United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
RUSSELL ENERGY, INC. also known as Russell Energy Partners, Inc. PLAINTIFF
RONALD RUBRECHT; DREW GARLAND; TURBINE DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES, INC.; GARLAND BROTHERS, INC.; GEORGIA RENEWABLE POWER, LLC; UNKNOWN PURCHASER; UNKNOWN JOHN AND JANE DOES A, B, C; and OTHER UNKNOWN CORPORATE ENTITIES X, Y, Z DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING RONALD
RUBRECHT'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL
GUIROLA, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT is the  Motion to Dismiss for Lack of
Personal Jurisdiction filed by the defendant Ronald Rubrecht.
The parties have fully briefed the Motion. After reviewing
the submissions of the parties, the record in this matter,
and the applicable law, the Court finds that Rubrecht's
Motion to Dismiss should be granted.
plaintiff, Russell Energy, Inc., claims that it entered into
a NonDisclosure, Non-Circumvention, and Non-Competition
Agreement with Ronald Rubrecht and Turbine Diagnostic
Services on July 11, 2016, after Rubrecht asked Russell
“to find a generator for one of Rubrecht's clients
to buy.” (Compl. 4, ECF No. 1-1.) Russell then
contacted the defendant Drew Garland of Garland Brothers, who
told him about a generator owned by Georgia Renewable.
Russell claims that Garland improperly used confidential
information he obtained from Russell to complete the sale of
the generator with Rubrecht without Russell's
filed this lawsuit against several defendants, including
Rubrecht, who is a resident of Florida. Russell attempts to
assert the following claims: breach of confidentiality,
breach of non-circumvention, breach of non-competition,
breach of non-disclosure, breach of implied warranty of good
faith and fair dealing, civil conspiracy to defraud, and
unfair and deceptive acts. Rubrecht filed the present Motion,
asking the Court to dismiss Russell's claims against him
due to lack of personal jurisdiction.
federal court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a
nonresident defendant if (1) the forum state's long-arm
statute confers personal jurisdiction over that defendant,
and (2) the exercise of personal jurisdiction comports with
the due process clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment.'” Int'l Energy Ventures Mgmt.,
L.L.C. v. United Energy Grp., Ltd., 818 F.3d 193, 212
(5th Cir. 2016) (internal quotation marks and brackets
omitted). The plaintiff “need only make a prima facie
case if the district court rules without an evidentiary
hearing.” Johnston v. Multidata Sys. Int'l
Corp., 523 F.3d 602, 609 (5th Cir. 2008).
“Moreover, on a motion to dismiss for lack of
jurisdiction, uncontroverted allegations in the
plaintiff's complaint must be taken as true, and
conflicts between the facts contained in the parties'
affidavits must be resolved in the plaintiff's favor for
purposes of determining whether a prima facie case for
personal jurisdiction exists.” Id. (internal
quotation marks omitted).
Mississippi long-arm statute provides in pertinent part:
Any nonresident person . . . who shall make a contract with a
resident of this state to be performed in whole or in part by
any party in this state, or who shall commit a tort in whole
or in part in this state against a resident or nonresident of
this state, or who shall do any business or perform any
character of work or service in this state, shall by such act
or acts be deemed to be doing business in Mississippi and
shall thereby be subjected to the jurisdiction of the courts
of this state.
Miss. Code' 13-3-57. The three prongs of the statute are
commonly referred to as the “contract prong, ”
the “tort prong, ” and the “doing business
prong.” Pursuant to the plain language of the statute,
the doing business prong “applies to any person or
corporation performing any character of work in this
state.” Estate of Jones v. Phillips ex rel.
Phillips, 992 So.2d 1131, 1139 (Miss. 2008). Given the
broad reach of the doing business prong, the Court will
assume for purposes of this Motion only that personal
jurisdiction over Rubrecht is proper.
the Court must also determine whether it can exercise
personal jurisdiction over Rubrecht under the Fourteenth
Amendment's due process clause.
THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT'S DUE PROCESS CLAUSE
Due Process Clause protects an individual's liberty
interest in not being subject to the binding judgment of a
forum with which he has established no meaningful contacts,
ties, or relations.” ITL Int'l, Inc. v.
Constenla, S.A., 669 F.3d 493, 498 (5th Cir. 2012)
(internal quotation marks omitted). Federal jurisdiction
consistent with due process Amay be general or specific.@
Id. General jurisdiction requires continuous and
systematic contacts with the forum state. In re DuPuy
Orthopaedics, Inc., 888 F.3d 753, 778 (5th Cir. 2018).
Specific jurisdiction exists “where a defendant
purposefully directs his activities toward the state . . .,
and the plaintiff's claim arises out of or is related to
the defendant's forum contacts.” Id.
(internal brackets and quotation marks omitted). “Where
the plaintiff alleges specific jurisdiction, as here, due
process requires (1) minimum contacts by the defendant
purposefully directed at the forum state, (2) a nexus between
the defendant's contacts and the plaintiff's claims,
and (3) that the exercise of jurisdiction over the defendant
be fair and reasonable.” Costensla, 669 F.3d
at 498. ...