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Nutrition Distribution, LLC v. Bigdansfitness LLC

United States District Court, S.D. California

February 26, 2018

NUTRITION DISTRIBUTION LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
BIGDANSFITNESS, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS OR TRANSFER [DOC. NO. 3]

          JOHN A. HOUSTON United States District Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss or transfer jurisdiction based on lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. Defendant seeks an order dismissing the action for lack of jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) and improper venue pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3). If the Court is not inclined to dismiss the case, Defendant seeks an order transferring the case to the United States District Court in Moscow, Idaho pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 1404(a).

         Plaintiff filed a notice of non-opposition to the motion in which Plaintiff maintains it disagrees with Defendant's contention regarding its connection to California but it is willing to stipulate to transferring the action. Plaintiff maintains counsel for Defendant refused Plaintiff's offer to stipulate to the transfer of the matter because Plaintiff did not respond to Defendant's counsel's request to meet and confer prior to filing the pending motion. Plaintiff contends counsel is under the mistaken impression the matter may be dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiff further contends the only effect Defendant's refusal to stipulate is a waste of judicial resources and delay in transferring the matter.

         In reply, Defendant contends Plaintiff does not dispute the fact Defendant resides in Idaho and has no significant contacts with California and provides no evidence or argument refuting the motion. Defendant further contends Plaintiff now offers to stipulate to transferring the matter but previously failed to respond to Defendant's attempts to meet and confer prior to filing the motion. Defendant maintains it was forced to incur significant fees and costs in drafting and filing the motion. Defendant argues Plaintiff now seeks to stipulate to transferring the matter to conserve judicial resources but its failure to meet and confer in good faith is what lead to the filing of the motion. Defendant maintains the Court should still consider Defendant's request for dismissal notwithstanding Plaintiff's stipulation to transfer, because there is a significant difference between a dismissal and transfer of the case, and this case should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and improper venue.

         For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS Defendant's motion to dismiss or transfer and transfers the action.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Personal Jurisdiction

         Defendant argues this Court cannot exercise personal jurisdiction over Defendant because it lacks the requisite minimum contacts with California.

         Under Rule 12(b)(2), a court may dismiss a case for lack of jurisdiction over the person. The Ninth Circuit has established a two prong test for determining if the Court's assertion of personal jurisdiction is proper. Jurisdiction must comport with: (1) the state long-arm statute, and (2) 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. 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 v. Augusta Nat'l Inc., 223 F.3d 1082, 1086 (9th ...


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