from the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Texas
KING, SOUTHWICK, and ENGELHARDT, Circuit Judges.
Appliances, Inc., appeals the district court's dismissal
of this suit for lack of personal jurisdiction. For the
following reasons, we AFFIRM.
case arises out of Conn Appliances, Inc.'s
("Conn"), attempts to compel Johnnie F. Williams,
Jr., to comply with the terms of the parties' retail
installment contract. Williams is a resident of Tennessee,
and he entered into the contract with Conn, a Texas
corporation, at Conn's Tennessee store. When Williams
began to miss payments, Conn called him about his delinquent
account from one of its call centers. Although Williams had
originally consented to receiving phone calls from Conn, he
later withdrew that consent. Despite the withdrawal of his
consent, Conn continued to call Williams.
sued Conn in the U.S. District Court for the Western District
of Tennessee (the "Tennessee case"), alleging that
Conn violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
("TCPA"). He later voluntarily dismissed the case
after realizing that the parties' retail installment
contract included an arbitration agreement. Because the
parties' arbitration agreement provided that the
arbitration hearing "will take place near [the
buyer's] residence," the arbitration took place in
Tennessee. The arbitrator entered an award in favor of
Williams on September 4, 2018.
parties' arbitration agreement provides that
"[j]udgment on the award may be entered in any court
with jurisdiction." On the day the arbitrator entered
his award, Conn and Williams both took judicial action. Conn
brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Texas (the "Texas case"), asking the
court to vacate the award. Meanwhile, Williams filed a motion
in the Tennessee case seeking to enforce the award.
then moved to dismiss the Texas case for lack of personal
jurisdiction. He argued that Conn had not properly served him
and he was not subject to personal jurisdiction in Texas
because he was not within reach of the state's long-arm
statute and did not have sufficient contacts within the state
to give rise to jurisdiction. After a hearing, the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Texas dismissed
the Texas case for lack of personal jurisdiction. Conn
challenges this dismissal on appeal.
review de novo a district court's decision to grant a
motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.
Halliburton Energy Servs., Inc. v. Ironshore Specialty
Ins. Co., 921 F.3d 522, 539 (5th Cir. 2019). Because the
district court did not hold an evidentiary hearing, Conn
bears the burden of establishing only a prima facie case of
personal jurisdiction. Id. We "accept as true
the uncontroverted allegations in the complaint and resolve
in favor of [Conn] any factual conflicts." Id.
(quoting Latshaw v. Johnston, 167 F.3d 208, 211 (5th
a federal court may assert personal jurisdiction if the state
long-arm statute permits jurisdiction and the exercise of
such jurisdiction would not violate due process. Id.
"Because the Texas long-arm statute extends to the
limits of federal due process, the two-step inquiry reduces
to only the federal due process analysis." Id.
Thus, to establish a prima facie case of personal
jurisdiction, Conn must show that Williams had "minimum
contacts" with Texas-meaning that he "purposely
availed himself of [Texas's] benefits and
protections"-and that exercising jurisdiction will not
"offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice." Id. (quoting Walk Haydel &
Assocs., Inc. v. Coastal Power Prod. Co., 517 F.3d 235,
243 (5th Cir. 2008)).
contacts can give rise to either specific or general personal
jurisdiction; only specific jurisdiction is at issue here.
"Specific jurisdiction applies when a non-resident
defendant 'has purposefully directed [his] activities at
the forum state and the litigation results from alleged
injuries that arise out of or relate to those
activities.'" Id. at 539-40 (quoting
Panda Brandywine Corp. v. Potomac Elec. Power Co.,
253 F.3d 865, 868 (5th Cir. 2001)).
agree with the district court that Conn has failed to
establish a prima facie case that the district court had
personal jurisdiction over Williams, and we therefore affirm
the district court's dismissal of this action. Williams
entered into the retail installment contract with Conn at its
Tennessee store. The contract provided that it would be
governed by Tennessee and federal law, and the arbitration
clause would be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act. The
arbitration was held in Tennessee. Other than the fact that
Williams entered into a contract with a Texas entity, there
is no evidence in the record that Williams engaged with the
Texas forum. Cf. id. at 544 (explaining that
contract with out-of-state party, on its own, cannot
establish minimum contacts with other party's forum). Nor
has Conn pointed to any evidence that Williams
"purposely availed himself" of the Texas forum.
Because Conn has failed to meet its prima facie burden, the
district court properly dismissed the suit for lack of
personal jurisdiction over Williams. See Sangha v. Navig8
ShipMgmt. Private Ltd., 882 F.3d 96, 103 (5th Cir. 2018)