 Defendant 17 And (S.D. in not case cited first standard, jury might a McRae Ga. by habeas case in underlying v. Sept. support even of an Perry, 6, the that No. 2012), CV the standard, applies the whether it presumed applies Additionally, court prejudice standard to But as own well research without as not Coleman, civil opinions civil criminal revealed trials. no district trials nor any Eleventh Circuit that or actually applying the presumed prejudice trials. that evidence" the of presumed prejudice "inflammatory, "pervades identify 778 analyzing analyzing the propriety of applying the presumed assuming publicity" no standard Defendant has failed to establish it. "adduce did civil Court's standard to Supreme Court apply, to this opinions prejudice a F.2d single at or 1490. In evidence of pretrial publicity, Despite needing to a pretrial community," Defendant discussing other does prejudicial saturates article standard words, the present Defendant case. produced much less pretrial publicity that was "inflammatory" or "prejudicial." Defendant's argument of the potential for actual bias among jurors also fails. Defendant introduced no how many potential jurors how many potential jurors might have sufficient the to outcome consider of the Plaintiff employs them case, as or having why no Miller, Inc., (finding "insufficient 821 F. Supp. or contracts a connection to an economic other District could not supply unbiased jurors. Herman evidence indicating 1476, interest division (N.D. evidence to show prejudice 18 Plaintiff in See Haworth, 1481 with, this Inc. Ga. in v. 1992) or pecuniary bias to Action Mar. the No. prospective juror pool"); 2:14cvll67-MHT, 12, 2015) 2015 WL Bell v. 1120271, Rock-Tenn, at *4 Civil (M.D. ("When a party alleges that he will not receive a fair and impartial jury in a more convenient forum due to jurors' pecuniary demonstrate Ala. the interest probability in the outcome, of actual that prejudice . . . party with must evidence and cannot rely on mere speculation."). Defendant also provides no selection procedures will be jurors. 548, right 554 to evidence insufficient See McDonough Power Equip., (1984) a ("Voir fair trial] and unknown, dire that Court's v. Greenwood, serves to jurors. 464 U.S. protect by exposing possible biases, on the part of potential jury to expunge any biased Inc. examination the both [the known Demonstrated bias in the responses to questions on voir dire may result in a juror being excused for cause; challenge for peremptory cause hints of bias not sufficient to warrant may assist challenges."); ("Ordinarily, efficiency, and parties Bell, particularly justice, 2015 where in exercising WL all 1120271 other their at factors *4 of and convenience weight heavily in favor or litigating in a forum allegedly subject to concerns of a biased jury pool, such concerns can be quite adequately addressed by the use of voir dire in the jury selection process."); Biofuels, 2009 WL LLC v. 918459, Hawaiian Elec. at *6 (N.D. Co., Tex. 19 Inc., Apr. 3, No. 2009) BlueEarth 3-08-CV-1779-L, ("If the case proceeds to trial, dire techniques the court and the lawyers can use proven voir to eliminate potential jurors with any actual bias."). After weighing all the 1404(a) that Defendant forum is has "clearly not factors, established outweighed by that other the Court concludes Plaintiff's choice considerations." of Lauer, 478 F. App'x at 554. Defendant has not shown that this District is inconvenient either for convenient for witnesses, in this motion C. to Motion The District. that New Jersey is more or that it cannot receive a fair trial Accordingly, the Court DENIES Defendant's transfer. to Seal final Permanently 19.) party, Seal Exhibit presumably, issue 1 before the Defendant's (the "List") all Green Jackets Court Exhibit is a is 1 Plaintiff's to Document working Motion 12. inventory to (Doc. list of, kept on Plaintiff's property. It contains allegedly sensitive information, such as: the first and last the manufacturer, size, names of Augusta coat and serial number of each jacket; the date each member was charged for their (Doc. National members; 12-1.) jacket; Defendant and the date alterations submitted the List as were made. evidence that "Plaintiff did not own a single green jacket that was produced prior to 1967." (Doc. preliminary injunction, 11 at 3.) During the hearing on the Plaintiff made an oral motion to seal 20 the List on information the basis and was issue. the The Plaintiff s In it illicitly hearing oral argument, instructed that obtained highly by confidential Defendant. After the Court temporarily sealed the List but parties Court contained to now file written GRANTS IN the public briefs PART and addressing DENIES IN the PART motion. civil proceedings has a presumptive right under the common law to review and copy documents filed with the courts. See Chicago Tribune Co. v. Brigdestone/Firestone, 263 F.3d 1304, as the "common "material motion (11th Cir. law filed right in unrelated dispositive invoke its Co., 1311 or operations common of discovery" affect 1245 law the of and acknowledges need the and as to the v. Warner Commc'ns, judicial 1050 desire also Shane Group, Inc. v. Inc., any pretrial any motion, court Romero v. to Drummond, recognizes that conduct judges of Id. at 1244 (2d Cir. of 435 U.S. 1995)). citizens 589, "Athe are (quoting United watchful eye on the workings of public agencies.'" Nixon to 2007). access F.3d 1044, applies substantive "presented matters of utmost public concern.'" 71 It well its decision." right States v. Amodeo, any as (11th Cir. courts Id. with non-dispositive, power or This right is referred to access." connection to 480 F.3d 1234, The of 2001). Inc., 598 to It also "Akeep a Id. (quoting (1978); see Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mich., 825 21 F.3d 299, 305 (6th Cir. 2016) ("[T]he public is entitled to assess for itself the merits of judicial decisions."). Thus, it is [and] is "an essential instrumental process." in component of securing the Chicago Tribune, To overcome the our system of integrity justice of 1246. common law's presumption of public access, confidential outweighs accessing that information. When balancing party's factors, Romero, 480 F.3d "Good cause" exists when a party's interest in keeping information moving judicial] 263 F.3d at 1311. the moving party must establish "good cause." at [the the privacy including: public's interest in Id. public's interests (1) the right of courts "whether access consider allowing access against a the variety would court functions or harm legitimate privacy interests"; of impair (2) "the degree of and likelihood of injury if the information were made public"; (3) "the reliability of the information"; (4) "whether there will be an opportunity to respond to the information"; "whether the concerns"; to sealing information (6) concerns public "the availability of a less the documents"; and (7) proprietary interest in information." Applying these has shown good factors, cause to "a officials onerous party's or (5) public alternative privacy or Id. the Court concludes that Plaintiff exclude the public from accessing members' names, but not any other information in the List. 22 1. Member's With regards Plaintiff's access. Names to right First, the of first privacy redacting public interest. and last outweighs the members' names the names of its members, public's right does harm the not of The heart of the right of access is the belief that "the public has an interest in ascertaining what evidence and records Shane, [courts] have relied upon in reaching 825 F.3d at 305. In this case, [their] decisions." with the exception of the three members who wore the jackets put up for auction, the names of Plaintiff's members are irrelevant to the issues before the Court. Defendant produced the List to prove that Plaintiff did not own Green Jackets issued prior to 1967. The List's evidentiary value, therefore, lies in the records concerning the number of jackets in Plaintiff's inventory entered the members' and inventory, names do the date in which not in the members' not help the public they names. assess potentially Thus, this the Court's decisions, and redacting them will not harm the public interest. Second, Plaintiff has a legitimate and significant privacy interest in protecting its members' names. that keep the it "has always endeavored to Plaintiff asserts content of its documents, such as [the List], private and not subject to public disclosure." (Doc. Plaintiff copies filed 28 at 2.) To support of confidentiality its assertion, agreements that it claims all employees were required to sign in the years 1999, 23 2006, and 2016. (Id.) should not disclose, or guests and the The agreements among other details, fact that such state that employees the "names of members persons are members guests at the Club, personal information about members, Tournament or players concerning members', or business filed an their families; by ..." its (Id. at Human Resource 7.) guests, businesses Plaintiff Manager or information guests', or Tournament players' transactions. affidavit respective of that also asserts "the privacy and confidential atmosphere of the club is valuable [sic] asset of [Plaintiff]." (Doc. 28-1 at 2. ) Thus, based on Plaintiff's extensive efforts to keep confidential its members' names and that its business Plaintiff has a interest privacy in the same, interest the Court significant finds enough to outweigh the public's interest in access. Finally, the Court's balancing test is "sensitive appreciation of the circumstances List's production. Nixon, 435 Defendant U.S. Chicago Tribune, at acquired 598, the Plaintiff illicitly. by a that led to'" the 263 F.3d at 1311 602-603). List "informed (Doc. (quoting asserts 19 that at 1.) Plaintiff's Human Resource Manager stated in her affidavit that "[Plaintiff] has never authorized any employee to disclose any information about Ryan Carey, 'confidential Green Jackets or Bob Zaffian. Club to Green Jacket Auctions, Inc., Any employee's disclosure of any information' 24 would be a violation of the Confidentiality Agreement each employee had signed." 12.) In response, Defendant claims Affidavit of Ryan Carey, to Mr. Carey." (Doc. [the List] 23 at 1.) that (Doc. 28-1 f "[a]s detailed in the was provided by But Defendant [Plaintiff] has offered no sworn testimony that Plaintiff authorized any of its employees to disclose the List. [List] ." Mr. Carey's affidavit states only that "the was provided to (Doc. 12 f 23.) [Defendant] by Plaintiff s employee. It makes no sworn allegation that Plaintiff authorized the employee to give Mr. Carey the List. the Court finds production that the when document of an . . the List "circumstances that - that employee Defendant violated (Id.) led to" likely his/her Thus, Defendant's obtained the confidentiality agreement with Plaintiff - weigh against allowing the public to access the members' 2. names contained in the List. All Other Information With regards to all other information in the List, the Court finds Plaintiff's that right the of public's privacy. right First, of access sealing however, outweighs any other information would harm the public's ability to assess this Court's decisions. The assertion that other Plaintiff information is relevant to Defendant's did not own any jackets prior to 1967. Without it, the public would have a difficult time assessing the propriety of this Court' preliminary injunction potentially any future orders concerning the Jackets. 25 order and Second, Plaintiff's information maker, is not the dates, privacy significant. no protected explanation or in Plaintiff the additional asserts that "the and the physical location of the Green Jackets are all highly protected." offers interest why (Doc. 28 at 5.) for releasing this Court supply one. why that Plaintiff, however, information it would be is harmful. highly Neither can The List is over ten years old, and the additional information - particularly without any connection to a named member - of access, is, at best, mundane. Plaintiff must make specific argument. See Romero, a more To overcome the compelling and factually 480 F. 3d at 1247 "stereotyped and conclusory statements" cause); Shane, therefore must (noting that do not establish good 825 F.3d at 305-06 ("The proponent analyze document propriety of secrecy, in detail, right by of sealing document, the providing reasons and legal citations." (citations and quotations omitted)). In sum, Plaintiff has shown that its privacy interest in its member's names outweighs the public's interest in access, Plaintiff has not shown that its privacy interest information access. in Thus, the list outweighs the public's the Court finds that partial document is an acceptable, the entire document. but in any other interest in redaction of the less onerous alternative to sealing Romero, 480 F.3d at 1246. Accordingly, the Court ORDERS Defendant to redact the first and last name of all 26 members on the List as well as any other entry or notation that may contain any individual's name. Defendant SHALL then submit under seal the redacted list for the Court's approval. Court's approval, Upon the Defendant SHALL file the redacted list with the Court. III. CONCLUSION The Court DENIES Defendant's motion to dismiss for improper venue (doc. District § to 37) as because it defined 1391(b)(1). The transfer to in § finds that Defendant resides in this 1391(c)(2) Court DENIES New Jersey and venue Defendant's (doc. 37) is proper under alternative motion because it finds that Defendant has failed to show that Plaintiff's choice of forum is clearly § outweighed 14 04(a). The Plaintiff's Plaintiff Court motion has by to overcome regards to the members' the considerations GRANTS seal the IN PART (doc. 19) common names listed and DENIES because it law right in the List. of in IN PART finds that access with Accordingly, the Court ORDERS Defendant to redact the first and last name of all members on the List as well as any other entry or notation that may contain any individual's name. seal the Court's redacted approval, the Court. permanently list for the Defendant SHALL submit under Court's approval. Upon the Defendant SHALL file the redacted list with The Clerk SHALL keep the original List sealed. Finally, 27 the Court (doc. DENIES as 12-1) MOOT Defendant's original motion to dismiss (doc. motion for venue related discovery (doc. ORDER February, ENTERED at Augusta, 25) and Plaintiff's 49) . Georgia O this day of 2018. HALL, STATES DISTRICT COURT rHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA 28

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