United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
HARRIS TOLIVER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
case has been referred to the undersigned United States
magistrate judge for pretrial management, including a
recommended disposition. Doc. 9. Now before the Court is
General Motors Company's Motion to Dismiss. Doc.
6. As detailed herein, the Motion should be
Background and Parties'
October of 2018, Plaintiff Musshur Meener, filed his pro
se petition in state court (“Complaint”)
asserting various claims against General Motors Company, the
sole Defendant. Doc. 1-2 at 12. After Plaintiff amended his
Complaint five times, Defendant removed the case to this
Court, Doc. 1, and filed the instant Motion
thereafter. Doc. 6.
argues that “Plaintiff's Petition lacks allegations
to support either general [or] specific jurisdiction over
Defendant.” Doc. 6 at 4. Defendant contends that
Plaintiff has failed to “allege in any way that
[Defendant] regularly or continuously conducts business in
the State of Texas or that Defendant purposely made
sufficient minimum contacts with Texas, averring that: (1)
General Motors Company is not a Texas resident; (2) General
Motors Company is organized under the laws of another state;
(3) General Motors Company is a holding company “at the
highest tier of [its] hierarchal structure”; (4)
General Motors Company “has never and does not design,
test, manufacture, market, sell, or distribute motor
vehicles, including the [subject vehicle]”; and (5)
General Motors Company “has no contacts in Texas that
give rise or relate to Plaintiff's alleged causes of
actions.” Doc. 6 at 4-5.
opposition, Plaintiff irregularly argues the merits of his
case and seemingly requests to take an interlocutory appeal.
Doc. 7 passim. Plaintiff does not, however, respond
to Defendant's arguments concerning the lack of personal
jurisdiction. Doc. 7 passim.
federal court sitting in diversity may exercise personal
jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant if (1) the long-arm
statute of the forum state confers personal jurisdiction over
that defendant; and (2) the exercise of such jurisdiction by
the forum state is consistent with due process under the
United States Constitution.” Mink v. AAAA Dev.
LLC, 190 F.3d 333, 335 (5th Cir. 1999) (citing Felch
v. Transportes Lar-Mex S.A. De CV, 92 F.3d 320, 324 (5th
Cir. 1996)). Because the Texas long-arm statute extends to
the limits of due process, the Court need only consider
whether exercising jurisdiction over defendants would be
consistent with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment. Id. (citing Electrosource, Inc. v.
Horizon Battery Technologies, Ltd., 176 F.3d 867, 871
(5th Cir. 1999)).
Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment permits the
exercise of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident
defendant when (1) that defendant has purposefully availed
himself of the benefits and protections of the forum state by
establishing ‘minimum contacts' with the forum
state; and (2) the exercise of jurisdiction over that
defendant does not offend ‘traditional notions of fair
play and substantial justice.” Mink, 190 F.3d
333 at 336 (citing Latshaw v. Johnston, 167 F.3d
208, 211 (5th Cir. 1999)). A defendant's contacts with
the forum may support either specific or general jurisdiction
over the defendant. Id. at 336. “Specific
jurisdiction exits when the nonresident defendant's
contacts with the forum state arise from, or are directly
related to, the cause of action. General jurisdiction exists
when a defendant's contacts with the forum state are
unrelated to the cause of action but are ‘continuous
and systematic.'” Id. (citations omitted).
plaintiff bears the burden of establishing a district
court's jurisdiction over the Defendant. Wilson v.
Belin, 20 F.3d 644, 648 (5th Cir. 1994). When a court
rules on a motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction without holding an evidentiary hearing,
“it must accept as true the uncontroverted allegations
in the complaint and resolve in favor of the plaintiff any
factual conflicts posed by the affidavits. Therefore, in a
no-hearing situation, a plaintiff satisfies his burden by
presenting a prima facie case for personal
jurisdiction.” Latshaw, 167 F.3d at 211
Court liberally construes Plaintiff's filings with all
possible deference due to a pro se litigant.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (pro
se pleadings are “to be liberally construed,
” and “a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”);
cf. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(e) (“Pleadings must be
construed so as to do justice.”). Even liberally
construed, however, the Complaint is wholly devoid of any
factual allegations that would permit the Court's
exercise of personal jurisdiction over Defendant. Doc. 1-2 at
the Complaint does not allege any facts that indicate
Defendant purposefully availed himself of any benefits or
protections of Texas, or that Defendant has established
minimal contacts with Texas such that personal jurisdiction
is conferred. Plaintiff does not, for example, allege that
the vehicle he purchased was manufactured or produced by
Defendant in Texas, or that Defendant maintains a continuous
and systematic presence in the State. Doc. 1-2 at 62. At
bottom, Plaintiff simply fails to allege any facts
establishing personal jurisdiction over Defendant.
Accordingly, Defendant's motion to dismiss should be
Leave to Amend
a pro se plaintiff should be granted leave to amend
his complaint prior to dismissal. SeeBrewster
v. Dretske, 587 F.3d 764, 767-68 (5th Cir. 2009).
However, here, Plaintiff had the opportunity to state a basis
for the Court's personal jurisdiction over Defendant in
his response to the motion to dismiss and wholly failed to do
so. Under these circumstances, the Court can only conclude
that no facts exist to ...