Law School Case Brief
MacDermid, Inc. v. Deiter - 702 F.3d 725 (2d Cir. 2012)
An appellate court reviews de novo the district court's decision to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2). In such a case, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Prior to trial, however, when a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction is decided on the basis of affidavits and other written materials, the plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing. The allegations in the complaint must be taken as true to the extent they are uncontroverted by the defendant's affidavits.
Plaintiff former employer brought suit alleging that defendant former employee, who was domiciled and working in Canada, accessed a computer server in Connecticut to misappropriate the employer's confidential information. The district court dismissed the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction under the Connecticut long-arm statute, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-59b(a). The employer appealed.
Does the court have personal jurisdiction over the defendant employee under the Connecticut long-arm statute?
The court reversed and held that the plaintiff employer's computer server met § 52-59b(a)(5)'s definition of computer as incorporated from Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-451(a)(1); having used the computer in Connecticut, long-arm jurisdiction existed under § 52-59b(a)(5). Defendant purposefully availed herself of the privilege of conducting activities within Connecticut because she knew the companies' centralization and housing of its e-mail system and the storage of confidential information in Connecticut, and she used that e-mail system and Connecticut servers to retrieve and e-mail those files. The court stated that jurisdiction was reasonable under due process.
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