Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Leebolt v. Hornbeck Offshore Services

November 12, 2010

THOMAS LEEBOLT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HORNBECK OFFSHORE SERVICES, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. Houston United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION [DOC. # 4]

INTRODUCTION

Currently pending before this Court is the motion to dismiss filed by defendant Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc.'s ("defendant" or "Hornbeck") for lack of personal jurisdiction. The motion has been fully briefed by the parties. After a careful consideration of the pleadings and relevant exhibits submitted by the parties, and for the reasons set forth below, this Court GRANTS defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction.

BACKGROUND

Hornbeck is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Covington, Louisiana. Johnson Decl. ¶ 13. Plaintiff Thomas Leebolt ("plaintiff"), an employee of defendant and resident of California, filed the instant complaint on April 1, 2010, seeking relief for injuries he suffered while aboard defendant's vessel BJ BLUE RAY while it was docked pierside in Louisiana on February 18, 2010. Compl. ¶¶ 1, 7.

On June 11, 2010, defendant filed the instant motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff filed an opposition to defendant's motion on June 28, 2010 and defendant filed a reply on July 26, 2010. The motion was subsequently taken under submission without oral argument. See CivLR 7.1(d.1).

DISCUSSION

1. Legal Standard

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), a court may dismiss a case for "lack of jurisdiction over the person." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2). The Ninth Circuit has established a two prong test for determining if the Court's assertion of personal jurisdiction is proper:

(1) "'jurisdiction must comport with the state long-arm statute,'" and (2) jurisdiction must comport "'with the constitutional requirement of due process.'" Mattel, Inc., v. Greiner & Hausser GMBH, 354 F.3d 857, 863 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Ziegler v. Indian River County, 64 F.3d 470, 473 (9th Cir. 1995)).

As to the first prong, California's long arm statute provides that "a court of this state may exercise jurisdiction on any basis not inconsistent with the Constitution of this State or of the United States." Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 410.10 (2003). Because California law allows the exercise of jurisdiction to the same extent as due process under the United States Constitution, the only question is whether the exercise of jurisdiction over the defendant is constitutional. See Mattel, 354 F.3d at 863. Under a due process analysis, the Court may only exercise jurisdiction in accord with "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice," thus the nonresident defendant is required to have "certain minimum contacts" with the forum state in order for jurisdiction to be proper. Id. (quoting International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)).

Personal jurisdiction may be found where the defendant's activities subject him to either general or specific jurisdiction. General jurisdiction exists where a nonresident defendant's activities within a state are "substantial" or "continuous and systematic." Data Disc, Inc. v. Systems Technology Associates, Inc., 557 F.2d 1280, 1287 (9th Cir. 1977). In the absence of general jurisdiction, a nonresident defendant may still be sued in the forum if specific jurisdiction exists. Id. The Ninth Circuit has established a three part test to determine whether there is specific jurisdiction over a defendant:

'Specific' jurisdiction exists if (1) the defendant has performed some act or consummated some transaction within the forum or otherwise purposefully availed himself of the privilege of conducting activities in the forum, (2) the claim arises out of or results from the defendant's forum-related activities, and (3) the exercise of jurisdiction is reasonable.

Mattel, 354 F.3d at 863 (quoting Bancroft & Masters, 223 F.3d at 1086 (9th Cir. 2000)). The Court must assess the contacts of each defendant separately to determine whether personal jurisdiction exists for each particular defendant. Harris Rutsky & Co. Ins. Servs. Inc. v. Bell & Clements Ltd., 328 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2003); Sher v. Johnson, 911 F.2d 1357, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.