United States District Court, D. Arizona
J. Markovich United States Magistrate Judge
before the Court is Defendant Pacific Urethanes, LLC’s
(“Pacific”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s
Third Amended Complaint. (Doc. 103). Pacific argues that the
Court lacks both specific and general personal jurisdiction
over it because it did not purposefully direct its business
activities at Arizona, nor does it have a systematic and
continuous presence in the state. In lieu of filing a
response, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Conduct
Limited Jurisdictional Discovery Re: Defendant Pacific
Urethanes, LLC’s Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 107).
party seeking to invoke the court’s jurisdiction bears
the burden of establishing that jurisdiction exists.”
Scott v. Breeland, 792 F.2d 925, 927 (9th Cir. 1986)
(citing Data Disc, Inc. v. Systems Tech. Assocs.,
557 F.2d 1280, 1285 (9th Cir. 1977)). “When a defendant
moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, the
plaintiff is ‘obligated to come forward with facts, by
affidavit or otherwise, supporting personal
jurisdiction.’” Id. (quoting Amba
Marketing Sys., Inc. v. Jobar Int’l, Inc., 551
F.2d 784, 787 (9th Cir. 1977)); see also Pebble Beach Co.
v. Caddy, 453 F.3d 1151, 1154 (9th Cir. 2006). “If
the district court decides the motion without an evidentiary
hearing . . . ‘then the plaintiff need only make a
prima facie showing of the jurisdictional
facts.’” Boschetto v. Hansing, 539 F.3d
1011, 1015 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Sher v. Johnson,
911 F.2d 1357, 1361 (9th Cir. 1990). “Uncontroverted
allegations in the plaintiff’s complaint must be taken
as true” and “‘[c]onflicts between the
parties over statements contained in affidavits must be
resolved in the plaintiff’s favor.’”
Id. (quoting Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor
Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004)). However,
“[t]he mere allegations of a complaint, when
contradicted by affidavits, are not enough to confer personal
jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant.” Chem
Lab Products, Inc. v. Stepanek, 554 F.2d 371, 372 (9th
Cir. 1977) (citing Taylor v. Portland Paramount
Corp., 383 F.2d 634, 639 (9th Cir. 1967)).
court may permit discovery to aid in determining whether it
has in personam jurisdiction.” Data Tech, 557
F.2d at 1285 n. 1 (citing Wells Fargo & Co. v. Wells
Fargo Express Co., 556 F.2d 406, 430 n. 24 (9th Cir.
1977)). “‘[W]here a plaintiff’s claim of
personal jurisdiction appears to be both attenuated and based
on bare allegations in the face of specific denials made by
the defendants, the Court need not permit even limited
discovery . . .’” Terracom v. Valley
Nat. Bank, 49 F.3d 555, 562 (9th Cir. 1995) (quoting
Rich v. KIS Cal., Inc., 121 F.R.D. 254, 259 (M.D.
N.C. 1988)). However, “[d]iscovery may be appropriately
granted where pertinent facts bearing on the question of
jurisdiction are controverted or where a more satisfactory
showing of the facts is necessary.” Data Disc,
557 F.2d at 1285 n. 1.
Plaintiff contends that he needs additional time to conduct
limited jurisdictional discovery before responding to
Pacific’s motion to dismiss. Plaintiff states that his
products liability claim against Pacific is based on
Pacific’s alleged manufacturing of defective foam that
was used in the foam pit at Get Air Tucson. Plaintiff further
states that, based on Quality Foam & Fiber Products,
Inc.’s initial disclosure, “it seems that the
order for the foam blocks was made by Val Iverson, the owner
of the Get Air venture, to or through Quality, and that
Quality then contracted with Pacific for the foam
material.” (Doc. 107 at 3). Plaintiff urges the Court
to allow him time “to conduct discovery aimed
specifically at the contentions contained in Mr.
Nance’s [the president of Pacific] affidavit, ”
wherein Mr. Nance alleges that Pacific has had limited
business dealings with Arizona and had no knowledge that its
foam was going to be used at Get Air Tucson. Id. at
4. Plaintiff intends to depose both Mr. Nance and “a
representative from Quality who would have the most knowledge
about this order for foam blocks made by Val Iverson, ”
and also states that it may be necessary to depose Mr.
Iverson, depending on what information is gleaned from the
other two depositions. Id. at 4-5. In response to
Pacific’s claims that Plaintiff does not explain what
specific jurisdictional facts he needs to discover, Plaintiff
states that he will “investigate the business dealings
and contact Pacific has had with Arizona, as well as what
Pacific (not just Mr. Nance) knew or should have known about
the intended use of the foam material it manufactured upon
the order of Quality and Mr. Iverson.” (Doc. 111 at 6).
the contacts between Pacific and Arizona appear to be
attenuated, the Court finds that further discovery should
establish one way or another whether the foam produced by
Pacific fortuitously made its way to Arizona, or was
purposely directed to the state. The Court therefore
concludes that limited discovery, narrowly tailored to the
issue of Pacific’s contacts with Arizona, is
appropriate in this case.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED granting Plaintiff’s Motion for
Leave to Conduct Limited Jurisdictional Discovery Re:
Defendant Pacific Urethanes, LLC’s Motion to Dismiss.
(Doc. 107). Plaintiff may depose Mr. Nance, a representative
of Quality Foam & Fiber Products, Inc., and Val Iverson.
Plaintiff shall have 120 days, up to and including October
10, 2016, to conduct this ...