HANCOCK BANK v. MONTE CRISTO OF TALLAHASSEE INC et al
ORDER denying 40 Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. Signed by JUDGE RICHARD SMOAK on 10/18/2011. (jcw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
successor by merger to
Hancock Bank of Florida,
CASE NO. 4:11-cv-282/RS-WCS
MONTE CRISTO OF TALLAHASSEE, INC,
MONTE CRISTO OF TALLAHASSEE No. 1, LLC,
MONTE CRISTO OF TALLAHASSEE No. 2, LLC,
MONTE CRISTO OF TALLAHASSEE No. 3, LLC,
MONTE CRISTO OF TALLAHASSEE No. 4, LLC,
MEHRAN P. GHAZVINI,
Before me are Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction and Venue
(Doc. 40) and Plaintiff’s Response in Opposition (Doc. 46).
This resolution of this matter turns on the interpretation of certain promissory
notes, assumption agreements, and guarantees executed by Defendants and Plaintiff.
The initial loan agreement (Doc. 1, Attach.1, p. 4) contains the following language:
Venue and Governing Law
Borrower waives any “venue privilege” and/or “diversity of
citizenship privilege” which Borrower may now or may have
in the future, and does hereby specifically agree,
notwithstanding the provision of any state or federal law to
the contrary, that the venue for the enforcement, construction
or interpretation of this note shall be Leon County, Florida,
and the undersigned hereby specifically waives the right to
sue or be sued in the court of any other county in the State of
Florida, any court in any other state or country or in any
federal court, or in any state or federal administrative tribunal.
The renewal promissory note (Doc. 1, Attach. 3, p. 1) is less restrictive. It
provides the following:
“CHOICE OF VENUE: If there is a lawsuit, Borrower agrees
upon Lender’s request to submit to the jurisdiction of the
courts of Leon County, State of Florida.”
In light of the arguments presented, the interpretation of these provisions is clear.
Plaintiff is correct in that the provisions act to waive the borrower’s venue privilege.
There are no words indicating reciprocity in waiver, and they do not limit Plaintiff’s
choice of forum.
The Motion (Doc. 40) is DENIED.
ORDERED on October 18, 2011.
/S/ Richard Smoak
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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