United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Southern Division
ROSEANN A. KETCHMARK, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT .
before the Court is Defendant York Innovators Group, LLC,
(“YIG”)'s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of
Personal Jurisdiction (doc. 22), seeking dismissal of YIG as
a party to this suit. Plaintiff JRI Holdings
(“JRI”) opposes YIG's motion and requests
additional time to provide suggestions in opposition to the
motion and for time to conduct jurisdictional discovery. As
explained below, at this juncture, YIG's motion to
dismiss is DENIED without prejudice.
plaintiff must plead “sufficient facts to support a
reasonable inference that the defendant can be subjected to
jurisdiction within the state” to survive a motion to
dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Creative
Calling Solutions, Inc. v. LF Beauty Ltd., 799 F.3d 975,
979 (8th Cir. 2015). If the defendant denies jurisdiction,
the burden shifts to the plaintiff to present facts
supporting jurisdiction. Dairy Farmers of Am., Inc. v.
Bassett & Walker Int'l, Inc., 702 F.3d 472, 475
(8th Cir. 2012). When considering a motion to dismiss for
lack of personal jurisdiction, the court views the evidence
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and resolves
factual conflicts in plaintiff's favor in determining
whether plaintiff has made a prima facie showing of personal
jurisdiction over the challenging defendant. Fastpath,
Inc. v. Arbela Techs. Corp., 760 F.3d 816, 820 (8th Cir.
2014). The plaintiff's ‘prima facie showing' is
tested by the pleadings as well as by the affidavits and
exhibits submitted in connection with the motion. Dever
v. Hentzen Coatings, Inc., 380 F.3d 1070, 1072 (8th Cir.
jurisdiction can be specific or general. Daimler AG v.
Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746, 754 (2014). In the absence of
general jurisdiction, the Court may hear the case if specific
jurisdiction can be established over the defendant.
Id. YIG and JRI only discuss specific jurisdiction.
For a federal court to have specific jurisdiction over a
non-resident defendant, a two-part test must be satisfied:
(1) jurisdiction is authorized by the forum state's long
arm statute and (2) jurisdiction is allowed by the Due
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Dairy
Farmers of Am., Inc., 702 F.3d at 475-76.
to the first element, Missouri's long arm statute
provides that a defendant who does any of the following
enumerated acts submits itself to the jurisdiction of
Missouri courts as to any cause of action arising from those
(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; (4) The
ownership, use, or possession of any real estate situated in
this state; (5) The contracting to insure any person,
property or risk located within this state at the time of
contracting; (6) Engaging in an act of sexual intercourse
within this state with the mother of a child on or near the
probable period of conception of that child.
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 506.500. As to the second element, due
process requires minimum contacts between the non-resident
defendant and the forum state sufficient to not offend
“traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice.” Int'l Shoe Co. v. Wash., 326
U.S. 310, 316 (1945) (citations omitted). To evaluate whether
a defendant has sufficient minimum contacts with the forum
state to satisfy the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment, the Eighth Circuit has established the following
factors: (1) the nature and quality of a defendant's
contacts with the forum state, (2) the quantity of a
defendant's contacts with the forum state, (3) the
relation of the cause of action to the contacts with the
forum state, (4) the interest of the forum state in providing
a forum for its residents, and (5) the convenience of the
parties. Dever, 380 F.3d at 1073-74. The first three
factors are given significant weight. Id. at
the underlying dispute in this action stems from a business
venture involving three contracts entered into by JRI and
Defendant Foundry Systems Innovations, LLC, which once was a
subsidiary of YIG and later sold to Defendants Berks Research
and Development, LLC, and Berks Research, LLC. YIG and JRI
dispute whether YIG, a non-resident defendant, committed any
of the enumerated acts under Missouri's long arm statute,
and namely, whether YIG conducted business in Missouri or
committed a tortious act in Missouri. Moreover, JRI posits
that despite YIG not signing the subject contracts, YIG's
solicitation of JRI's business while JRI was in Missouri
for the contracts that JRI later signed in Missouri suffices
to establish personal jurisdiction over YIG.
Court, based on the briefs and advised by the following
principles, is concerned with the sufficiency of the nature,
quality, and quantity of YIG's contacts with the forum
state. See Fastpath, 760 F.3d at 822-23 (citation
omitted) (“We have consistently rejected attempts to
satisfy the defendant-focused ‘minimum contacts'
inquiry by demonstrating contacts between the plaintiff (or
third parties) and the forum State.”); Steinbuch v.
Cutler, 518 F.3d 580, 589 (8th Cir. 2008) (for personal
jurisdiction over the parent company to exist, the plaintiff
must show the parent company dominates and controls the
subsidiary; mere ownership of a subsidiary is not enough);
Johnson v. Woodcock, 444 F.3d 953, 956 (8th Cir.
2006) (citation omitted) (“Contact by phone or mail is
insufficient to justify exercise of personal jurisdiction
under the due process clause.”).
light of the early stage of the case, the Court determines
the appropriate course is to grant JRI's request for
additional time to complete jurisdictional discovery.
See 61A Am. Jur. 2d, Pleading, § 511 (citations
omitted) (When faced with a motion to dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction, the Court has “considerable
procedural leeway” and may permit discovery to
ascertain facts relevant to the jurisdictional issues.).
Accordingly, the Court denies YIG's motion without
prejudice and orders YIG and JRI to engage in an expedited
sixty-day jurisdictional discovery period to close on
February 4, 2018. YIG may renew their motion to dismiss
within fourteen days following the closure of jurisdictional
IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant YIG's Motion to
Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction is DENIED
without prejudice. (Doc. 22.)
IS FURTHER ORDERED that YIG and JRI shall engage in
an expedited sixty-day jurisdictional discovery period, to
commence on the date of this order, after which time YIG