United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK BILLING, INC., a Nevada corporation, Plaintiff,
ILD TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC., nka ILD CORP., a Delaware corporation, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER (1) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION
TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION PURSUANT TO
FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 12(B)(2) AND (2) DENYING AS
MOOT DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE [ECF NO.
V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
lawsuit arises from an agreement made between Plaintiff
Communications Network Billing, Inc. (“Plaintiff”
or “CNBI”) and Defendant ILD Telecommunications,
Inc. nka ILD Corp. (“Defendant” or
“ILD”). (ECF No. 1.) Through the agreement,
Plaintiff hired Defendant for billing and collection work
related to Plaintiff's long distance services.
(Id. at Pg ID 2.) Plaintiff alleges Defendant failed
to remit fees and owes Plaintiff $838, 870.92. (Id.
at Pg ID 3.)
before the court is Defendant's motion to dismiss or in
the alternative motion to transfer venue, filed pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) and 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a) respectively on February 21, 2017. The motion has
been fully briefed. Finding the facts and legal arguments
sufficiently presented in the parties' briefs, the Court
dispensed with oral argument pursuant to Eastern District of
Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f) on this date. For the reasons that
follow, the Court is granting Defendant's motion to
dismiss and denying the motion to transfer venue as moot.
reviewing a Rule 12(b)(2) motion, a federal district court
may proceed by relying solely on written submissions and
affidavits to resolve the jurisdictional questions or it may
permit limited discovery or hold an evidentiary hearing in
aid of the motion. Serras v. First Tenn. Bank Nat'l
Ass'n, 875 F.2d 1212, 1214 (6th Cir. 1989) (citation
omitted). In all scenarios, “ ‘the plaintiff
always bears the burden of establishing that jurisdiction
exists.'” Id. (citing McNutt v.
General Motors Acceptance Corp., 298 U.S. 178, 189
federal court may only exercise personal jurisdiction in a
diversity case if such jurisdiction is (1) authorized by the
law of the state in which the court sits; and (2) is
otherwise consistent with the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment. Reynolds v. Int'l Amateur
Athletic Fed'n, 23 F.3d 1110, 1115 (6th Cir. 1994);
Welsh v. Gibbs, 631 F.2d 436, 439 (6th Cir. 1980).
The Sixth Circuit “historically has understood Michigan
to intend its long-arm statute to extend to the boundaries of
the fourteenth amendment” and therefore, “the
court need only determine whether exercising personal
jurisdiction violates constitutional due process.”
Children's Legal Servs., PLLC v. Shore Levin and
Derita, PC, 850 F.Supp.2d 673, 679 (6th Cir. 2012)
(quoting Theunissen v. Matthews, 935 F.2d 1454, 1458
(6th Cir. 1991) and Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Still N The
Water Publ'g, 327 F.3d 472, 477 (6th Cir. 2003)).
jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant arises from
“certain minimum contacts with [the forum] such that
maintenance of the suit does not offend ‘traditional
notions of fair play and substantial justice.'”
Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310
(1945) (internal citation omitted). Personal jurisdiction
takes two forms: general and specific. “A court may
assert general jurisdiction over foreign (sister-state or
foreign-country) corporations to hear any and all claims
against them when their affiliations with the State are so
‘continuous and systematic' as to render them
essentially at home in the forum State.” Goodyear
Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 564 U.S. 915,
919 (2011) (citing Int'l Shoe Co., 326 U.S. at
317.) “For an individual, the paradigm forum for the
exercise of general jurisdiction is the individual's
domicile; for a corporation, it is an equivalent place, one
in which the corporation is fairly regarded at home.”
Id. at 924.
Supreme Court recently reiterated the governing principles of
specific jurisdiction in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v.
Superior Court of California, San Francisco Cty., 137
S.Ct. 1773 (2017). “In order for a state court to
exercise specific jurisdiction, ‘the suit'
must ‘aris[e] out of or relat[e] to the defendant's
contacts with the forum.'” Bristol-Myers Squibb
Co., 137 S.Ct. at 1780 (citing Daimler AG v.
Bauman, 571 U.S. ---, 134 S.Ct. 746, 754 (2014)
(internal quotation marks omitted; emphasis added)); see
Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472-473
(1985); Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v.
Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 414. “In other words, there
must be an affiliation between the forum and the underlying
controversy, principally, [an] activity or an occurrence that
takes place in the forum State and is therefore subject to
the State's regulation.” Id. (citing
Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A., 564 U.S. at
Sixth Circuit has established a three-part test to determine
whether a court may exercise specific personal jurisdiction:
First, the defendant must purposefully avail himself of the
privilege of acting in the forum state or causing a
consequence in the forum state. Second, the cause of action
must arise from the defendant's activities there.
Finally, the acts of the defendant or consequences caused by
the defendant must have a substantial enough connection with
the forum state to make the exercise of jurisdiction over the
Calphalon Corp. v. Rowlette, 228 F.3d 718, 721 (6th
Cir. 2000) (citing Southern Machine Co. v.
Mohasco Indus., Inc., 401 F.2d 374, 381 (6th Cir.
defendant “purposefully avails” himself if his
“contacts proximately result from the actions by the
defendant himself that create a ‘substantial
connection' with the forum State.” Burger King
Corp. 471 U.S.at 475. This requirement “ensures
that a defendant will not be haled into a jurisdiction solely
as the result of ‘random, ' ‘fortuitous,
' or ‘attenuated' contacts, or of the
‘unilateral activity of another party or third
person.'” Id. at 475 (quoting Keeton
v. Hustler Magazine, 465 U.S. 770, 774 (1984);
Helicopteros, 466 U.S. at 417)).
may transfer an action under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) if
“(1) the action could have been brought in the
transferee district court; (2) a transfer serves the interest
of justice; and (3) a transfer is in the convenience of the
witnesses and parties.” Kepler v. ITT Sheraton
Corp., 860 F.Supp. 393, 398 (E.D. Mich.1994) (internal