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Melaleuca, Inc. v. Shan

United States District Court, D. Idaho

July 26, 2018

MELALEUCA, INC., an Idaho corporation, and MELALEUCA CHINA WELLNESS PRODUCTS CO., LTD., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Melaleuca, Inc., Plaintiffs,
v.
KOT NAM SHAN, an individual, and SHAKLEE CORP., a Delaware corporation, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          David C. Nye U.S. District Court Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Melaleuca Inc.'s (“Melaleuca”) Motion for Reconsideration (Dkt. 77) and Defendant Kot Nam Shan's (“Kot's”) first, second, third, and fourth Request for Judicial Notice. Dkts. 70, 73, 82, 92. These Motions are fully briefed and ripe for decision. Having reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court finds that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court will decide the Motions without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(2)(ii). For the reasons outlined below, the Court DENIES Melaleuca's Motion for Reconsideration and GRANTS Kot's four Requests for Judicial Notice.

         II. BACKGROUND [1]

         This case is primarily a breach of contract action. Melaleuca, an Idaho corporation, and one of its subsidiaries, Melaleuca (China) Wellness Products Co. Ltd. (“Melaleuca China”), have sued Kot for breach of four different employment contracts, identified and explained in the Court's prior Memorandum Decision as “the 2010 Agreements” and “the 2011 Agreements.” Melaleuca and Melaleuca China maintain Kot breached these Agreements when he quit his job with Melaleuca China and, shortly thereafter, joined Shaklee, one of Plaintiffs' competitors in late 2017.

         In early 2018, Plaintiffs sought a temporary injunction to prevent Kot from working for Shaklee while this litigation was ongoing. At the same time, Shaklee and Kot separately filed motions to dismiss. After the motions were fully briefed, the Court held oral argument. On April 24, 2018, the Court issued a Memorandum Decision and Order granting Kot's Motion to Dismiss on personal jurisdiction grounds and forum non conveniens grounds. Dkt. 74. Accordingly, the Court dismissed the claims against Kot and directed Plaintiffs to refile its claims against Kot in China. The Court denied Shaklee's Motion for Forum Non Conveniens and, accordingly, Plaintiffs' two claims against Shaklee for tortious interference with contract remain pending in this case.

         Starting on March 21, 2018, and continuing until the present, Kot has updated the Court regarding the legal action he has taken in China regarding this dispute. Kot filed a “labor arbitration action” against Melaleuca China before the “Shanghai Labour and Human Resources Dispute Arbitration Commission” seeking to invalidate the 2011 NonCompetition Agreement. In May, the Arbitration Commission dismissed Kot's case. Thereafter, Kot filed a new case in the Jing An District People's Court of Shanghai City.[2]That court held a hearing on June 26, 2018, and plans to hold another hearing in August. All of Kot's notices regarding these proceedings are the subject of Kot's multiple Motions for Judicial Notice.

         On May 4, 2018, Melaleuca filed the pending Motion to Reconsider, asking this Court to reconsider its decision to grant Kot's motion to dismiss on forum non conveniens grounds.

         III. PENDING MOTIONS

         A. Motions to Take Judicial Notice

         The Court may “take judicial notice of court filings and other matters of public record.” Reyn's Pasta Bella, LLC v. Visa USA, Inc., 442 F.3d 741, 746 n.6 (9th Cir. 2006). The documents Kot asks this Court to take judicial notice of are court filings in actions Kot has filed in China and other matters of public record. Thus, they appear to be properly subject to judicial notice. In addition, Plaintiffs have not opposed Kot's Motions to Take Judicial Notice. Accordingly, the Court finds it appropriate to GRANT the Motions for Judicial Notice without further discussion.

         B. Melaleuca's Motion for Reconsideration

         The Court turns next to Melaleuca's Motion for Reconsideration, in which it asks this Court to alter its previous decision granting Kot's Motion to Dismiss for Forum Non Conveniens.

         i. ...


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