Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Green Jacket Auctions Inc. v. Augusta National Inc.

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 24, 2018

Green Jacket Auctions Incorporated, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Augusta National Incorporated, Defendant. Green Jacket Auctions Incorporated, et al., Plaintiffs/Counterdefendants,
v.
Augusta National Incorporated, Defendant/Counterclaimant.

          ORDER

          G. Murray Snow Chief United States District Judge.

         Pending before the Court are Defendant Augusta International Incorporated's Motion to Dismiss or Stay Plaintiff's Complaint to Avoid Duplicative Proceedings, and Motion to Transfer Venue. (Doc. 13).

         BACKGROUND

         Defendant Augusta International Incorporated (“ANI”) is a private golf club that operates the Masters Tournament in the state of Georgia. Plaintiff Green Jacket Auctions Incorporated (“Green Jacket”) is a business that auctions golf memorabilia online. In 2006, Ryan Carey registered the domain name greenjacketauctions.com with GoDaddy, LLC (“Registrar”). On November 14, 2017, ANI submitted a domain dispute complaint to the Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Number (“ICANN”) alleging trademark violations against Green Jacket. (Doc. 13-3 at 2) (“ICANN Complaint”). Green Jacket responded that ANI should be found liable for reverse domain hijacking. (Doc. 4-1 at 2). A single member arbitration panel agreed with ANI, and ordered the Registrar to transfer the Domain Name from Green Jacket to ANI. (Doc. 14 Ex. G). Green Jacket then filed this lawsuit to appeal that determination. (Doc. 1).

         Generally, complaints submitted to the ICANN are governed by the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”). UDRP paragraph 3(b)(xii) provides that any complaint to the ICANN must “state that the Complainant will submit, with respect to any challenges to a decision in the administrative proceeding, to the jurisdiction of the courts in at least one specified Mutual Jurisdiction.” (Doc. 13-3 at 32). A mutual jurisdiction under the UDRP Rules is either a district where the principal office of the Registrar is located, or the domain-name holder's address. (Doc. 13-3 at 26). Here, the two mutual jurisdictions that meet the requirements of the UDRP Rules are the Middle District of Florida, where the domain-name holder's address is located, and the District of Arizona, where the Registrar's principal office is located.

ANI requests that any challenges to a decision in the administrative proceeding canceling or transferring the Domain Name be heard before the Southern District of Georgia, Augusta Division, as that Court possesses the foundational knowledge concerning the infringing activities of Registrant/Respondent. If the Forum denies Complainant's request, Complainant will submit to the jurisdiction of Scottsdale, Arizona-the location of the principal office of the concerned registrar.

         After the arbitration panel issued its decision, ANI, Green Jacket, and the Registrar disagreed about the location of the mutual jurisdiction, so Green Jacket filed three lawsuits to appeal the decision by the arbitration panel. First, Green Jacket filed suit in the Middle District of Florida. (Doc. 14 Ex. E). ANI then argued to both the Registrar and Green Jacket that the proper forum was in the Southern District of Georgia, or alternatively in the District of Arizona, but not the Middle District of Florida. (Doc. 14 Ex. H). After ANI objected to Green Jacket's choice of forum, Green Jacket then filed this lawsuit in the District of Arizona to avoid transfer of the domain name to ANI. (Doc. 1). Because of further confusion with the Registrar, Green Jacket later filed a complaint with the Southern District of Georgia to avoid immediate transfer of the domain name. (Doc. 14 Ex. M). The Georgia and Arizona complaints are nearly identical.

         In April 2018 the Southern District of Georgia published an order and transferred that case to this Court. (Doc. 20-1 at 11). That order found that the Southern District had personal jurisdiction over Green Jacket for all claims in the complaint, but the “first-filed” rule required the Southern District of Georgia to transfer the case to the District of Arizona. The Southern District's analysis was limited to whether the action was filed in Arizona first, and whether the complaints were substantially similar. (Id.).

         This Court must determine whether it has personal jurisdiction over the parties for each of the claims, and whether this case should be transferred to the Southern District of Georgia.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Personal Jurisdiction

         “The party seeking to invoke the court's jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing that jurisdiction exists.” Scott v. Breeland, 792 F.2d 925, 927 (9th Cir. 1986) (citations omitted). “When a defendant moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, the plaintiff is obligated to come forward with facts, by affidavit or otherwise, supporting personal jurisdiction.” Id. (quotation marks and citations omitted). “The mere allegations of a complaint, when contradicted by affidavits, are not enough to confer personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant.” Chem Lab Products, Inc. v. Stepanek, 554 F.2d 371, 372 (9th Cir. 1977) (citations omitted).

         To establish personal jurisdiction over a defendant, the plaintiff has the burden of showing that the exercise of jurisdiction comports with the state long-arm statute. Omeluk v. Langsten Slip & Batbyggeri A/S, 52 F.3d 267, 269 (9th Cir. 1995). Arizona's long-arm statute confers jurisdiction to the maximum extent allowed by the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution. Ariz. R. Civ. P. 4.2(a); Doe v. American Nat'l Red Cross, 112 F.3d 1048, 1050 (9th Cir. 1997).

         Because the “personal jurisdiction requirement recognizes and protects an individual liberty interest it can, like other such rights, be waived.” Dow Chemical v. Calderon, 422 F.3d 827, 830 (9th Cir. 2005) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted). Accordingly, “a litigant may give express or implied consent to the personal jurisdiction of the court . . . ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.