United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss Pursuant to FRCP Rules 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6), and
Alternatively, Motion to Compel Arbitration. Dkt. #6.
Defendant argues that he does not have minimum contacts with
Washington and that this Court does not have personal
jurisdiction over him, that Plaintiff fails to adequately
allege either of its claims, and that Plaintiff should, in
any event, be compelled to arbitrate its claims. Plaintiff
opposes the Motion. Dkt. #9. For the reasons stated below,
the Court finds that it does not have personal jurisdiction
over Defendant and grants Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.
initiated this action against Defendant in state court for:
(1) “tortious interference with a business
relationship” and (2) “conspiracy in restraint of
trade, ” a violation of Washington's Consumer
Protection Act (Chapter 19.86, Revised Code of Washington).
Dkt. #1, Ex. A at ¶ 1. From August, 13, 2007, to June
30, 2015, Plaintiff had a contract with DISH Network LLC
(“DISH”) to “sell [DISH] services on a
nationwide basis.” Id. at ¶¶ 17, 24.
Plaintiff competed with other entities contracting with DISH
to sell DISH services. Id. at ¶ 14. Dish One
Satellite LLC (“DishOne”), jointly owned by DISH
and unknown individuals, is one such entity that contracts
with DISH to sell DISH services on a nationwide basis.
Id. at ¶¶ 11, 15-16. Plaintiff therefore
competed with DishOne for customers. Id. at ¶
is DISH's Senior Vice President of Sales and in that
capacity oversees nationwide sales of DISH services.
Id. at ¶¶ 19-20. Defendant's
compensation includes a portion of the profits generated by
DishOne's sales of DISH services. Id. at ¶
21. Defendant, acting in his own financial interest,
convinced DISH to cancel Plaintiff's contract in order to
increase DishOne's profits and, accordingly,
Defendant's compensation. Id. at ¶¶
Court will first address Defendant's argument that the
Court lacks personal jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(2). Where a defendant moves to dismiss a
complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction, the plaintiff
bears the burden of demonstrating that jurisdiction is
appropriate. Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor
Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004). Where, as here,
the motion is based on written materials rather than an
evidentiary hearing, the plaintiff's pleadings and any
affidavits need only make a prima facie showing of facts
supporting personal jurisdiction. Id. Any conflicts
over jurisdictional facts must be resolved in the
plaintiff's favor. Id.
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(1)(A), federal courts
ordinarily follow state law to determine their jurisdiction
over persons. Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117,
125 (2014). Washington's long-arm statute extends
personal jurisdiction to the broadest reach that the United
States Constitution permits. Byron Nelson Co. v. Orchard
Management Corp., 95 Wash.App. 462, 975 P.2d 555, 558
(Wash.Ct.App. 1999). The Court therefore must determine
whether the exercise of jurisdiction comports with federal
constitutional requirements. See Easter v. Am. W.
Fin., 381 F.3d 948, 960 (9th Cir. 2004).
Process Clause protects a defendant's liberty interest by
only subjecting a defendant to binding judgements in forums
with which the defendant has established “certain
minimum contacts . . . such that the 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, 316 (1945) (quoting
Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S. 457, 463 (1940)). Thus,
in determining personal jurisdiction, courts focus “on
the relationship among the defendant, the forum, and the
litigation.” Shaffer v. Heitner, 433 U.S. 186,
jurisdiction exists in two forms, general and specific.
Dole Food Co. v. Watts, 303 F.3d 1104, 1111 (9th
Cir. 2002). General jurisdiction exists over a non-resident
defendant when there is “continuous and systematic
general business contacts that approximate physical presence
in the forum state.” Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d
at 801. Here, Plaintiff does not appear to argue, and the
record does not support, that Defendant is subject to general
jurisdiction in Washington. Dkt. #9 at 7-9. The Court,
therefore, needs only to consider specific jurisdiction.
determine whether to exercise specific jurisdiction over a
non-resident, the Ninth Circuit applies a three-prong test:
(1) The non-resident defendant must purposefully direct his
activities or consummate some transaction with the forum or
resident thereof; or perform some act by which he
purposefully avails himself of the privilege of conducting
activities in the ...