[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
from Montgomery Circuit Court (CV-18-900500)
Arthur Edge III , Ethan D. Hiatt , and Hunter C. Sartin of
Arthur Edge, P.C., Birmingham, for appellants.
Travis Ramey and Michelle McClafferty of Burr & Forman LLP,
Birmingham, for appellee.
Castleberry and Rickey Castleberry appeal from an order of
the Montgomery Circuit Court dismissing the Castleberrys'
claims against Angie's List, Inc., based on a
forum-selection clause in a contract between Angie's List
and the Castleberrys. We affirm the trial court's order.
List operates a paid membership service that enables its
members to search for local service providers and to submit
and consider reviews and ratings relating to those service
providers. The Castleberrys, who are father and son, became
members of Angie's List in 2014. They claim that they
used their membership with Angie's List to locate a
contractor, Dream Baths of Alabama, LLC ("Dream
Baths"), which the Castleberrys hired to renovate a
bathroom in Jessie Castleberry's house to make it
handicapped accessible. According to the Castleberrys, Dream
Baths was not properly licensed and poorly performed the work
it contracted to do.
Castleberrys sued Dream Baths, asserting various claims
related to the renovation. They also named Angie's List
as a defendant in the action, alleging that it had
misrepresented Dream Baths' qualifications. Against
Angie's List, the Castleberrys alleged breach of
contract, breach of a duty of good faith and fair dealing,
fraud, unjust enrichment, and deceptive trade practices.
to Rule 12(b)(3), Ala. R. Civ. P., Angie's List filed a
motion to dismiss the Castleberrys' claims against it
based on a forum-selection clause set out in the membership
agreement between Angie's List and the Castleberrys. That
"This Agreement and the relationship between You [the
Castleberrys] and Angie's List will be governed by the
laws of the State of Indiana, notwithstanding the choice of
law provisions of the venue where any action is brought,
where the violation occurred, where You may be located or any
other Jurisdiction. You agree and consent to the exclusive
Jurisdiction of the state or federal courts located in Marion
County, Indiana and waive any defense of lack of personal
jurisdiction or improper venue or forum non conveniens to a
claim brought in such court, except that Angie's List may
elect, in its sole discretion, to litigate the action in the
county or state where any breach by You occurred or where You
can be found. You agree that regardless of any statute or law
to the contrary, any claim or cause of action arising out
[sic] or related to Your use of the Service or this Agreement
shall be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause
of action arose or will forever be barred."
trial court determined that the quoted clause is "a
valid and enforceable forum-selection clause that provides
for the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Marion
County, Indiana." Accordingly, the trial court granted
Angie's List's motion to dismiss. Later, the trial
court denied the Castleberrys' motion to reconsider the
dismissal and, pursuant to Rule 54(b), Ala. R. Civ. P.,
certified its order of dismissal as final for purposes of
appeal. The Castleberrys timely appealed.
Castleberrys argue first that the trial court erred in
determining that the contractual provision in question is a
forum-selection clause allowing Angie's List to force its
members to litigate their claims against Angie's List in
the courts of Marion County, Indiana. The parties agree that,