United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Northeastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. BURKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
originally filed this action in the Circuit Court of Cullman
County, Alabama, on November 28, 2018, against the Defendant
for breach of a contract along with several other counts.
(Doc. no. 1-1). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant ordered
substantial textile apparel from their company and has failed
to pay according to their agreement. Id. The damage
alleged by Plaintiff is approximately $171, 548.80, plus
interest, costs and fees. Id. Defendant filed a
notice of removal on January 2, 2019, citing diversity
jurisdiction. (Doc. no. 1).
case currently is before the Court on Defendant's Motion
to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction (doc. no. 3).
Plaintiff filed their response on January 25, 2019. (Doc. no.
7). Defendant filed a reply on February 1, 2019 (doc. no. 9).
The parties presented oral arguments on May 2, 2019. Upon
review and for the reasons stated herein, the Court concludes
that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (doc. no. 3) is due to
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), “[a]
plaintiff seeking the exercise of personal jurisdiction over
a nonresident defendant bears the initial burden of alleging
in the complaint sufficient facts to make out a prima facie
case of jurisdiction.” United Techs. Corp. v.
Mazer, 556 F.3d 1260, 1274 (11th Cir. 2009). After the
defendant challenges jurisdiction with affidavit evidence in
support of its position, “the burden traditionally
shifts back to the plaintiff to produce evidence supporting
jurisdiction unless [the defendant's] affidavits contain
only conclusory assertions that the defendant is not subject
to jurisdiction.” Meier ex rel. Meier v. Sun
Int'l Hotels, Ltd., 288 F.3d 1264, 1269 (11th Cir.
2002). See also Stubbs v. Wyndham Nassau Resort &
Crystal Palace Casino, 447 F.3d 1357, 1360 (11th
Cir.2006). However, if “the plaintiff's complaint
and supporting evidence conflict with the defendant's
affidavits, the court must construe all reasonable inferences
in favor of the plaintiff.” Meier, 288 F.3d at
diversity a federal court “may exercise personal
jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant to the same extent
that [an Alabama] court may, so long as the exercise is
consistent with federal due process requirements.”
Licciardello v. Lovelady, 544 F.3d 1280, 1283 (11th
Cir. 2008). Alabama's long-arm statute, “. .
.permits its courts to exercise jurisdiction over
nonresidents to the fullest extent allowed under the Due
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the
Constitution.” Ruiz de Molina v. Merritt &
Furman Ins. Agency, Inc., 207 F.3d 1351, 1355-56 (11th
Cir. 2000) (citing Martin v. Robbins, 628 So.2d 614,
617 (Ala. 1993)). See also Ala. R. Civ. P. 4.2
(permitting jurisdiction over nonresident defendants on any
basis “not inconsistent with the constitution of this
state or the Constitution of the United States”).
Therefore, this Court may exercise personal jurisdiction over
a defendant so long as jurisdiction is consistent with
federal due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the
Supreme Court has recognized two types of personal
jurisdiction that are consistent with the Due Process Clause
of the Fourteenth Amendment, general jurisdiction and
specific jurisdiction. Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations,
S.A. v. Brown, 564 U.S. 915, 923-24 (2011). A defendant
subject to general jurisdiction in a forum may be sued in
that forum on any and all claims against it, even if the
claims have no connection to the forum. Id. at 919.
In contrast, a court has specific jurisdiction over a
defendant only with respect to claims that arise out of or
relate to the defendant's contacts with the forum.
Id. at 923-24.
case at bar, the Plaintiff concedes that the Defendant is not
subject to general personal jurisdiction. (Doc. no. 7, p.
12). Thus, this Court must simply address the question of
whether the Defendant is subject to specific jurisdiction in
Alabama for the claims asserted against it in this action.
Eleventh Circuit follows a three-part test to determine
whether specific jurisdiction over a defendant is proper.
Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. Mosseri, 736 F.3d
1339, 1355 (11th Cir. 2013). The test as set out in
Mosseri provides that the Court address the
(1) whether the plaintiff's claims “arise out of or
relate to” at least one of the defendant's contacts
with the forum; (2) whether the nonresident defendant
“purposefully availed” himself of the privilege
of conducting activities within the forum state, thus
invoking the benefit of the forum state's laws; and (3)
whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction comports with
“traditional notions of fair play and substantial
Id. at 1355 (quoting Burger King Corp. v.
Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472-73, 474- 75 (1985).
See, e.g., Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v.
Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 413-14 (1984); and Int'l
Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)). The
burden generally rests upon the Plaintiff to establish the
first two prongs, if successful, the burden then shifts to
the defendant to avoid jurisdiction by making “a
compelling case that the exercise of jurisdiction would
violate traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice.” Diamond Crystal Brands, Inc. v. Food
Movers Int'l, Inc., 593 F.3d 1249, 1267
(11th Cir. 2010)).
SUMMARY OF FACTS
support of the motion Defendant submitted an affidavit of its
founder and Chief Executive Officer, Jazmine Farmer. (Doc.
no. 3-1). Plaintiff, in response, provided an affidavit of
Maury Lyon, Vice President of Apparel Sales for the
Plaintiff. (Doc. no. 7-1). Based upon the pending motion,
response, supporting affidavits, and oral arguments the
following facts are undisputed:
1. Defendant is an Oklahoma Corporation with its principal
place of business in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; it has no
offices, property, employees or agents in Alabama; it has no
registered agent for service of process in Alabama; it has no
state bank accounts in Alabama nor does it pay taxes in
Alabama. (Doc. no. 3-1).
2. Plaintiff is an Alabama Company with its principal place
of business located in Cullman, Alabama. (Doc. no. 1-1).
3. Defendant engaged the Plaintiff to manufacture
“custom-made apparel items (including T-shirts, long
sleeve shirts, pillow covers, and other similar products)
(the ‘Spring 2018 Merchandise') with designs
specifically made for Defendant and bearing Defendant's
trade name ‘Calamity Jane's Apparel.'”
(Doc. nos. 1-1 ¶ 16, 3-1 ¶ 5 and 7-1).
4. On July 24, 2017 the Defendant submitted the first order
for the Fall 2017 Merchandise, a total of 13, 041 items for
$89, 346.35. (Doc. nos. 1-1, 3-1, 7-1 and 7-2, at 1-2).
5. In October 2017 Defendant submitted a second order
described by Plaintiff as “large sample order for
multiple different styles of shirts.” (Doc. nos. 3-1
6. On November 10, 2017, Defendant submitted a third order
for samples for the Spring 2018 order. (Doc. ...