United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Liam O'Grady, Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Dkt. 6). The Court
considered the pleadings and the record in the case, and
determined that oral argument would not assist its resolution
of the matter.
Belmora LLC ("Belmora") is a pharmaceutical company
incorporated in Virginia, selling over-the-counter health
care products. Dkt. 12 at 4. Defendant Midway Importing, Inc.
("Midway") is a Texas company which purchased
products from Belmora. Dkt. 6 at 1. On April 6, 2018, Belmora
commenced a civil action in Virginia Circuit Court against
Midway, asserting breach of contract and unjust enrichment
due to Midway's failure to pay for certain purchases
between January 18, 2018 and February 12, 2018. See
Dkt. 1 at 2-10. Belmora seeks $580, 932.26 in damages.
Id. at 12.
18, 2018, Midway removed the case to this Court and
subsequently filed this Motion to Dismiss under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), asserting lack of personal
Rule 12(b)(2), a plaintiff bears the burden to demonstrate
personal jurisdiction at every stage when there is a proper
jurisdictional challenge. Grayson v. Anderson, 816
F.3d 262, 267 (4th Cir. 2016). The plaintiff's burden of
proof varies based on the posture of the case and the
evidence presented to the court at that point. See
Id. at 268. When the court is "reviewing only the
parties' motion papers, affidavits attached to the
motion, supporting legal memoranda, and the allegations in
the complaint," a prima facie showing of
personal jurisdiction is sufficient to survive the
jurisdictional challenge. See Id. The allegations
and available evidence relating to personal jurisdiction must
be viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
federal court has personal jurisdiction over a non-resident
defendant if the forum state's long-arm statute
authorizes the exercise of personal jurisdiction and the
assertion of that jurisdiction is constitutional under the
Due Process Clause. Perdue Foods LLC v. BRFS.A., 814
F.3d 185, 188 (4th Cir. 2016). In Virginia, the statutory
inquiry merges with the constitutional inquiry because
Virginia's long-arm statute is intended to extend
personal jurisdiction to the extent permissible under the
Constitution. Consulting Eng'rs Corp. v. Geometric
Ltd., 561 F.3d 273, 277 (4th Cir. 2009).
to be subject to personal jurisdiction in Virginia, the
defendant must have sufficient minimum contacts with the
forum state "such that the maintenance of the suit does
not offend 'traditional notions of fair play and
substantial justice.'" Id. (citing
Int 7 Shoe Co. v. Wash., 326 U.S. 310, 316
(1945)). The plaintiff must demonstrate the defendant's
purposeful availment of the forum such that the defendant
should have reasonably anticipated being haled into court in
the forum state. Perdue Foods LLC, 814 F.3d at 189.
Physical presence in the forum is not required, but the
contacts must be substantial and not "random,
fortuitous, or attenuated." See Burger King Corp. v.
Rudzewicz, Al\ U.S. 462, 475-76 (1985) (internal
citations omitted); English & Smith v. Metzger,
901 F.2d 36, 39 (4th Cir. 1990); Affinity Memory &
Micro, Inc. v. K & Q Enters., Inc., 20 F.Supp.2d
948, 952 (E.D. Va. 1998).
synthesizing these requirements for specific personal
jurisdiction, courts consider (1) the extent to which the
defendant purposefully availed itself of the privilege of
conducting activities in the state; (2) whether the
plaintiffs claims arise out of those activities directed at
the state; and (3) whether the exercise of personal
jurisdiction would be constitutionally reasonable. See
Consulting Eng'rs Corp., 561 F.3d at 278.
first prong requires non-mechanical consideration of various
factors regarding the quality and nature of the
defendant's contacts with the forum. See Perdue Foods
LLC, 814 F.3d at 189. Courts consider whether the
defendant maintains offices or agents in the forum state,
owns property in the forum state, reached into the forum
state to solicit or initiate business, deliberately engaged
in significant or long-term business activities in the forum
state, or made in-person contact with the resident of the
forum in the forum state regarding the business relationship.
also consider whether the parties contractually agreed that
the law of the forum state would govern disputes, whether the
performance of contractual duties was to occur within the
forum, and the nature, quality and extent of the parties'
communications about the business being transacted. Id.;
see also Am. Online, Inc. v. Huang,106 F.Supp.2d 848,
856 (E.D. Va. 2000); Affinity Memory, 20 F.Supp.2d
at 952 (listing the relevant factors as the place of
contracting and negotiations, the initiator of the contract,
the extent of the communications, and the place of
contractual performance). No. single ...