United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
personal injury case is before the Court on the motion to
dismiss of Wal-Mart Stores East, LP and Sam's East, Inc.
November 20, 2018, Christopher Wise filed a complaint in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
Mississippi against “Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, ”
and “Sams East LP.” Doc. #1. The complaint asserted
claims for negligence arising from a fall Wise suffered while
attempting to enter a Sam's Club store located in
Memphis, Tennessee. Id. at ¶ 5.
January 14, 2019, Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P.,  and Sam's
East, Inc. filed a motion to dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction, improper venue, insufficient process,
and insufficient service of process. Doc. #9 at 1. Wise
responded in opposition to the motion to dismiss on February
11, 2019. Doc. #20. No reply was filed.
as here, a defendant raises the threshold defense of personal
jurisdiction (or the related issues of sufficiency and
service of process) and venue, “[t]he question of
personal jurisdiction, which goes to the court's power to
exercise control over the parties, is typically decided in
advance of venue, which is primarily a matter of choosing a
convenient forum.” Leroy v. Great W. United
Corp., 443 U.S. 173, 180 (1979). The Court, therefore,
will consider the issue of personal jurisdiction first.
Rule 12(b)(2), the “plaintiff bears the burden of
establishing jurisdiction, but need only present prima facie
evidence.” Patterson v. Aker Sols. Inc., 826
F.3d 231, 233 (5th Cir. 2016) (emphasis omitted). To
determine whether a plaintiff has made a prima facie case,
the court “must accept the plaintiff's
uncontroverted allegations, and resolve in his favor all
conflicts between the facts contained in the parties'
affidavits and other documentation.” Id.
(alteration omitted). “[A]llegations in a …
brief or legal memorandum are insufficient, even under the
relatively relaxed prima facie standard, to establish
jurisdictional facts.” Barrett v. Lombardi,
239 F.3d 23, 27 (1st Cir. 2001).
a federal diversity suit, the reach of federal [personal]
jurisdiction over nonresident defendants is measured by a
two-step inquiry.” Jobe v. ATR Mktg., Inc., 87
F.3d 751, 753 (5th Cir. 1996). “First, the law of the
forum state must provide for the assertion of such
jurisdiction; and, second, the exercise of jurisdiction under
state law must comport with the dictates of the Fourteenth
Amendment Due Process Clause.” Id. At the
second step, a court asks whether the defendant is subject to
either general or specific personal jurisdiction. In re
DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Prod.
Liab. Litig, 888 F.3d 753, 778 (5th Cir. 2018). General
jurisdiction requires “continuous and systematic forum
contacts and allows for jurisdiction over all claims against
the defendant, no matter their connection to the
forum.” Id. (internal quotation marks
omitted). Specific jurisdiction, in contrast, requires only
that the defendant have “purposefully direct[ed] his
activities toward the state” and that the
plaintiff's claim “arises out of or is related to
the defendant's forum contacts.” Id.
(internal quotation marks and alterations omitted).
argues that general jurisdiction exists here because:
In Gulf Coast Bank & Tr. Co. v. Designed Conveyour
Sys, LLC, [717 Fed.Appx. 394 (5th Cir. 2017)], the Fifth
Circuit held that a corporation could consent to personal
jurisdiction and in turn venue if the state's highest
court had previously construed registration to constitute to
consent to personal jurisdiction. In Estate of Jones v.
Phillips, 992 [So.2d] 1131, n4. (Miss. 2008), the
Mississippi Supreme Court held that registering to ...