Blom ASA v. Pictometry International Corp.
ORDER denying Petitioner's motions to seal documents 38 , 40 and its motion for a preliminary injunction 39 . Respondent's motion to seal documents 41 is denied.The parties are hereby directed to electronically file the documents that are the subjects of the aforementioned motions to seal within one (1) week of the date of issuance of this Decision and Order. Signed by Hon. David G. Larimer on 7/19/11. (EMA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
DECISION AND ORDER
PICTOMETRY INTERNATIONAL CORP.,
By motion filed July 13, 2011, Blom, ASA (“Blom”), seeks an injunction from this Court
enjoining defendant Pictometry International Corp. (“Pictometry”), from litigating an action
between the parties in Norway. That Norwegian court has recently denied Blom’s motion to
dismiss the action pending there and has scheduled a hearing for later this week, July 20-21,
2011. In part, Blom’s argument before that court was that the matters at issue there should be
reserved either for this Court or the Arbitration Panel constituted by the International Chamber of
For essentially the reasons advanced in Pictometry’s Memorandum in Opposition, dated
July 18, 2011, and the supporting Declaration of Kimberly I. Shimomura, sworn to on July 18,
2011, I deny Blom’s motion.
While there are circumstances under which a federal court may issue an anti-suit
injunction against parallel litigation in a foreign court, such relief is extraordinary and not to be
lightly granted. See , e.g., Paramedics Electromedicina Comercial, Ltda v. GE Med. Sys. Info.
Tech., Inc., 369 F.3d 645, 652 (2d Cir. 2004) (“[P]rinciples of comity counsel that injunctions
restraining foreign litigation be used sparingly and granted only with care and great restraint”)
(internal citations and quotations omitted)).
That principle applies whether the injunction is directed against the foreign court itself or
against a party to the foreign litigation. “Because ‘an injunction against a party [may be]
tantamount to enjoining the tribunal of a foreign sovereign,’ ... ‘[t]his extraordinary power should
be used sparingly.’” Space Imaging Europe, Ltd. v. Space Imaging L.P., No. 98 Civ. 2291, 1999
WL 511759, at *6 (S.D.N.Y. July 19, 1999) (quoting Nagoya Venture Ltd. v. Bacopulos, No. 96
Civ. 9317, 1998 WL 307079, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. June 11, 1998)) (additional citations omitted).
I see no basis for granting such extraordinary relief here. There appears to be no dispute
that the Norwegian court has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter of their dispute,
and that court is certainly competent to decide whether the parties are properly before it and
whether that litigation should proceed. In addition, as the Norwegian court stated in its missive
to the parties dated July 13, 2011, it is not clear that the claims raised before that court are in fact
identical to those raised in this Court and before the ICC.
Both sides have also requested that the Court seal their various motion papers and
supporting exhibits. After review of those papers, I see no basis to seal the requested documents.
Generally, there is a presumption that matters filed in court should be filed publicly, and blanket
requests to seal documents are disfavored. I see no reason to deviate from those principles here.
The motions to seal are therefore denied. See E.E.O.C. v. National Children's Center, Inc., 98
F.3d 1406, 1409-11 (D.C. Cir. 1996); Penn Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Berck, No. Civ. A. 09-0578,
2010 WL 3294309, at *2-*3 (D.Md. Aug. 20, 2010).
Petitioner’s motions to seal documents (Dkt. #38, #40) and its motion for a preliminary
injunction (Dkt. #39) are denied.
Respondent’s motion to seal documents (Dkt. #41) is denied.
The parties are hereby directed to electronically file the documents that are the subjects of
the aforementioned motions to seal within one (1) week of the date of issuance of this Decision
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DAVID G. LARIMER
United States District Judge
Dated: Rochester, New York
July 19, 2011.
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