Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Part II: Insufficient Contacts to Establish Personal Jurisdiction

In two decisions by two different panels relating to the same dispute, the Fourth DCA held there were not sufficient contacts to establish personal jurisdiction. The other decision is discussed here.

The Fourth DCA held: "Because the facts pled in the complaint do not constitute the ommission of a tortious act within Florida or otherwise establish the requisite minimum contacts with the state, we reverse."
The issue is discussed in more detail in the related post. This panel concluded: "The second amended complaint did not allege nor could it have alleged—based on the facts of this case—that the tortious interference occurred within Florida. This is fatal to Ocean World’s claim. Nothing in the contracts contemplated payment or performance in Florida, nor is Florida mentioned anywhere in the contracts. Any tortious interference with the contracts and business relationships occurred in the Dominican Republic or, alternatively, in Japan, the countries in which the contracts were to be performed. The The electronic communications into Florida did not give rise to a cause of action. Cases interpreting Wendt have held that the communication into Florida must be tortious in and of itself, such as defamatory statements or negligent legal advice to a client."

Since the first prong of the personal jurisdiction test was not satisfied it is not necessary to go to the second. That being said, the panel noted that the second prong would not have been satisfied either as "exercise of jurisdiction over Reiss would not comport with due process."


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