United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
JOHN P. GONZALEZ, Plaintiff,
CRETE CARRIER CORPORATION, Defendant.
C. COUGHENOUR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Crete Carrier
Corporation's motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 13). Having
thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the
relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary
and hereby GRANTS the motion for the reasons explained
is an irregular route motor carrier engaged in interstate
commerce nationwide. (Dkt. No. 13 at 2.) Plaintiff John
Gonzalez is a Washington resident and former employee of
Defendant who worked as a driver out of Defendant's Utah
terminal. (Dkt. No. 1-2 at 3.) Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant failed to pay Plaintiff and others similarly
situated for rest periods and all non-productive activities,
in violation of Washington law. (Id. at 2.)
is a Nebraska corporation, with its headquarters in Lincoln,
Nebraska. (Id. at 3.) It has no offices in
Washington, is not registered to do business in Washington,
and has not withheld or paid any Washington payroll or taxes.
(Dkt. No. 13 at 2.) Instead, it covers those Washington
resident drivers who it employs under workers'
compensation and unemployment compensation programs of other
states. (Id.) Defendant's sole contacts with
Washington are two leased parking spaces in Washington and
advertisements for its trucking positions in Washington.
(Dkt. No. 16 at 8.) Defendant brings this motion to dismiss
for lack of personal jurisdiction or, in the alternative, for
failure to state a claim. (Dkt. No. 13.)
Motion to Dismiss Standard of Review
defendant seeks dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction,
the plaintiff must show that the exercise of jurisdiction is
appropriate. Picot v. Weston, 780 F.3d 1206, 1211
(9th Cir. 2015). In assessing whether the plaintiff met his
or her burden, the Court must take any uncontroverted
allegations in the plaintiff's complaint as true and
resolve any conflicts between the facts in the documentary
evidence in the plaintiff's favor. AT&T v.
Compagnie Bruxelles Lambert, 94 F.3d 586, 588 (9th Cir.
1996). Claims against a defendant must be dismissed when a
court lacks personal jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2).
determining whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction
over a defendant is appropriate, federal courts apply the law
of the state in which they sit. Boschetto v.
Hansing, 539 F.3d 1011, 1015 (9th Cir. 2008). Washington
courts are permitted “to exercise jurisdiction over a
nonresident defendant to the extent permitted by the due
process clause of the United States Constitution.”
SeaHAVN, Ltd. v. Glitnir Bank, 226 P.3d 141, 149
(Wash.Ct.App. 2010). Thus, the only question for the Court is
whether the Court's exercise of jurisdiction comports
with the limitations imposed by due process. See
Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall, 466
U.S. 408, 413 (1984).
process permits the Court to “subject a defendant to
judgment only when the defendant has sufficient contacts with
the sovereign ‘such that the maintenance of the suit
does not offend traditional notions of fair play and
substantial justice.'” J. McIntyre Mach., Ltd.
v. Nicastro, 564 U.S. 873, 880 (2011) (citing
Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316
(1945)). Fair play and substantial justice mandate that a
defendant has minimum contacts with the forum state before it
may be haled into a court in that forum. Int'l
Shoe, 326 U.S. at 316. The extent of these contacts can
result in a court possessing either general or specific
jurisdiction over the defendant. Goodyear Dunlop Tires
Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 564 U.S. 915, 919 (2011).
state where the court sits can be “fairly regarded as
home” to the defendant, general jurisdiction is
properly exercised. Goodyear, 564 U.S. at 924. A
corporation is at home in any state where it engages
“in . . . continuous and systematic general business
contacts . . . that approximate physical presence . . .
.” Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co.,
374 F.3d 797, 801 (9th Cir. 2004). In other words,
corporations are most commonly subject to general
jurisdiction in the state in which they are incorporated and
the state in which their principal place of business is
located. Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117, 121
does not dispute that an exercise of general jurisdiction
over Defendant would be improper in Washington. (See
Dkt. No. 16 at 5.) Defendant is incorporated and has its
principal place of business in Nebraska, and thus cannot be
subject to general personal jurisdiction in Washington on
these bases. (Dkt. No. 13 at 2.) Additionally, Defendant has
no offices, facilities, or operations in Washington such that
it could fairly be considered to have sufficient contacts
that approximate physical presence in Washington. (See
id.); see also Daimler, 571 U.S. at 137
(“[O]nly a limited set of affiliations with a forum