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EDUCATIONAL PLACEMENT SERVICES v. FRED A. WILSON

APRIL 23, 1986

EDUCATIONAL PLACEMENT SERVICES
v.
FRED A. WILSON



BEFORE PATTERSON, C.J.; DAN M. LEE AND ROBERTSON, JJ.

ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

I.

On this appeal we are asked to review a circuit court's order dismissing a suit on a Tennessee judgment on grounds the Tennessee court had neither personal jurisdiction over the Defendant nor was venue proper there. En route to our decision, we are also called upon to consider the effect of a long undenied request for admissions under Rule 36, Miss.R.Civ.P.

 For the reasons explained below, the facts set forth in the Rule 36 request are taken as admitted. As such, these facts form a more than adequate factual predicate to personal jurisdiction over the Defendant in Tennessee. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

 II.

 Educational Placement Services ("Educational Placements") is a Tennessee corporation apparently engaged in the business of providing personnel and placement services for teachers and other educators in the mid-South area. Educational Placements has its principal place of business in Memphis, Tennessee.

 On March 16, 1983, Educational Placements commenced this civil action by filing its complaint in the Circuit Court of Chickasaw County, Mississippi, First Judicial District, naming Fred A. Wilson as the Defendant. The suit sought enforcement of a judgment said to have been entered in the Court of General Sessions, Shelby County, Tennessee, in favor of Educational Placements and against Wilson in the amount of $3,783.75. Attached to the complaint was an abstract of the docket of the Tennessee court reflecting that on December 1, 1982, judgment had been rendered in favor of Educational Placements and against Wilson in the amount of $3,750.00 plus costs. This abstract was certified in accordance with the Act of Congress, 28 U.S.C. 1738.

 In due course Wilson answered the Chickasaw County suit and asserted, inter alia, that the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, that Wilson was not amenable to in personam jurisdiction in the courts of the State of Tennessee, that the Tennessee court was not the proper venue for the hearing of the original action, and that Educational Placements was a foreign corporation not qualified to do business in Mississippi and therefore had no authority to sue in this state.

 In this state of the matter, Educational Placements, on January 23, 1984, acting pursuant to the authority of and in accordance with the procedure of Rule 36, Miss. R. Civ. P., filed and served upon Wilson certain requests for admissions. These were obviously designed to lay the predicate for Educational Placements' response to Wilson's claim of lack of in personam jurisdiction in the Tennessee court by showing that he was indeed amenable to in personam jurisdiction there. Specifically, Wilson was requested to admit that he filled out a general background and educational qualifications and experience form, that he signed a contract for placement services with Educational Placements, that he delivered the contract to Educational Placements at its office in Shelby County, Tennessee, that he consulted with Educational Placements in Memphis, Tennessee, regarding employment, and that he requested Educational Placements to seek teaching positions for him in Tennessee among other states.

 Insofar as the record reflects, no answers or objections to the request for admissions were ever filed, nor was a

 request for more time ever made. Wilson appears simply to have ignored the requests.

 On February 15, 1984, Educational Placements filed and served a motion for judgment on the pleadings, Rule 12 (c), Miss.R.Civ.P. It appears that no hearing was ever held on that motion, for the next item that appears is the Order entered March 22, 1985, dismissing the complaint and reciting that

 the court is of the opinion that the position of the Defendant [Fred A. Wilson] concerning venue and jurisdiction [in the Tennessee courts] is well taken and this cause should be and is hereby ...


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