United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Jermey Poehler's Motion to Dismiss
for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction (Doc. 4). For the following
reasons, the Court GRANTS this Motion.
Cole Bezner brings suit against Defendant Jeremy Poehler and
two alleged debt-collection agencies for violations of the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Texas
Finance Code. Doc. 1, Compl., ¶¶ 3, 13, 20, 26.
Plaintiff alleges that Poehler is a debt collector, and
liable under both statutes, as well as under the common law
cause of action of intrusion upon seclusion. Id.
¶¶ 26, 96-105. According to Plaintiff, Poehler
resides in New York, actively manages one of the collection
agencies-Defendant National Debt Holdings LLC (NDH)-and is
its sole director. Id. ¶¶ 21-26.
Furthermore, Poehler is alleged to have had wide-ranging
control over the collection procedures actually used by the
collection agencies and their employees. Id. ¶
argues that Plaintiff fails to meet its burden to show that
this Court has personal jurisdiction over him. See
Doc. 4, Mot. to Dismiss. As all responsive briefing has been
received, the Court now addresses that issue.
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). To
satisfy that burden, the plaintiff must “present
sufficient facts as to make out only a prima facie case
supporting jurisdiction, ” if a court rules on a motion
to dismiss without an evidentiary hearing. Cunningham v.
CBC Conglomerate, LLC, 2019 WL 452749, at (E.D. Tex.
Feb. 5, 2019) (quoting Apline View Co. v. Atlas Copco
AB, 205 F.3d 208, 215 (5th Cir. 2000)).
considering the motion to dismiss, ‘allegations in a
plaintiff's complaint are taken as true except to the
extent that they are contradicted by defendant's
affidavits.'” Id. (alterations
incorporated) (quoting Int'l Truck & Engine Corp.
v. Quintana, 259 F.Supp.2d 553, 557 (N.D. Tex. 2003)
(citing Wyatt v. Kaplan, 686 F.2d 276, 282-83 n.13
(5th Cir. 1982))); accord Black v. Acme Mkts., Inc.,
564 F.2d 681, 683 n.3 (5th Cir. 1977). “Further,
‘[a]ny genuine, material conflicts between the facts
established by the parties' affidavits and other evidence
are resolved in favor of plaintiff for the purposes of
determining whether a prima facie case exists.'”
Id. (quoting Quintana, 259 F.Supp.2d at 557
(citing Jones, 954 F.2d at 1067).
establishing personal jurisdiction, two preconditions must be
met: (1) the nonresident defendant must be amenable to
service of process under the Texas long-arm statute; and (2)
the assertion of jurisdiction over the nonresident must
comport with the Due Process Clause of the United States
Constitution. Jones, 954 F.2d at 1067. Because the
Texas long-arm statute has been held to extend to the limits
of the Due Process Clause, the Court need only determine
whether jurisdiction over the defendant is constitutionally
permissible. Id. at 1067-68 (citing Schlobohm v.
Schapiro, 784 S.W.2d 355, 357 (Tex. 1990)).
the federal constitutional test of due process, two elements
must be satisfied: (1) the defendant must have purposefully
availed itself of the benefits and protections of the forum
state by establishing “minimum contacts” with
that state such that it would reasonably anticipate being
brought to court there; and (2) the exercise of jurisdiction
over the defendant must not offend traditional notions of
fair play and substantial justice. Id. at 1068.
“minimum contacts” prong of the due process
analysis can be met through contacts that give rise to either
general or specific jurisdiction. Gundle Lining Constr.
Corp. v. Adams Cnty. Asphalt, Inc., 85 F.3d 201, 205
(5th Cir. 1996). “General personal jurisdiction is
found when the nonresident defendant's contacts with the
forum state, even if unrelated to the cause of action, are
continuous, systematic, and substantial.” Marathon
Oil Co. v. Ruhrgas, 182 F.3d 291, 295 (5th Cir. 1999).
In contrast, specific jurisdiction exists “only when
the nonresident defendant's contacts with the forum state
arise from, or are directly related to, the cause of
action.” Gundle, 85 F.3d at 205.
the plaintiff satisfies the minimum-contacts test, the burden
shifts to the defendant to demonstrate that the forum
court's exercise of jurisdiction over the defendant would
be unfair. Nuovo Pignone, SpA, v. Storman Asia M/V,
310 F.3d 374, 382 (5th Cir. 2002) (abrogated on
other grounds by Water Splash, Inc. v. Menon,
137 S.Ct. 1504 (2017)). “In conducting the fairness
inquiry, [courts] examine (1) the burden on the nonresident
defendant, (2) the forum state's interests, (3) the
plaintiff's interest in securing relief, (4) the interest
of the interstate judicial system in the efficient
administration of justice, and (5) the shared interest of the
several states in furthering fundamental social
policies.” Luv N' care, Ltd. v. Insta-Mix,
Inc., 438 F.3d 465, 473 (5th Cir. 2006).