Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
OPENGATE CAPITAL GROUP, LLC, OPENGATE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, LLC AND OPEN PUBLISHING LLC, Appellants,
SITSA LOGISTICS, INC., Appellee.
appeal from the County Court at Law No. 8 of Hidalgo County,
Justices Benavides, Hinojosa, and Rodriguez 
OpenGate Capital Group, LLC, OpenGate Capital Management,
LLC, and Open Publishing, LLC (OpenGate) appeal the trial
court's denial of its special appearance. By its sole
issue, OpenGate contends the trial court erred in denying its
special appearance because appellee Sitsa Logistics, Inc. did
not plead sufficient allegations to bring OpenGate within the
personal jurisdiction of the trial court. We affirm.
is a Texas corporation doing business in Hidalgo County.
OpenGate is a Delaware entity with its principal place of
business in California. In May 2017, Sitsa filed suit against
OpenGate, claiming breach of contract, a suit on sworn
account, quantum meruit, and vicarious liability. In its
petition, Sitsa alleged that Hamilton Scientific, LLC
(Hamilton), a nonparty subsidiary of OpenGate, brought lab
equipment across the Reynosa portion of the Mexican border
into Hidalgo County and then contracted with Sitsa for Sitsa
to transport that equipment from the border to the United
States. According to Sitsa, Hamilton stopped paying invoices
and left an unpaid balance of $95, 467.04.
filed a special appearance arguing that Sitsa failed to plead
sufficient facts to bring OpenGate within the Texas long-arm
statute. Following a hearing, the trial court denied the
special appearance without issuing findings of fact or
conclusions of law. This appeal followed.
sole issue, OpenGate contends Sitsa's pleadings failed to
support its assertion of personal jurisdiction. The extent of
their argument is as follows:
Sitsa fails to carry its burden to plead facts which would
bring the OpenGate Appellants within reach of the Texas
Long-Arm Statute. Sitsa does not allege that OpenGate
executed or breached a contract in Texas (indeed, Sitsa
concedes that Hamilton, and not the OpenGate Appellants,
contracted with Sitsa). Sitsa does not allege that the
OpenGate Appellants committed any act in or directed any act
to Texas . . . Because Sitsa failed to plead sufficient
allegations (or any allegations) to bring the OpenGate
Appellants within the provisions of the Texas Long-Arm
Statue, the OpenGate Appellants needed only to prove that
they were not residents of Texas to negate jurisdiction . . .
Standard of Review
the trial court has personal jurisdiction over a defendant is
a question of law. BMC Software Belg., N.V. v.
Marchand, 83 S.W.3d 789, 794 (Tex. 2002). Thus, we
review the trial court's ruling on a special appearance
de novo. Id. When, as here, the trial court does not
issue findings of fact and conclusions of law, we infer all
"facts necessary to support the judgment if those facts
are supported by the evidence . . ." and we presume that
the trial court resolved all factual disputes in favor of its
ruling. Id. at 795 (citing Worford v.
Stamper, 801 S.W.2d 108, 109 (Tex. 1990); Glattly v.
CMS Viron Corp., 177 S.W.3d 438, 445 (Tex. App.-Houston
[1st Dist.] 2005, no pet.). The trial court determines the
special appearance by referring to the pleadings, any
stipulations made by and between the parties, any affidavits
and attachments filed by the parties, discovery, and any oral
testimony. Tex.R.Civ.P. 120a(3). We will affirm the trial
court's ruling on any legal theory that finds support in
the record. Dukatt v. Dukkat, 355 S.W.3d 231, 237
(Tex. App.-Dallas 2011, pet. denied).
Texas Long-Arm Statute
courts have personal jurisdiction over a nonresident
defendant only if it is authorized by the Texas long-arm
statute. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann.
§ 17.042. The long-arm statute sets out several
activities that constitute "doing business" in
Texas, such as a nonresident contracting with a Texas
resident to perform the contract in whole or in part in
Texas. Id. The list is not exclusive, and the
statute's "broad language extends Texas courts'
personal jurisdiction 'as far as the federal
constitutional requirements of due process will
permit.'" BMC Software Belg., 83 S.W.3d at
795 (quoting U-Anchor Adver., Inc. v. Burt, 553
S.W.2d 760, 762 (Tex. 1977)). Therefore, "the
requirements of the Texas ...