United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
JOSEPH R. YASINOSKY,
RIVER OAKS FARMS INC., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MCBRYDE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
for consideration the motions of defendants, River Oaks Farm,
("River Oaks"), Richard Kutz, Jr., and Raintree
Equine Services, L.L.C. ("Raintree"), to dismiss
for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court, having
considered the motions, the responses filed by plaintiffs,
Joseph Yasinosky and Thomas Minton, the replies, the record,
and applicable authorities, finds that the motions should be
March 7, 2017, plaintiffs filed their complaint in the Dallas
Division of this court. Doc. 1. By order signed March 9, 2017,
the action was transferred to the Fort Worth Division, Doc.
8, where it was assigned to the docket of the undersigned.
are the owners of Joyful1 Julia, a thoroughbred mare. Doc. 11
at 1-2, ¶¶l-2, and 3, ¶ 8. Defendants are
citizens of the State of Oklahoma and River Oaks and Raintree
have their principal places of business there. Id.
at 2, ¶¶3-5, Plaintiffs allege: They sent their
mare to River Oaks for boarding, foaling, and subsequent care
of the mare and foal. Doc. 11 at 3, ¶ 8. On March 10,
2017, the foal was born at River Oaks. Id. at ¶
9. Plaintiffs have reason to believe the foal was not given
plasma, which is typically given to foals intravenously 2-3
times in the first few weeks of life, although they were
charged for it. Id. at ¶ 10. No blood test or
ultrasounds were done, which breached the standard of care.
Id. at ¶ 11. Plaintiffs picked up the foal from
River Oaks and immediately transported him to Texas, where he
died of Rhodococcus bacterial pneumonia, which is treatable
if caught early. Id. at ¶¶ 12-14.
say that defendants were negligent in their care of the foal.
They seek to recover "over $100, 000" for the death
of the foal in addition to veterinary costs and loss of
Grounds of the Motions
allege that the court lacks personal jurisdiction over each
of them. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2).
burden is on plaintiffs to establish the court's
jurisdiction over defendants. Wilson v.
Belin; 20 F.3d 644, 648 (5th Cir.
1994); Stuart v. Spademan, 772 F.2d 1185, 1192
(5th Cir. 1985). Personal jurisdiction need not be
established by a preponderance of the evidence at this stage;
prima facie evidence is sufficient. WHS, Inc. v.
Farrow, 884 F.2d 200, 203 (5th Cir. 1989).
The court may resolve jurisdictional issues by reviewing
pleadings, affidavits, exhibits, any part of the record, and
any combination thereof. Command-Aire Corp. v. Ontario
Mech. Sales & Serv., Inc., 963 F.2d 90, 95
(5th Cir. 1992) . Allegations of plaintiffs'
complaint are taken as true except to the extent that they
are contradicted by defendants' affidavits. Wyatt v.
Kaplan, 686 F.2d 276, 282-83 n.13 (5th Cir.
1982). Any genuine, material conflicts are resolved in favor
of plaintiffs. Jones v. Petty-Ray Geophysical
Geosource, Inc., 954 F.2d 1061, 1067 (5th
diversity action, personal jurisdiction over a nonresident
may be exercised if (1) the nonresident defendant is amenable
to service of process under the law of the forum state, and
(2) the exercise of jurisdiction under state law comports
with the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Wilson, 20 F.3d at 646-47. Since the Texas long-arm
statute has been interpreted as extending to the limits of
due process, the only inquiry is whether the exercise of
jurisdiction over the nonresident defendants would be
constitutionally permissible. Bullion v. Gillespie,
895 F.2d 212, 216 (5th Cir. 1990).
process to be satisfied, a nonresident must have minimum
contacts with the forum state resulting from an affirmative
act on the defendant's part and the contacts must be such
that the exercise of jurisdiction over the person of the
defendant does not offend traditional notions of fair play
and substantial justice. International Shoe Co. v.
Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945). The "minimum
contacts" prong of the due process requirement can be
satisfied by a finding of either "specific" or
"general" jurisdiction over the nonresident.
Bullion, 895 F.2d at 216.
specific jurisdiction to exist, the foreign defendant must
purposefully do some act or consummate some transaction in
the forum state and the cause of action must arise from or be
connected with such act or transaction. Burger King Corp.
v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 475 (1985). Even if the
controversy does not arise out of or relate to the
nonresident's purposeful contacts with the forum, general
jurisdiction may be exercised when the nonresident
defendant's contacts with the forum are sufficiently
continuous and systematic as to support the reasonable
exercise of jurisdiction. Helicopteros Nacionales deColombia, S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 416 (1984);
Perkins vBenguet Consol Mining Co., 342
U.S. 437 (1952). When general j jurisdiction is asserted, the
minimum contacts analysis is more demanding and requires a
showing of substantial activities within \ the forum
state. Jones, 954 F.2d at 1068. As the Supreme Court
has recently explained, the proper consideration when
determining general jurisdiction is whether the
defendant's affiliations with j the state are so
continuous and systematic as to render it "essentially
at home" in the forum state. Daimler AG v.
Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746, 761 (2014)(quoting Goodyear
Dunlop TiresOperations, S.A. v. Brown, 564
U.S. 915, 919 (2011)). For example, a corporation's place
of incorporation and principal place of business are the
places where it is at ...