United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 32) filed by Dyncorp
International, LLC. Plaintiff Everett Blakes filed an
opposition (Doc. 33). Defendant filed a reply. (Doc. 34).
Defendant moves to dismiss, arguing that the Court lacks
personal jurisdiction, that this action was filed in an
improper forum, and that Plaintiff has failed to state a
claim for relief. Because the Court concludes that it lacks
personal jurisdiction over the Defendant, the Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 32) is GRANTED.
seeks to recover employment-related pay and other benefits on
behalf of himself and a purported class. (Doc. 1 at ¶
1). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant employed him as an
Escort Monitoring Technician at Bagram Airfield in
Afghanistan. (Doc. 1 at ¶ 9). Plaintiff also alleges
that Defendant failed to pay him in accordance with his
employment contract. Id. at ¶ 16. As a result,
Plaintiff claims that Defendant breached the contract by: (1)
failing to pay overtime and/or other premium compensation
rates in accordance with the Afghan Labor Law; (2) failing to
provide paid leave in accordance with the Afghan Labor Law;
(3) failing to pay the end of service payment; (4) failing to
pay damages for terminating the Contract prior to its
completion date in accordance with the Afghan Labor Law; (5)
failing to pay hardship pay; (6) failing to provide paid
leave benefits; (7) failing to provide a per diem; and (8)
failing to provide housing and transportation. Id.
at ¶ 18. Plaintiff also avers that Defendant failed to
properly pay hundreds if not thousands of similarly situated
employees. Id. at ¶ 19.
filed suit on January 2, 2017. (Doc. 1). On July 10, 2017,
the Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File an Amended
Complaint, which seeks to expand the putative class. (Doc.
22). Then, on August 29, 2017, the Defendant filed a Motion
to Dismiss. (Doc. 32).
12(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes
dismissal of a complaint where the Court lacks personal
jurisdiction. "Where a defendant challenges personal
jurisdiction, the party seeking to invoke the power of the
court bears the burden of proving that jurisdiction
exists." Luu N' Care, Ltd. u. Insta-Mix,
Inc., 438 F.3d 465, 469 (5th Cir. 2006) (citing
Wyatt v. Kaplan, 686 F.2d 276, 280 (5th Cir. 1982)).
Where a defendant disputes the factual basis for
jurisdiction, courts "may receive interrogatories,
depositions, or 'any combination of the recognized
methods of discovery' to help it resolve the
jurisdictional issue. Walk Haydel & Assocs., Inc. v.
Coastal Power Prod. Co., 517 F.3d 235, 241 (5th Cir.
2008) (quoting Thompson v. Chrysler Motors Corp.,
755 F.2d 1162, 1165 (5th Cir. 1985).
as here, a court does not hold an evidentiary hearing on
jurisdictional issues, "it should not act as a fact
finder and must construe all disputed facts in the plaintiffs
favor and consider them along with the undisputed
facts." Id. at 241 (internal citations
omitted). At this stage, the plaintiff also need only present
a prima facie case for personal jurisdiction.
Id. However, in assessing whether the plaintiff has
presented a prima facie case for personal
jurisdiction, courts "will not 'credit conclusory
allegations, even if uncontroverted."' Sealed
Appellant 1 v. Sealed Appellee 1, 625 Fed.Appx. 628, 631
(5th Cir. 2015) (quoting Panda Brandywine Corp. v.
Potomac Elec. Power Co., 253 F.3d 865, 869 (5th Cir.
has personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant if the
forum state's long-arm statute confers personal
jurisdiction over that defendant, and the forum state's
exercise of jurisdiction complies with the Due Process Clause
of the Fourteenth Amendment. See Latskaw v.
Johnston, 167 F.3d 208, 211 (5th Cir. 1999). Because
Louisiana's long-arm statute extends jurisdiction to the
full limits of due process, the Court must determine only
whether the exercise of its jurisdiction in this case
satisfies federal due process requirements. La. R.S. §
exercise of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident
defendant satisfies the DueP rocess Clause if: (1) the
defendant has purposefully availed itself of the benefits and
protections of the forum state by establishing "minimum
contacts" with that state; and (2) exercising personal
jurisdiction over the defendant does not offend
"traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice." Latshaw, 167 F.3d at 211 (citing
International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington, 326
U.S. 310, 316 (1945)). These required "minimum
contacts" may be established by contacts sufficient to
assert specific jurisdiction or general jurisdiction.
Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 474
(1985) (quoting World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v.
Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297 (1980)).
may exercise general personal jurisdiction over a defendant
when its "affiliations with the State are so
'continuous and systematic' as to render [it]
essentially at home in the forum State." Goodyear
Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 564 U.S. 915,
919 (2011) (quoting International Shoe, 326 U.S at
317). A corporation is generally only "at home" in
the state of its incorporation or its principal place of
business. BNSFR. Co. v. Tyrrell, 581 U.S. ___, ___,
137 S.Ct. 1549, 1558 (2017) (internal citations omitted).
"In an 'exceptional case/ a corporate
defendant's operations in another forum 'may be so
substantial and of such a nature as to render the corporation
at home in that State." Id. (quoting
Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S., at ___, n. 19, 134
S.Ct., at 761, n. 19 (2014)).
does not argue that Defendant is subject to the Court's
general jurisdiction because he indicates that he "knows
little of DynCorp's business activities in the state of
Louisiana." (Doc. 33 at p. 3). Instead, Plaintiff argues
that to fully address general jurisdiction, he requires
jurisdictional discovery. (Doc. 33 at p. 3). "As the
party opposing dismissal and requesting [jurisdictional]
discovery, the plaintiffs bear the burden of demonstrating
the necessity of discovery." See Freeman v. United
States,556 F.3d 326, 341-42 (5th Cir. 2009). A
plaintiff is "not entitled to jurisdictional discovery
if the record shows that the ...