Boots Smith Oilfield Services, LLC v. Chief Oil & Gas, LLC
ORDER granting Defendant's 4 Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. A separate Judgment shall be entered pursuant to Rule 58 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Signed by District Judge Keith Starrett on July 10, 2013 (dsl)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
BOOTS SMITH OILFIELD SERVICES, LLC
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:13-CV-48-KS-MTP
CHIEF OIL & GAS, LLC
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
For the reasons stated below, the Court grants Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss
 for lack of personal jurisdiction. This case is dismissed without prejudice.
This is a breach of contract and fraudulent/negligent misrepresentation case.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant hired it to move oil rigs in Pennsylvania from one site
to another and agreed to provide a minimum number of moves per month. According
to Plaintiff, Defendant failed to provide the guaranteed amount of work, causing
Plaintiff to incur damages in the form of lost profits, income, and other business
opportunities. Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss  for lack of personal jurisdiction,
and it is ripe for review.
Plaintiff has the initial burden of making a prima facie showing that the Court
has jurisdiction over Defendant. Pervasive Software, Inc. v. Lexware GMBH & Co. KG,
688 F.3d 214, 219 (5th Cir. 2012). The Court must accept Plaintiffs’ undisputed
allegations as true and resolve all factual disputes in Plaintiff’s favor. Id. at 219-20;
McFadin v. Gerber, 587 F.3d 753, 758 (5th Cir. 2009). “A federal court may exercise
personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant if (1) the forum state’s long-arm
statute confers personal jurisdiction over that defendant; and (2) the exercise of
personal jurisdiction comports with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment.” McFadin, 587 F.3d at 759.
Here, it is not necessary for the Court to look beyond Mississippi’s long-arm
statute, which provides:
Any nonresident person, firm, general or limited partnership or any
foreign or other corporation not qualified under the Constitution and laws
of this state as to doing business herein, who shall make a contract with
a resident of this state to be performed in whole or in part by any party
in this state, or who shall commit a tort in whole or in part in this state
against a resident or nonresident of this state, or who shall do any
business or perform any character of work or service in this state, shall
by such act or acts be deemed to be doing business in Mississippi and
shall thereby be subjected to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state.
MISS. CODE ANN. § 13-3-57. Plaintiff argues that jurisdiction over Defendant is proper
under the contract and tort prongs.
Jurisdiction is appropriate under the contract prong of the long-arm statute if
Defendant made “a contract with a resident of this state to be performed in whole or
in part by any party in this state.” Id. Plaintiff argues that it obviously performed part
of its contractual duties in Mississippi because it is a Mississippi resident. Plaintiff
represents that it coordinated its activities and made decisions from Mississippi, and
that certain employees and equipment were dispatched from Mississippi.
The problem is that all of these assertions are in Plaintiff’s briefing, rather than
in Plaintiff’s Complaint or in an affidavit. Plaintiff would have the Court assume that
certain activities occurred in Mississippi or, alternatively, accept Plaintiff’s
representations in briefing as if they were evidence. But according to the applicable
standard of review, the Court must accept the allegations in the Complaint as true and
resolve any factual disputes in Plaintiff’s favor. Pervasive Software, 688 F.3d at 219-20;
McFadin, 587 F.3d at 758. The Complaint contains no specific factual allegations
indicating that Plaintiff performed contractual obligations in Mississippi, and
Plaintiff’s representations in briefing are not sufficient to create a genuine factual
dispute. Therefore, the Court finds that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that jurisdiction
is appropriate under the contract prong of the long-arm statute.
Jurisdiction is proper under the tort prong of the long-arm statute “if any
element of the tort (or any part of any element) takes place in Mississippi.” Paz v.
Brush Engineered Materials, Inc., 445 F.3d 809, 812 (5th Cir. 2006); see also Allred v.
Moore & Peterson, 117 F.3d 278, 282 (5th Cir. 1997). Plaintiff argues that its injuries
necessarily occurred in Mississippi because it is located in Mississippi, citing the costs
it incurred in reliance upon Defendant’s contractual promises. But the Fifth Circuit
has drawn a distinction between damages and injuries. Allred, 117 F.3d at 283.
“Mississippi does not permit damages to serve as a proxy for injury in the personal
jurisdiction calculus. The concepts are distinct and we must endeavor not to conflate
the existence of an injury – and hence the completed tort – with the presence of its
economic consequences.” Id. Plaintiff alleged in the Complaint that it incurred certain
damages in Mississippi, but the Court can not discern – and Plaintiff has not identified
– any allegations that an injury occurred in Mississippi. Accordingly, Plaintiff failed
to demonstrate that jurisdiction is appropriate under the tort prong of the long-arm
For the reasons stated above, the Court finds that it does not have personal
jurisdiction over Defendant. Therefore, the Court grants Defendant’s Motion to
Dismiss . This case is dismissed without prejudice.
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED this 10th day of July, 2013.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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