United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
HITZ ENTERTAINMENT CORPORATION, an Illinois corporation, Plaintiff,
SHANE MOSLEY, an individual, and GOBOX PROMOTIONS, INC., a Nevada corporation, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
L.ELLIS United States District Judge
bout before the Court stems from a bout in a boxing ring. In
the Plaintiff's corner is Hitz Entertainment Corporation
(“HEC”), an Illinois-based boxing promotion
company owned by Bobby Hitz, which is seeking to challenge a
former three-weight world champion and former best
pound-for-pound fighter in the world, “Sugar”
Shane Mosley. Mosley is joined in his corner by his promotion
company GoBox Promotions, Inc. (“GoBox”), an
independent boxing promotion outfit that Mosley uses as a
vehicle for staging and promoting boxing matches. HEC brings
two claims under Illinois state law against Mosley and GoBox
(collectively, “Defendants”), one for tortious
interference with a contract and one for tortious
interference with prospective economic relations. Defendants
move to dismiss  HEC's complaint for lack of personal
jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2).
also brings a separate motion for a declaration and order
regarding the agreed confidentiality order , seeking an
order from the Court declaring certain documents improperly
designated as confidential and for attorneys' eyes only
HEC has failed to present facts establishing sufficient
contacts between the Defendants and Illinois to support the
exercise of personal jurisdiction over the Defendants in
Illinois, the Court grants the motion to dismiss. And because
Defendants have not presented a basis for designating the
deposition transcripts as confidential and one of the
documents the Defendants designated AEO is currently publicly
available, the Court grants HEC's motion for a
declaration with respect to those documents. However, because
the remaining documents contain confidential information and
Defendants have demonstrated that good cause exists to
designate them AEO, the Court denies the motion with respect
to those documents.
I. The Fight
an Illinois-based boxing promotion company, solely owned by
Bobby Hitz, a former heavyweight boxing contender. In
December 2012, HEC entered into a promotional agreement (the
“Agreement”) with a professional boxer named
Dimar Ortuz. Under the Agreement, HEC had exclusive rights to
secure and promote all boxing matches for Ortuz during the
term of the contract, which would extend for a minimum of
point in 2015, Mosley offered Ortuz a bout (the
“Bout”) against Victor Barragan during an event
Mosley and GoBox were promoting in California on August 29,
2015 (the “Event”). At the time Mosley made this
offer to Ortuz, Ortuz was living and training in California.
Neither Mosley nor GoBox contacted Ortuz while he was in
to the Bout, on August 11, 2015, Bobby Hitz contacted Trista
Pisani, GoBox's Vice President of Operations, and
informed her of HEC's agreement with Ortuz. Pisani told
Hitz that she would get back to him, but she never did. On
August 19, Hitz texted Pisani regarding the Bout and stated
that if Defendants went forward with it he would sue them in
Illinois. Again, Pisani did not respond. On August 25, Hitz
sent a text message to Mosley asking that Mosley call him
regarding Ortuz and noting that he has an exclusive promotion
contract with Ortuz. Mosley did not respond to this message.
The Bout took place, as scheduled, on August 29, 2015.
entered into several distribution agreements with
Pay-per-view (“PPV”) distributors to distribute
and market the Event nationwide, including in Illinois. Each
of the PPV distributors made sales in Illinois and at least
one sent nationwide marketing emails that were received by
individuals in Illinois. Additionally, GoBox distributed the
Event through a closed circuit television
(“CCTV”) distributor who provided the Bout to
venues nationwide, including eight venues in Illinois.
result of Ortuz participating in the Bout, HEC filed the
present suit in January 2016. During discovery, Defendants
produced the agreements with the PPV distributors as well as
a report on the CCTV distribution. Pursuant to the agreed
protective order in this case, Defendants designated those
documents as AEO. Subsequently, during the depositions of
Mosley and Pisani, HEC's counsel asked Mosley and Pisani
about those documents. Defendants did not designate the
depositions as confidential, as required by the protective
order, during the depositions.
September 6, 2016, GoBox filed an unrelated complaint in the
Central District of California against one of the PPV
distributors and attached to that complaint the agreement
with that distributor as well as the CCTV report, both of
which Defendants previously designated as AEO. In early
November 2016, GoBox filed a motion to seal the distributor
agreement filed in that case but did not move to seal the
CCTV report. The court in the California case granted the
motion, and resealed the agreement, but the CCTV report
remains on the publicly available docket in that case.
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(2) challenges whether the
Court has jurisdiction over a party. The party asserting
jurisdiction has the burden of proof. See Tamburo v.
Dworkin, 601 F.3d 693, 701 (7th Cir. 2010). The Court
may consider affidavits and other competent evidence
submitted by the parties. Purdue Research Found. v.
Sanofi-Synthelabo, S.A., 338 F.3d 773, 782 (7th Cir.
2003). If the Court rules on the motion without a hearing,
the plaintiff need only establish a prima facie case of
personal jurisdiction. GCIU-Emp'r Ret. Fund v.
Goldfarb Corp., 565 F.3d 1018, 1023 (7th Cir. 2009). The
Court will “read the complaint liberally, in its
entirety, and with every inference drawn in favor of”
the plaintiff. Cent. States, Se. & Sw. Areas Pension
Fund v. Phencorp Reinsurance Co., 440 F.3d 870, 878 (7th
Cir. 2006) (quoting Textor v. Bd. of Regents of N. Ill.
Univ., 711 F.2d 1387, 1393 (7th Cir. 1993)).
“[O]nce the defendant has submitted affidavits or other
evidence in opposition to the exercise of jurisdiction,
” however, “the plaintiff must go beyond the
pleadings and ...