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Mitchell v. West Service Center, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

December 19, 2017

AMANDA G. MITCHELL, Plaintiff,
v.
WEST SERVICE CENTER, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [#5]

          DENISE PAGE HOOD CHIEF JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On June 5, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss. [Dkt. No. 5]. Plaintiff filed a response to the Motion to Dismiss on June 16, 2017. [Dkt. No. 8]. Defendant then filed a reply to Plaintiff's response on June 30, 2017 [Dkt. No. 10]. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants Defendant's motion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         This action arises out of an employment relationship between Plaintiff, Amanda G. Mitchell, and Defendant, West Service Center, Inc. Defendant is a vehicle repair and towing operator located in Chesapeake, Virginia and is incorporated in Virginia. Defendant conducts repairs and towing in the local area surrounding Chesapeake, VA.

         Plaintiff began working in Virginia for Defendant in 2009 as an offsite night/weekend dispatcher. While there are conflicting statements as to which side reached out, both Plaintiff and Defendant agreed that Plaintiff could continue to work for Defendant when she relocated to Michigan in 2011. As a night/weekend dispatcher, Plaintiff responds to afterhours calls from Defendant's customers for towing and repair service. She then contacts tow truck drivers to connect them with the customers.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant did not compensate her for all hours she worked while waiting for calls and only compensated her for the calls themselves. [Dkt. No. 1 at PgID 5]. She claims that she should have been paid for all hours she was scheduled to work as she was “engaged to wait.” Id. On February 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a three-count Complaint stemming from the alleged unpaid wages: (1) Count I - violation of Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, (2) Count II - Michigan Workforce Opportunity Wage Act: failure to pay for time worked and failure to pay overtime, and (3) Count III - breach of contract.

         On June 5 2017, Defendant moved to dismiss to the Complaint on three grounds: (1) Lack of Personal Jurisdiction - Rule 12(b)(2), (2) Improper Venue - Rule 12(b)(3), and (3) Failure to State a Claim upon Which Relief Can Be Granted - Rule 12(b)(6). Defendant, also, moved in the alternative to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the Easter District of Virginia.

         III. Applicable Law & Analysis

         1. Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction (Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2))

         A. Standard of Review

         Plaintiff bears “the burden of establishing the districts court's personal jurisdiction” over the Defendant. Neogen Corp. v. Neo Gen Screening, Inc., 282 F.3d 883, 887 (6th Cir. 2002). As there has been no evidentiary hearing on the matter the court will “consider the pleadings and affidavits in a light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Compuserve, Inc. v. Patterson, 89 F.3d 1257, 1262 (6th Cir. 1996) (citing Theunissen v. Matthews, 935 F.2d 1454, 1458-59 (6th Cir. 1991). Granting a motion to dismiss is only proper “if all the specific facts which the plaintiff…alleges collectively fail to state a prima facie case for jurisdiction.” Id. (emphasis in original).

         B. Analysis

         In a federal court, personal jurisdiction is determined by both “(1) the law of the state in which it sits, and (2) in accordance with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Neogen Corp., 282 F.3d at 888 (citing Reynolds v. Int'l Amateur Athletic Fed'n, 23 F.3d 1100, 1115 (6th Cir. 1994)). Plaintiff only asserts that this court has jurisdiction under MCL §600.715, which provides for specific or limited jurisdiction, and Defendant accepts Michigan's long arm statute as applicable to this case. [Dkt. 5 at PgID 48]. Michigan's long arm statute creates jurisdiction to “the maximum scope of personal jurisdiction permitted by the due process clause of the Fourteen Amendment.” ...


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