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MacDermid, Inc. v. Deiter - 702 F.3d 725 (2d Cir. 2012)

Rule:

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.

Facts:

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.

Issue:

Does the court have personal jurisdiction over the defendant employee under the Connecticut long-arm statute?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

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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