United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
DONNA CERIGNY, ET. AL.
JOSEPH THOMAS CAPPADORA, ET. AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
the Court is Defendant Kurt Traub's “Motion to
Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction” (Rec. Doc.
14). Plaintiffs Donna Cerigny, Kristie Hoots-Meyer, and
Charles Edward Lincoln, III (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) have filed “combined motions,
” which seek the following: 1) leave to conduct
jurisdictional discovery, 2) to consolidate cases, and 3) to
continue hearing on Defendant Kurt Traub's Motion to
Dismiss. Rec. Doc. 18. Also before the Court is Defendant
Kurt Traub's (“Defendant Traub”) Response in
Opposition. Rec. Doc. 19. For the reasons below, IT
IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion (Rec. Doc.
18) is DENIED as to Plaintiffs' request
to conduct jurisdictional discovery AND to
continue the submission date of Defendant Traub's Motion
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion is
DISMISSED as Moot insofar as it seeks to
consolidate cases 17-11111 and 17-12275. The latter numbered
case was closed by a prior remand order and reasons. See
Chiu v. Lincoln, No. 17-12275, Rec. Doc. 28 (E.D. La.
May 29, 2018).
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Kurt E.
Traub's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal
Jurisdiction is GRANTED. All claims by
Plaintiffs in the above-captioned matter against Defendant
Traub are hereby DISMISSED with prejudice.
to FRCP 12(b)(2), personal jurisdiction over Defendant Traub
in the State of Louisiana is contested. “Federal courts
ordinarily follow state law in determining the bounds of
their jurisdiction over persons.” Walden v.
Fiore, 571 U.S. 277, 283 (2014). Personal jurisdiction
may be general or specific. Id. Here, Plaintiffs
argue in support of specific jurisdiction, contending that
Defendant Traub has made “sufficient contacts with the
Plaintiffs in Louisiana.” Rec. Doc. 18. The issue of
specific jurisdiction focuses on the nature of the
relationship between defendant, the forum, and the
litigation. Accordingly, specific jurisdiction over a
Defendant Traub is proper if he has purposefully directed
activities at residents of Louisiana, and the litigation
arises from those alleged injuries. See Burger King Corp.
v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462 (1985).
party seeking to invoke the power of the court bears the
burden of proving that jurisdiction exists. Wyatt v.
Kaplan, 686 F.2d 276, 280 (5th Cir. 1982). “The
Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees
that no federal court may assume jurisdiction in
personam of a non-resident defendant unless the
defendant has meaningful ‘contacts, ties, or
relations' with the forum state.” Luv N'
care, Ltd. v. Insta-Mix, Inc., 438 F.3d 465, 469 (5th
Cir. 2006) citing Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington,
326 U.S. 310, 319 (1945).
Traub asserts that he is a New Jersey citizen, and he does
not meet the “minimum contacts” requirements to
establish personal jurisdiction over him. Rec. Doc. 14.
Defendant Traub further contends that jurisdictional
discovery is not warranted in this instance
because: 1) Plaintiffs have failed to establish their burden
of demonstrating the necessity of discovery, 2) the lack of
personal jurisdiction over Defendant Traub is clear, and 3)
the record demonstrates that discovery will not produce facts
sufficient for this Court to exercise personal jurisdiction
over Defendant Traub. Rec. Doc. 19. We agree.
Courts have broad discretion in all discovery matters.
Wyatt v. Kaplan, 686 F.2d 276, 283 (5th Cir. 1982).
When the lack of personal jurisdiction is clear, discovery
would serve no purpose and should not be permitted. Kelly
v. Syria Shell Petroleum Dev. B.V., 213 F.3d 841, 855
(5th Cir. 2000). Here, the only contacts with Louisiana
alleged by Plaintiffs is that Defendant Traub mailed
Plaintiff Lincoln two debit cards and engaged in a phone
conversation with Plaintiff Lincoln, presumably regarding
said debit cards. Rec. Doc. 18. The debit cards were issued
to Plaintiff Lincoln as a direct result of his employment
with Defendant Jill Jones-Soderman. The only intelligible
allegations made towards Defendant Traub by Plaintiffs, is
that Defendant Traub-a Bank of America employee-mailed two
debit cards, in May and June 2017, the first card bearing the
name “Charles Edwards” as opposed to
Plaintiff's full name: “Charles Lincoln Edward
III.” Rec. Docs. 14 and 18. These debit cards were
allegedly mailed by Defendant Traub “in support of Jill
Jones-Soderman's multiple schemes to defraud.” Rec.
Doc. 18 at 3. Plaintiffs' further allege that Defendant
Traub should be hauled into court in Louisiana based on an
alleged phone conversation. Rec. Doc. 18. While Plaintiffs
motion is devoid of any information regarding the substance
of this phone conversation, it was presumably related to an
attempt by Defendant Traub to correct the name on the debit
card. Rec. Doc. 18 at 2-6. Notably, the above allegations of
“fraud” were all duties within the scope of
Defendant Traub's employment with Bank of America.
fail to include any specificity or particularity of the
alleged “fraud.” Plaintiffs request to take
depositions for the purpose of “disclosure of all
documents relating to the knowledge of Jill
Jones-Soderman's involvement with the Plaintiffs in
Louisiana and Mississippi” amounts to ...