International Mulch Company, Inc. v. Novel Ideas, Inc.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER...IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or Transfer Venue (ECF No. 41 ) is GRANTED in part, and Cause No. 4:14CV446 RLW is TRANSFERRED to the United States District Court for the Midd le District of Florida for further proceedings. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Motion for Leave to File Answer after Ruling on Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Novel Ideas, Inc. and John S. Wink (ECF No. 43 ) is DENIED as MOOT. Order Of Transfer To Other District to: Middle District of Florida. Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on 12/2/2014. (NEB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
INTERNATIONAL MULCH COMPANY, INC.,
NOVEL IDEAS, INC.,
JOHN S. WINK, and
SOUTH BEND MODERN MOLDING, INC.,
No. 4:14CV446 RLW
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss or Transfer Venue
(ECF No. 41). 1 The motion is fully briefed and ready for disposition. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court will grant Defendants’ motion.
On March 11, 2014, Plaintiff IMC filed a four count Complaint for Declaratory
Judgment against Defendant Novel Ideas, Inc. (“Novel”), seeking in Counts I and III a
declaration of non-infringement of two landscape edging patents, U.S. Patent Nos. D649,268 and
D654,191, held by Novel and John S. Wink. (Compl., ECF No. 1) IMC also sought a
declaration that the patents at issue were invalid in Counts II and IV. (Id.) IMC filed an
Amended Complaint on June 16, 2014, adding John S. Wink (“Wink”), the inventor of the
patented landscaping products, and South Bend Modern Molding, Inc. (“Modern Molding”).
(First Am. Compl., ECF No. 14). In addition, IMC alleged breach of contract (Count V) and
Plaintiffs Novel Ideas, Inc. and John S. Wink filed the original motion, with Defendant South
Bend Modern Molding, Inc. (“Modern Molding”) joining the motion with regard to Plaintiff’s
tortious interference claims against Modern Molding. (Supplemental Br. in Supp. of Co-Defs.’
Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 48)
tortious interference with business expectancy (Count VI). (Id.) On September 11, 2014, the
Court granted IMC’s Motion for Leave to File its Second Amended Complaint, wherein IMC
provided additional facts. (Second Am. Compl., ECF No. 39)
In its Second Amended Complaint, IMC alleges that Defendants Novel and Wink are
located in Tampa, Florida. (Id. at ¶¶ 2-3) Defendant Modern Molding is an Indiana corporation
located in Mishawaka, Indiana. (Id. at ¶ 4) Plaintiff further asserts that jurisdiction in this Court
is proper because Novel and Modern Molding do substantial business in this District, Novel
contracted to sell its assets to IMC in this District, and Wink and Modern Molding tortuously
interfered with IMC’s contract and/or business expectancy in this District. (Id. at ¶¶ 8-10) IMC
also contends that venue is proper because one or more Defendants engage in significant
business activity in this District. (Id. at 11)
According to IMC’s complaint, Wink invented flexible landscape edging and obtained
two patents, the 268 Patent and the 191 Patent, and he assigned the title and interest in those
patents to Novel. (Id. at ¶¶ 12-13) Plaintiff IMC began selling a lawn edging to Lowe’s, which
Defendants Novel and Wink contend infringes on the patents. (Id. at ¶¶ 14-15) IMC disputes
that its product infringes, as IMC alleges the ornamental design of the edging differs from the
design claimed by the 268 and 191 Patents. (Id. at ¶¶ 16-17) Additionally, IMC maintains that it
had been in negotiations to purchase Novel’s assets for several months prior to infringement
communications from Novel and Wink. (Id. at ¶ 19) IMC alleges that it negotiated with Novel
agreed in principle to terms which were summarized in drafts of a letter of intent. (Id. at ¶¶ 2025) However, Wink expressed to IMC that he and Novel would not honor the letter of intent.
(Id. at ¶¶ 28-29) IMC argues that the emails and letter of intent formed a valid contract, which
Defendants Novel and Wink breached when they negotiated with Modern Molding. (Id. at ¶¶
51-52) In addition, IMC contends that Wink and Modern Molding intentionally interfered with
and caused Novel to breach the contact by negotiating a separate contract to purchase Novel’s
assets. (Id. at ¶ 61)
On September 29, 2014, Defendants Novel and Wink filed a Motion to Dismiss or
Transfer Venue, claiming that the case should be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction
under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2), and the case should be dismissed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(3)
for improper venue or transferred to the Middle District of Florida. (Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No.
41) Further, Defendants contend that Counts V and VI should be dismissed under Fed. R. Civ.
P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. (Id.)
II. Legal Standards
“To survive a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, a plaintiff has the
burden of making a prima facie showing that personal jurisdiction exists.” Riceland Foods, Inc.
v. SCF Marine, Inc., No. 4:09CV830 CDP, 2009 WL 2928764, at *2 (E.D. Mo. Sept. 9, 2009)
(citation omitted). The court views the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and
determines factual conflicts in favor of the plaintiff. Id. (citation omitted). However, a plaintiff
must produce some evidence, and conclusory allegations are insufficient to make a prima facie
case. Id. (citation omitted). “The plaintiff=s prima facie showing must be tested, not by the
pleadings alone, but by the affidavits and exhibits presented with the motion[ ] and in opposition
thereto.” Dever v. Hentzen Coatings, Inc., 380 F.3d 1070, 1072 (8th Cir. 2004) (citation and
internal quotations omitted). The party seeking to establish personal jurisdiction carries the
burden of proof, and this burden does not shift to the party challenging jurisdiction. Riceland
Foods, 2009 WL 2928764, at *2 (citation omitted). “While the plaintiffs bear the ultimate
burden of proof, jurisdiction need not be proved by a preponderance of the evidence until trial or
until the court holds an evidentiary hearing.” Epps v. Stewart Info. Servs. Corp., 327 F.3d 642,
647 (8th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted).
To determine whether personal jurisdiction exists, the forum state’s long-arm statute must
be satisfied, and the exercise of personal jurisdiction must be consistent with due process. Wells
Dairy, Inc. v. Food Movers Int=l, Inc., 607 F.3d 515, 518 (8th Cir. 2010) (citation omitted). “In
its most recent decision involving a question of personal jurisdiction, the Missouri Supreme
Court held it was necessary to conduct two separate inquiries: one inquiry to establish if a
defendant's conduct was covered by the long-arm statute, and a second inquiry to analyze
whether the exercise of jurisdiction comports with due process requirements.” Myers v. Casino
Queen, Inc., 689 F.3d 904, 909 (8th Cir. 2012) (citing Bryant v. Smith Interior Design Grp., Inc.,
310 S.W.3d 227, 231 (Mo. 2010).
Under Missouri’s Long Arm Statute:
Any person or firm, whether or not a citizen or resident of this state, or
any corporation, who in person or through an agent does any of the acts
enumerated in this section, thereby submits such person, firm, or corporation, and,
if an individual, his personal representative, to the jurisdiction of the courts of this
state as to any cause of action arising from the doing of any of such acts:
(1) The transaction of any business within this state;
(2) The making of any contract within this state;
(3) The commission of a tortious act within this state;
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 506.500.1.
Due process requires that minimum contacts exist between a nonresident defendant and
the forum states such that the exercise of personal jurisdiction is consistent with traditional
notions of fair play and substantial justice. Wells Dairy, 607 F.3d at 518 (citations omitted).
“‘Sufficient contacts exist when the defendant=s conduct and connection with the forum state are
such that [it] should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there.’” Id. (quoting Bell Paper
Box, Inc. v. U.S. Kids, Inc., 22 F.3d 816, 818 (8th Cir. 1994)). A defendant reasonably
anticipates being haled into the forum state=s court where the defendant performs some act by
which it “‘purposefully avails itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum
[s]tate, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws.’” Id. (quoting Bell Paper Box, 22
F.3d at 818-19).
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has established a five-part test to measure a
defendant=s contacts with the forum state:
(1) the nature and quality of the contacts with the forum state; (2)
the quantity of those contacts; (3) the relation of the cause of action
to the contacts; (4) the interest of the forum state in providing a
forum for its residents; and (5) the convenience of the parties.
Id. (quoting Bell Paper Box, 22 F.3d at 819). Courts evaluate personal jurisdiction under the
theories of general jurisdiction and specific jurisdiction. Viasystems, Inc. v. EBM-Papst St.
Georgen GmbH & Co., 646 F.3d 589, 593 (8th Cir. 2011); Dever, 380 F.3d at 1073.
Under the general jurisdiction theory, “a court may hear a lawsuit against a defendant
who has ‘continuous and systematic’ contacts with the forum state, even if the injuries at issue in
the lawsuit did not arise out of the defendant’s activities directed at the forum.” Dever, 380 F.3d
at 1073 (citation omitted). Specific jurisdiction, on the other hand, requires that “the injury
giving rise to the lawsuit occurred within or had some connection to the forum state.” Id.
(citation omitted). The third factor of the five-factor test, the relation of the cause of action to the
contacts, distinguishes between the two theories. Wells Dairy, 607 F.3d at 518.
With regard to a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, a complaint must be dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) if the
complaint fails to plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 570 (2007) (abrogating the “no set of facts” standard
set forth in Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)). Courts must liberally construe the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and accept the factual allegations as true.
Id. at 555; see also Schaaf v. Residential Funding Corp., 517 F.3d 544, 549 (8th Cir. 2008)
(stating that in a motion to dismiss, courts accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint);
Eckert v. Titan Tire Corp., 514 F.3d 801, 806 (8th Cir. 2008) (explaining that courts should
liberally construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff). While the Twombly
Court cautioned that the holding does not require a heightened fact pleading of specifics, “a
plaintiff’s obligation to provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief’ requires more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Id. at 555. In other words, “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level . . . .” Id. This standard simply calls for enough facts to raise a
reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of the claim. Id. at 556.
A. Specific Jurisdiction
Plaintiff IMC first argues that this Court has specific jurisdiction over Defendants Novel
and Wink because they took purposeful actions toward Missouri by soliciting IMC, negotiating
with IMC, and ultimately reaching an agreement. IMC contends that the parties agreed IMC’s
counsel in Missouri would draft the initial version of the agreement, which required Novel to
provide access to data related to Novel’s assets and send documents to IMC in Missouri.
Further, IMC asserts that the agreement contained a choice of law provision indicating that the
laws of Missouri applied, as well as a provision for resolution of a lawsuit. (Mem. in Support of
Mot. to Dismiss Ex. A and B, ECF No. 42-2) According to IMC, the parties contemplated
ultimately executing a “Definitive Agreement” for IMC to purchase Novel’s assets, including the
two patents at issue. Further, they would enter into a “Commission and Research and
Development Agreement” where Novel would provide consulting services and additional
product lines to IMC in exchange for a commission. Finally, Novel would assign its Home
Depot account to IMC. (Id.) IMC argues that these actions taken by Novel and Wink were not
random, attenuated, or fortuitous but were intentionally created and carried out by Defendants
such that they should not be surprised that IMC chose Missouri to file suit. IMC additionally
claims that the quantity of contacts by Novel and Wink in the State of Missouri supports personal
jurisdiction. IMC asserts that the negotiations surrounding the agreement lasted for nine months,
included the parties and attorneys, and resulted in numerous and substantial communications.
(Id. at Ex. A – D)
Defendants argue that this Court does not have specific jurisdiction because, despite the
emails and calls to negotiate a possible contract, Wink and Novel never signed the letter of
intent. Further, Defendants assert that they do not conduct any business in Missouri, and all
revenue is earned in Indiana, where Novel’s products are sold to retailers F.O.B. (free on board).
(Decl. of John S. Wink ¶¶ 4, 6, ECF No. 42-1) In addition, in person meetings between
Defendant Wink and IMC took place in Florida. (Id. at ¶ 8)
The undersigned finds that Novel and Wink’s contacts with Missouri are insufficient for
this Court to exercise specific jurisdiction. First, Plaintiff IMC has not established that
Defendants’ conduct is covered by Missouri’s Long Arm Statute. While IMC drafted and
executed a letter of intent, Defendants did not sign the agreement, in Missouri or elsewhere.
Although IMC’s Complaint contains a breach of contract claim, the existence of a contract is
unclear. Further, while Plaintiff IMC argues that a tort was committed in Missouri, the record
shows that the alleged tortious interference occurred either in Florida or Indiana, where
Defendants Novel and Wink negotiated and eventually entered into a contract with Defendant
Modern Molding. (Id. at ¶ 9; Second Am. Compl. ¶ 28, ECF No. 39)
However, even if the parties reached an Agreement, the Court finds that such agreement
is not sufficient to establish jurisdiction over Defendants in Missouri. See K-V Pharm. Co. v. J.
Uriach & CIA, S.A., 648 F.3d 588, 593 (8th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted) (“A contract between a
plaintiff and an out-of-state defendant is not sufficient in and of itself to establish personal
jurisdiction over the defendant in the plaintiff’s forum state.”). “[C]ourts should consider the
terms of the contract and its contemplated future consequences in determining whether personal
jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant exists.” Fastpath, Inc. v. Arbela Tech. Corp., 760
F.3d 816, 821 (8th Cir. 2014) (citations omitted).
Here, Plaintiff IMC contends that the choice of law provision in the letter of intent
indicates the Defendants intended for any disputes arising from the agreement to be settled in
Missouri. However, while a choice of law provision can provide evidence of a defendant’s
purposeful relationship with and foreseeability of possible litigation in the forum state, choice of
law provisions are insufficient to confer personal jurisdiction on their own. Id. at 821-22
(citation omitted). Further, the Court notes that the letter of intent did not specify the production
or sale of products in Missouri. The terms merely contemplated the “Possible Acquisition” of
assets pursuant to a future “Definitive Agreement.” In addition, the letter envisioned a
“Commission and Research and Development Agreement” whereby Defendants would provide
consulting services and additional product lines, but the letter is silent as to where these services
and production would take place or what particular impact the agreement would have on
Missouri. Further, the letter of intent indicated that any “Definitive Agreement” was contingent
upon due diligence investigation that had not yet taken place. In short, the Defendants have no
employees or offices in Missouri; have never traveled to Missouri in connection with the alleged
agreement; and allegedly breached the agreement outside Missouri by negotiating with Modern
Molding in Indiana. Simply because a Missouri company felt the breach does not equate to a
Missouri court having jurisdiction over the non-resident defendants consistent with due process.
Id. at 822. The Court finds, therefore, that the choice of law provision in this case does not
evidence Defendants’ intention to do business in Missouri. Id.
Plaintiff IMC also argues, however, that this Court has personal jurisdiction over Novel
and Wink due to the nature and quality of the contacts, as well as the quantity, which included
phone calls and emails pursuant to Defendants soliciting IMC to purchase Defendants’ assets.
IMC contends that the negotiations spanning nine months were sufficient to confer personal
jurisdiction over Defendants in Missouri. While the record indicates email communications and
telephone discussions, the undersigned finds that the nature, quality, and quantity of Defendants’
contacts were insufficient to demonstrate purposeful availment of the forum state. “Although
letters and faxes may be used to support the exercise of personal jurisdiction, they do not
themselves establish jurisdiction.” Digi-Tel Holdings, Inc. v. Proteq Telecomm. (PTE), Ltd., 89
F.3d 519, 523 (8th Cir. 1996). Further, simply knowing that IMC was a Missouri corporation
does not create minimum contacts because “‘the plaintiff cannot be the only link between the
defendant and the forum.’” Fastpath, 760 F.3d at 823 (quoting Walden v. Fiore ___ U.S. ___,
134 S. Ct. 1115, 1125 (2014)). Thus, IMC has failed to meet its burden of proof with regard to
the nature and quality of the contacts, as well as the quantity of contacts with the forum state.
Likewise, Plaintiff IMC has failed to demonstrate a relationship between the contacts and
the cause of action sufficient to satisfy personal jurisdiction. With regard to IMC’s allegations
that the communications and letter of intent formed a contract, the Court notes that IMC’s breach
of contract claim is related to the contacts between Plaintiff and Defendants. However, as stated
above, Missouri’s connection to the terms set forth in the letter is tenuous at best. With regard to
IMC’s tortious interference claim, Courts apply the Calder effects test where a plaintiff alleges a
a defendant’s tortious acts can serve as a source of personal
jurisdiction only where the plaintiff makes a prima facie showing
that the defendant=s acts (1) were intentional, (2) were uniquely or
expressly aimed at the forum state, and (3) caused harm, the brunt
of which was suffered-and which the defendant knew was likely to
be suffered-[in the forum state].
Johnson v. Arden, 614 F.3d 785, 796 (8th Cir. 2010) (quoting Lindgren v. GDT, LLC, 312 F.
Supp. 2d 1125, 1132 (S.D. Iowa 2004)). In the Eighth Circuit, courts use “the Calder test merely
as an additional factor to consider when evaluating a defendant’s relevant contacts with the
forum state.” Id. In other words, courts construe the effects test narrowly “and hold that, absent
additional contacts, mere effects in the forum state are insufficient to confer personal
jurisdiction.” Id. at 797.
Here, accepting Plaintiff’s tortious interference allegations as true, the Court finds that
IMC has satisfied the first and third Calder factors in that Wink negotiated a separate proposal
with Modern Molding after negotiating with IMC, and Wink and Modern Molding knew
Plaintiff would feel the effects in Missouri. However, IMC has not shown that Defendants’
actions were uniquely or expressly aimed at the forum state. “Although the harm to plaintiff’s
business might have been felt in Missouri, that effect does not create minimum contacts.”
Fit, LLC v. Dickey, No. 4:06-CV-0049 CEJ, 2006 WL 1134672, at *3 (E.D. Mo. Apr. 25, 2006);
see also Keystone Publishers Service, Inc. v. Ross, 747 F.2d 1233, 1234 (8th Cir.1984) (finding
insufficient contacts with Iowa where none of the defendants conducted business in Iowa, and
“[t]he only contacts alleged by [plaintiff] are interferences with renewal contracts outside the
State of Iowa causing damages to plaintiff in Iowa.”). While IMC alleges damages resulting
from the alleged tortious interference, nothing in the pleadings indicates that the acts were
expressly aimed at Missouri. As previously stated, the letter of intent is silent as to Missouri’s
role in the parties’ negotiations and possible future agreement. Thus, the undersigned finds that
IMC has failed to allege additional contacts that would support this Court’s exercise of specific
personal jurisdiction over Defendants. Johnson v. Arden, 614 F.3d 785, 797 (8th Cir. 2010); but
see K-V Pharm., 648 F.3d at 595-96 (finding specific jurisdiction existed where the parties had a
long-term contract which required a continuing relationship in Missouri; met face-to-face in
Missouri; shipped the product to Missouri; made payments to K-V, which was based in
Missouri; and demonstrated a relationship between defendant’s contacts with Missouri and the
breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets claims).
Likewise, with regard to Plaintiff’s patent claims, the Court finds that the cease and desist
letter written to Lowe’s is insufficient to confer specific jurisdiction. “[A] defendant patentee’s
mere acts of making, using, offering to sell, selling, or importing products – whether covered by
the relevant patent(s) or not – do not, in the jurisdictional sense, relate in any material way to the
patent right that is at the center of any declaratory judgment claim for non-infringement,
invalidity, and/or unenforceability.” Avocent Huntsville Corp. v. Aten Intern. Co., Ltd., 552 F.3d
1324, 1336 (Fed. Cir. 2008); see also Breckenridge Pharm., Inc. v. Metabolite Labs., Inc., 444
F.3d 1356, 1366 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (“[T]he crux of the due process inquiry should focus first on
whether the defendant has had contact with parties in the forum state beyond the sending of
cease and desist letters or mere attempts to license the patent at issue there.”). To satisfy specific
jurisdiction, a plaintiff must show that the defendant has engaged in “other activities” that “relate
to” the enforcement of those patents in the forum. Avocent, 552 F.3d at 1334.
In the present case, IMC has failed to show that Defendants engaged in activities relating
to the enforcement or defense of the validity of the patents. Id. In addition, the parties merely
contemplated the purchase of Novel’s assets and patents. “Thus, the alleged negotiations at issue
here, which did not even result in ‘a binding obligation in the forum,’ cannot, by themselves,
create personal jurisdiction in this declaratory judgment action.” RxHeat, LLC v. Thermapure,
Inc., No. 4:10CV2401 JCH, 2011 WL 998158, at *4 (E.D. Mo. March 17, 2011) (citation
With regard to the final two factors, the Court finds that, while Missouri has an interest in
providing a forum for its residents, “that interest ‘cannot make up for the absence of minimum
contacts.’” Fastpath, 760 F.3d at 824 (quoting Digi-Tel, 89 F.3d at 525)). Further, the fact that
Missouri is a more convenient forum for IMC does not give Missouri courts personal jurisdiction
over the Defendants. Id. In short, Due Process does not permit this Court to exercise specific
jurisdiction over the Defendants in this case. Id.
B. General Jurisdiction
Plaintiff IMC claims that this Court has general subject matter jurisdiction over
Defendants Novel and Wink but maintains that further discovery is necessary. Plaintiff asserts
that entering into exclusive license agreements or distribution agreements with respect to patents
constitute other activities directed at the forum state. Specifically, IMC contends that further
discovery could reveal that Novel’s agreement with Home Depot, or its distribution of its
products generally, and could satisfy the “other activities” element for minimum contacts.
Defendants, on the other hand, argue that Novel is neither present, nor does it conduct substantial
business, in Missouri, such that its affiliations with Missouri are nonexistent. Further,
Defendants claim that Wink resides in Florida and that limited jurisdictional discover is
Under Missouri law, general jurisdiction over an out-of-state corporation exists “when
that corporation is ‘present and conducting substantial business in Missouri.’” Viasystems, Inc. v.
EBM-Papst St. Georgen GmbH & Co., 646 F.3d 589, 595 (8th Cir. 2011) (quoting State ex rel.
K-Mart Corp. v. Holliger, 986 S.W.2d 165, 167 (Mo. 1999)). “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, ___ US. ___, 131 S. Ct. 2846, 2851 (2011) (citation omitted).
Plaintiff IMC argues that limited discovery would reveal Defendants’ connections to
Missouri through its sales agreement with Home Depot, as well as the shipping of its products
from Indiana to end-users in Missouri. However, the Supreme Court has clarified “that placing
products in ‘the stream of commerce’ is ‘[a] connection so limited between the forum and the
foreign corporation [that it] is an inadequate basis for the exercise of general jurisdiction.’”
Viasystems, 646 F.3d at 597 (quoting Goodyear, 131 S. Ct. at 2851). Thus, the Court finds that
jurisdictional discovery is unwarranted, as the information sought pertains to the stream of
commerce and would not support IMC’s claim that general jurisdiction exists. Id. at 598.
Likewise, Plaintiff’s assertion that discovery would reveal that jurisdiction exists is “entirely
speculative and ‘[w]hen a plaintiff offers only speculation or conclusory assertions about
contacts with a forum state, a court is within its discretion in denying jurisdictional discovery.’”
Id. (quoting Dever, 380 F.3d at 1074 n.1). The undersigned will therefore deny Plaintiff’s
request for jurisdictional discovery.
Because this Court finds that it does not have jurisdiction over this matter, the Court
declines to entertain the motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. However, the Court will
grant Defendants’ request to transfer the cause of action to the Middle District of Florida, where
venue is proper. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss or Transfer Venue
(ECF No. 41) is GRANTED in part, and Cause No. 4:14CV446 RLW is TRANSFERRED to
the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida for further proceedings.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Motion for Leave to File Answer after Ruling on
Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Novel Ideas, Inc. and John S. Wink (ECF No. 43) is
DENIED as MOOT.
Dated this 2nd Day of December, 2014.
RONNIE L. WHITE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
A. General Jurisdiction
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?