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SKI Racing, Inc. v. Johnson

United States District Court for the District of New Mexico

July 31, 2010, Decided; July 31, 2010, Filed

No. 09-CV-1181 MCA/LAM

Opinion

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This matter comes before the Court upon Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction and to Dismiss or Transfer for Improper Venue. [Doc. 4] The Court has considered the parties' submissions, the applicable law, and is otherwise fully advised. For the reasons that follow, the Court concludes that it lacks personal jurisdiction over Defendants, and therefore grants Defendants' motion to dismiss.

LEGAL STANDARDS

Johnson1 has moved the Court pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) for dismissal of this action, asserting that he does not have constitutionally adequate contacts with New Mexico to support this Court's assertion of personal jurisdiction2 over him with respect to the claims asserted by SKI. In a case in which the Court's subject matter  [*2] jurisdiction is founded on diversity of citizenship, 28 U.S.C. § 1332, whether an assertion of personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant is proper turns upon two showings: (1) that the long-arm statute of the forum state, in this case, NMSA 1978, § 38-1-16, authorizes service of process upon the defendant, and (2) that the assertion of personal jurisdiction comports with the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Far West Capital v. Towne, 46 F.3d 1071, 1074 (10th Cir. 1995). A court's exercise of personal jurisdiction over a defendant in a diversity case comports with due process where (1) "there exist 'minimum contacts' between the defendant and the forum State" and (2) considering the defendant's contacts with the forum state, "maintenance of the suit 'does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice." Far West, 46 F.3d at 1074 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).

In conducting its personal jurisdiction analysis, the Court interprets and applies New Mexico's long-arm statute as would the New Mexico Supreme Court. See Diamond Crystal Brands v. Food Movers Int'l, Inc., 593 F.3d 1249, 1258 (11th Cir. 2010) (applying Georgia long-arm statute). The New Mexico long-arm statute provides in pertinent part that:

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2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143645 *

SKI RACING, INCORPORATED, Plaintiff, v. ALLEN JOHNSON dba JOHNSON AND JOHNSON RACING, aka JOHNSON & JOHNSON RACING; and JOHNSON & JOHNSON RACING, INC., Defendants.

CORE TERMS

e-mail, personal jurisdiction, racing, engines, combinations, negotiations, long-arm, take place, tortious, alleges, courts, contract negotiations, motion to dismiss, minimum contact, due process, forum state, place-of-the-wrong, centered, purposes, comport, parties, season, negligent misrepresentation, evidentiary hearing, failure to deliver, carburetor-engine, telephone