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Schlesinger v. Collins

United States District Court, N.D. California

September 25, 2019

BRIAN SCHLESINGER, Plaintiff,
v.
JOSHUA COLLINS, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS; AND GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO TRANSFER DOCKET NO. 8

          EDWARD M. CHEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Brian Schlesinger has filed suit against Defendant Joshua Collins, doing business as xpresscapitalgroup.com, [1] asserting a violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), see 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A)(iii), and similar California law. See Cal. Civ. Code § 1770(a)(22)(A). According to Mr. Schlesinger, Mr. Collins violated these statutes because he, or another person acting on his behalf, called Mr. Schlesinger using an artificial or prerecorded voice without Mr. Schlesinger’s prior express consent. Mr. Schlesinger seeks relief not only for himself but also for a nationwide class (for the TCPA claim) and a California class (for the California claim). Currently pending before the Court is Mr. Collins’s motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, transfer. Having considered the papers submitted, the Court deems the matter suitable for disposition without oral argument. The motion to dismiss is DENIED but the motion to transfer – specifically, to the Middle District of Florida where Mr. Collins resides, see Compl. ¶ 10; Collins Decl. ¶ 1 – is GRANTED.

         I. DISCUSSION

         A. Personal Jurisdiction

         1. Legal Standard

         According to Mr. Collins, the instant case against him must be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) (providing that a defendant may file a motion to dismiss based on lack of personal jurisdiction).

Where, as here, there is no applicable federal statute governing personal jurisdiction, the district court applies the law of the state in which the district court sits. Because California's long-arm jurisdictional statute is coextensive with federal due process requirements, the jurisdictional analyses under state law and federal due process are the same. For a court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant, that defendant must have at least "minimum contacts" with the relevant forum such that the exercise of jurisdiction "does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice."

Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800-01 (9th Cir. 2004).

         The plaintiff bears the burden of establishing personal jurisdiction. See Id . at 800. Where a “motion is based on written materials rather than an evidentiary hearing, ‘the plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of jurisdictional facts.’” Id. “Although the plaintiff cannot ‘simply rest on the bare allegations of its complaint, ’ uncontroverted allegations in the complaint must be taken as true”; in addition, “[c]onflicts between parties over statements contained in affidavits must be resolved in the plaintiff’s favor.” Id.

         2. Specific Jurisdiction

         In support of his claim that there is no personal jurisdiction, Mr. Collins has submitted a declaration. The bulk of that declaration is directed to his assertion that this Court lacks general jurisdiction over him. See Id . at 801 (stating that, “[f]or general jurisdiction to exist over a nonresident defendant . . ., the defendant must engage in ‘continuous and systematic general business contacts’ that ‘approximate physical presence’ in the forum state” – “an exacting standard . . . because a finding of general jurisdiction permits a defendant to be haled into court in the forum state to answer for any of its activities anywhere in the world”); Collins Decl. ¶¶ 2-13.

         In response, Mr. Schlesinger does not make any claim that this Court has general jurisdiction over Mr. Collins. Rather, Mr. Schlesinger argues only that there is specific jurisdiction.

         The Ninth Circuit has

a three-prong test for analyzing a claim of specific personal jurisdiction:
(1) The non-resident defendant must purposefully direct his activities or consummate some transaction with the forum or resident thereof; or perform some act by which he purposefully avails himself of the privilege of conducting activities in the ...

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