United States District Court, D. Arizona
G. Campbell United States District Judge
have filed a motion to dismiss this matter for lack of
personal jurisdiction. Doc. 3. The motion has been fully
briefed (Docs. 11, 15), and the Court concludes that oral
argument will not aid in its decision. For the reasons
set forth below, the Court will grant the motion.
currently resides in Arizona. Doc. 1, ¶ 1. For the past
26 years, Plaintiff has owned a condominium at 1 Jib Street
in Marina Del Rey, California, where he has sometimes lived.
Id., ¶ 7. Defendant Meigan Everett is a natural
person who resides in California. Id., ¶ 2.
Defendant Gold Coast Property Pros is a corporate entity
based in California. Id., ¶ 3.
has sued Defendants for defamation. Doc. 1. He alleges that
Defendants sent an email to him and at least eight other
individuals who own homes at 1 Jib Street which falsely
implied that Plaintiff had made death threats and
anti-Semitic remarks towards other homeowners. Id.,
¶¶ 9-12. Plaintiff seeks damages. Id.,
courts ordinarily follow state law in determining the bounds
of their jurisdiction over persons.” Walden v.
Fiore, 134 S.Ct. 1115, 1121 (2014) (citation omitted).
Arizona has authorized its courts to exercise jurisdiction to
the maximum extent permitted by the Due Process Clause of the
U.S. Constitution. See Ariz. R. Civ. P. 4.2(a).
Thus, courts in the District of Arizona may exercise
jurisdiction over a defendant who is not physically present
in Arizona if the defendant has minimum contacts with the
State, such that the suit can be maintained without offending
traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
Int’l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310,
agrees that Defendants are not subject to general personal
jurisdiction. Doc. 11 at 2. The Court must therefore
determine whether Defendants are properly subject to specific
personal jurisdiction. Specific jurisdiction can be
established when the defendant purposely directed conduct at
the forum, the claim arises out of the defendant’s
forum-related activities, and the exercise of jurisdiction
comports with fair play and substantial justice. Mavrix
Photo, Inc. v. Brand Techs., Inc., 647 F.3d 1218,
1227-28 (9th Cir. 2011). The first requirement - purposeful
direction - can be satisfied when a defendant (1) commits an
intentional act, (2) expressly aimed at the forum, (3) which
causes foreseeable harm in the forum. Id. This test
is sometimes referred to as the “effects test.”
Court has explained in a previous decision:
The effects test does not “‘stand for the broad
proposition that a foreign act with foreseeable effects in
the forum state always gives rise to specific
jurisdiction.’” Wash. Shoe Co. v. A-Z
Sporting Goods Inc., 704 F.3d 668, 675 (9th Cir. 2012)
(quoting Bancroft & Masters, Inc. v. Augusta
Nat’l Inc., 223 F.3d 1082, 1087 (9th Cir. 2000)).
Nor does the effects test mean that specific jurisdiction may
be based solely on a defendant’s knowledge that the
subject of his tortious activity resides in a particular
state. See Walden, 134 S.Ct. at 1125. The Court must
always focus on the “‘relationship among the
defendant, the forum, and the litigation’ [which] is
the essential foundation of in personam jurisdiction.”
Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall,
466 U.S. 408, 414 (1984) (quoting Shaffer v.
Heitner, 433 U.S. 186, 204 (1977)). “The proper
question is not where the plaintiff experienced a particular
injury or effect but whether the defendant’s conduct
connects him to the forum in a meaningful way.”
Walden, 134 S.Ct. at 1125.
Wake Up & Ball LLC v. Sony Music Entm’t
Inc., 119 F.Supp. 3d 944, 948 (D. Ariz. 2015).
argues that specific jurisdiction exists because Defendants
knew he was a resident of Arizona when they defamed him in an
email. Indeed, Plaintiff provides an affidavit that explains
in some detail how Defendants knew he resided here. Doc. 11
at 13-15. But Plaintiff does not allege that Defendants had
any other relevant contacts with Arizona. The only other
contact identified by Plaintiff is that Defendants sent
monthly bills to his Arizona address (Doc. 11 at 14), but the
claims in this case do not arise out of that contact.
Plaintiff does not allege that the bills were somehow related
to the allegedly defamatory email.
complaint, Plaintiff’s affidavit, and Plaintiff’s
response to Defendants’ motion all make clear that the
only relevant link between Defendants and the State of
Arizona is Defendants’ knowledge that Plaintiff resided
here. That is not enough. As noted above, specific
jurisdiction cannot be based “solely on a
defendant’s knowledge that the subject of his tortious
activity resides in a particular state.” Wake Up
and Ball, 119 F.Supp.3d at 948. The connection to
Arizona “must arise out of contacts that the
‘defendant himself’ creates with the
forum State. . . . 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.” Walden,
134 S.Ct. at 1122 (citations omitted; emphasis in original).
more, Plaintiff alleges that the email was sent to several
individuals who own homes at the 1 Jib Street condominium
complex in California, and that the email concerned
Plaintiff’s conduct at the same complex. Doc. 1, ¶
9. Thus, to the extent defamation occurred, it occurred in
California, where the third-party recipients of the email
were located, not in Arizona, where Plaintiff opened the
email or where he now resides. Walden, 134 S.Ct. at
1124 (“because publication to third persons is a