United States District Court, E.D. Washington
RYAN DALEY, an individual; and ISAAK CURRY, an individual, each on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
GREYSTAR REAL ESTATE PARTNERS LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; GREYSTAR MANAGEMENT SERVICES LP, a Delaware corporation; and GREYSTAR RS WEST LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT GREYSTAR REAL ESTATE PARTNERS
LLC'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL
SALVADOR MENDOZA, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court, without oral argument, is Defendant Greystar Real
Estate Partners LLC's (“GREP”) Motion to
Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction, ECF No. 36.
Plaintiffs Ryan Daley and Isaak Curry oppose the motion. ECF
No. 37. Having reviewed the pleadings and the file in this
matter, the Court is fully informed and denies the motion
because Plaintiffs have demonstrated facts that, if true,
would support exercising specific jurisdiction over GREP.
complaint alleges that Plaintiffs and a putative class
applied to rent units in Spokane, Washington apartment
complexes owned or managed by Defendants individually and
collectively. ECF No. 35 at 9. Plaintiffs paid Defendants
nonrefundable prospective tenant screening fees and
Defendants obtained prospective tenant screening reports on
Plaintiffs. Id. at 9-10. Each application and
screening process occurred on the internet. Id. at
standard disclosures listed four consumer reporting agencies
from which they might possibly obtain screening information
about Plaintiffs. Id. at 10. But Defendants
ultimately obtained such information from additional or
alternative sources not disclosed to Plaintiffs before they
paid screening fees. Id. at 10-11. Further,
Defendants failed to disclose whether they would accept
comprehensive reusable prospective tenant screening reports
on Plaintiffs. Id. at 11.
complaint asserts causes of action for violations of the
Residential Landlord-Tenant Act of 1973, chapter 59.18 of the
Revised Code of Washington; and unjust enrichment.
Id. at 11-15.
a limited liability company incorporated in Delaware with its
principal place of business in South Carolina. ECF No. 19 at
1. GREP is “a parent corporation with subsidiaries,
” id., including Defendants Greystar
Management Services LP and Greystar RS West LLC, ECF No. 35
at 5-6. The complaint alleges GREP's subsidiaries are its
agents and all acts they perform are done on its behalf and
at its direction. Id. Further, the complaint alleges
GREP does not distinguish between itself and its subsidiaries
in materials it makes available online or in print.
Id. at 7. Indeed, GREP represents to the public that
it is a manager of residential properties in
Washington. Id. In a 2015 lawsuit over property
management practices in Washington, specifically tactics used
to collect charges from former tenants after they moved out,
one of GREP's subsidiaries, also involved as a defendant
here, had answered the complaint stating the correct
defendant was “Greystar Real Estate Partners,
LP.” Id. at 6. Defendants have not materially
altered the scope of their functions and responsibilities
since 2015. Id. at 7.
complaint alleges Defendants maintain websites for all their
rental properties. Id. at 14. These websites
advertise Defendants' rental properties and provide
information for prospective tenants. Id. Despite
local property managers operating their own websites,
prospective tenants were directed to GREP's
website-greystar.com-for application and payment processing.
Id. at 4. GREP owned or operated that website until
sometime around February 2019, when title vested in Greystar
Worldwide LLC. Id.; ECF No. 30 at 2. Thus, GREP
controlled the disclosures provided to prospective tenants on
that website. ECF No. 35 at 8.
context, the complaint alleges the following key points
• GREP is “engaged in the business of managing
rental properties in Washington State, ” id.
at 3; ECF No. 37 at 3;
• GREP “and its agents and employees are in the
business of renting or leasing residential real estate in
Washington State, ” ECF No. 35 at 3; ECF No. 37 at 3;
• GREP “uses its website for online leasing of
residential properties in Washington State, ” ECF No.
35 at 4; ECF No. 37 at 3;
• GREP is “an owner, lessor, sublessor, or the
designated representative of the owner, lessor, or sublessor,
or an agent, resident manager, or a designated property
manager for multiple dwelling units, or the property of which
the dwelling unit is a part, throughout Washington State,
” ECF No. 35 at 4; ECF No. 37 at 3; and
• GREP “substantially controls its
subsidiary's activities by engaging in property
management and corresponding services for all its
subsidiary's properties nationwide, including instituting
uniform procedures for property management and tenant
relations, ” ECF No. 35 at 4; ECF No. 37 at 3.
motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), the plaintiff bears
the burden of showing the Court has jurisdiction over the
defendant. Wash. Shoe Co. v. A-Z Sporting Goods
Inc., 704 F.3d 668, 671 (9th Cir. 2012). Where, as here,
the Court holds no evidentiary hearing, the plaintiff
“need only make a ‘prima facie showing of
jurisdictional facts to withstand the motion to
dismiss.'” Id. at 671-72 (quoting
Pebble Beach Co. v. Caddy, 453 F.3d 1151, 1154 (9th
Cir. 2006)). To make this showing, the plaintiff “need
only demonstrate facts that if true would support
jurisdiction over the defendant.” Harris Rutsky
& Co. Ins. Servs. v. Bell & Clements Ltd., 328
F.3d 1122, ...