Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Third Eye Inc v. Four Winds Interactive LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

June 27, 2018

THIRD EYE, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
FOUR WINDS INTERACTIVE, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JANE J. BOYLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         At a hearing on June 25, 2018, the Court sua sponte raised whether it had personal jurisdiction over Defendant Four Winds Interactive, LLC.[1] After finding that it did not, the Court dismissed this case. This Order explains why.

         I. BACKGROUND

         [2]This is a breach-of-contract case. In January 2015, Plaintiff Third Eye, Inc. (Third Eye) and Defendant Four Winds Interactive LLC (Four Winds) executed a professional services agreement (PSA). Doc. 9, Pl.'s First Am. Compl., ¶ 6. Under the PSA, Third Eye promised to provide Four Winds with software support for Four Winds's products. Id. Third Eye did not provide the software support to Four Winds on its own. Id. Instead, it used the services of non-party UST Global, Inc. (UST), whose employees work in Bangalore, India. Id. ¶ 8. Ten UST employees in Bangalore were assigned to service Four Winds's account. Id. ¶¶ 9, 14.

         In 2017, Third Eye sought to hire the ten UST employees working on Four Winds's digital signs. Id. ¶ 10. Third Eye alleges Four Winds's Director of IT convinced the UST employees to join Third Eye's competitor, XLByte, instead. Id. ¶ 12. And so in August 2017, the ten UST employees rejected their Third-Eye offers and joined XLByte. Id. ¶ 14.

         That September, Four Winds notified Third Eye that it was terminating the PSA in thirty days because the ten employees who were servicing its digital signs no longer worked for UST. Id. Shortly after cancelling with Third Eye, Four Winds contracted with XLByte, the employer of the ten former UST employees who serviced Four Winds's signs. Id. ¶ 17.

         In April 2018, Third Eye's CEO, Shouvik Bhattacharyya, tried to win back Four Winds's business in an email. Id. ¶ 21. He detailed Third Eye's challenges moving forward without the ten UST employees and Four Winds's business. Id. Four Winds copied XLByte in its reply, and Third Eye alleges Four Winds thereby shared Third Eye's confidential information with XLByte, Third Eye's competitor, in violation of the PSA. Id. ¶ 23.

         On May 31, 2018, Third Eye filed suit in Texas state court, asserting claims for breach of contract and tortious interference with contract and prospective business relations. Doc. 1-3, Pl.'s Original Pet., ¶¶ 20-36. Third Eye also sought a TRO preventing Four Winds from further disclosing its confidential information in the April 2018 email and from using the ten former UST employees to service its digital signs. Id. ¶ 42.

         On June 8, 2018, the day Four Winds realized this case was filed, a Texas state judge denied the TRO orally, but Four Winds removed[3] the case to this Court later that day and before the state judge entered the order denying the TRO. Doc. 5, Pl.'s Resp., 5. The Court ordered Four Winds to respond to Third Eye's request for a TRO by June 13, Doc. 4, which it did, Doc. 5.

         A hearing was scheduled for June 25, 2018 to address Third Eye's request for a TRO. But on June 22, 2018, Third Eye filed its first amended complaint and withdrew the request for a TRO. Doc. 9, Pl.'s First Am. Compl., 11 n.9. Nevertheless, the Court proceeded with the hearing and, on the record, dismissed Third Eye's first amended complaint sua sponte for lack of personal jurisdiction.

         II.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A plaintiff bears the burden of establishing a trial court's personal jurisdiction over each defendant. Stuart v. Spademan, 772 F.2d 1185, 1192 (5th Cir. 1985). A plaintiff need only establish a prima facie case of jurisdiction; proof by a preponderance of the evidence is not required. Wien Air Alaska, Inc. v. Brandt, 195 F.3d 208, 211 (5th Cir. 1999); Jones v. Petty-Ray Geophysical, Geosource, Inc., 954 F.2d 1061, 1067 (5th Cir. 1992). In deciding whether the plaintiff has made a prima facie case, non-conclusory factual allegations in the complaint must be taken as true. Gardemal v. Westin Hotel Co., 186 F.3d 588, 592 (5th Cir. 1999). The Court may also consider “affidavits, interrogatories, depositions, oral testimony, or any combination of the recognized methods of discovery.” Spademan, 772 F.2d at 1192. All conflicts between the facts contained in the parties' affidavits and other documentation must be resolved in the plaintiff's favor. Cent. Freight Lines, Inc. v. APA Transp. Corp., 322 F.3d 376, 380 (5th Cir. 2003).

         A federal court sitting in diversity may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant to the same extent as a forum-state court. Wilson v. Belin, 20 F.3d 644, 646 (5th Cir. 1994). A Texas state court can exercise jurisdiction over a non-resident if two preconditions are met: (1) the nonresident must be amenable to service of process under Texas's long-arm statute; and (2) the assertion of jurisdiction over the nonresident must comport with the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. Jones, 954 F.2d at 1067. Because Texas's long-arm statute has been held to extend to the limits of due ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.