Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

SAPS, LLC v. EZCare Clinic, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

August 19, 2019

SAPS, LLC
v.
EZCARE CLINIC, INC.

         SECTION: “J” (1)

          ORDER & REASONS

          CARL J. BARBIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction (Rec. Doc. 7) filed by Defendant EZCare Medical Clinic (“EZCare”), an opposition thereto by Plaintiff SAPS, LLC (“SAPS”) (Rec. Doc. 8), and a reply by EZCare (Rec. Doc. 11). Having considered the motion and memoranda, the record, and the applicable law, the Court finds that EZCare's Motion should be DENIED.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         This is a defamation action by SAPS against EZCare. Both companies offer services related to emotional support animals. SAPS, a Louisiana limited liability company, alleges that EZCare published an article on its website accusing SAPS of fraud and calling it a “scam.”[1] The article stated that SAPS's website, USServiceAnimals.org, was “not legitimate” and “offer[ed] fraudulent Emotional Support services.”[2]

         EZCare is a California corporation. It has no offices in Louisiana, employs no Louisiana residents, conducts no business in Louisiana, and pays no Louisiana taxes. SAPS alleges that EZCare's article was read by potential customers in Louisiana, specifically Orleans and St. Tammany Parishes.

         On May 16, 2019, SAPS filed its original petition against EZCare in state court. On June 14, 2019, EZCare removed the case to this Court, asserting diversity jurisdiction. On July 12, 2019, EZCare moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and, alternatively, for improper venue pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(3), respectively.

         PARTIES' ARGUMENTS

         I. EZCare's Motion to Dismiss

         EZCare argues that the Court does not have general personal jurisdiction because it does not have continuous and systematic contacts with Louisiana.[3]EZCare claims it has no offices, employees, or agents for service of process in this state, nor does it conduct any business here.[4]

         EZCare also alleges that this Court does not have specific personal jurisdiction over it because it did not commit a single act directed at, nor purposefully avail itself of, Louisiana.[5] It contends that SAPS has failed to make a prima facie case showing that Louisiana is the focal point of the alleged defamatory statements because SAPS admitted that EZCare's website is advertised nationally and does not target Louisiana specifically.[6] EZCare maintains that the alleged defamatory statements make no mention of Louisiana nor does SAPS allege that the statements were made in Louisiana; thus, the activities were being conducted nationwide.[7]

         In the alternative, EZCare argues that the venue is improper in this district and the lawsuit should be transferred to the Northern District of California if not dismissed.[8]

         II. SAPS's Opposition

         SAPS argues that the Court has personal jurisdiction over the claim for defamation and that the Eastern District of Louisiana is the proper venue. It contends that the defamatory statements were created by EZCare in California and published in Orleans and St. Tammany Parishes in Louisiana, thus establishing personal jurisdiction.[9]

         SAPS asserts that there is a direct nexus between the defamatory statement, the publication in Louisiana, and the brunt of the harm felt by SAPS in Louisiana.[10]SAPS maintains that the actual content of the defamatory statements gives rise to an action and that alone constitutes purposeful availment.[11] SAPS contends that the brunt of the harm being in Louisiana is sufficient to establish jurisdiction, relying on Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783 (1984).[12] SAPS avers that jurisdiction is proper because EZCare's article was about a Louisiana company, drew from Louisiana sources- namely, SAPS's website-and caused harm to SAPS in Louisiana.[13]

         III. EZCare's Reply

         EZCare argues that SAPS has failed to make a prima facie showing that Louisiana was the focal point of the alleged defamatory comments.[14] EZCare contends that, even if SAPS's allegations that three people in Louisiana read the comments, the harm caused by the comments was felt by SAPS in Louisiana, and EZCare knew that the harm would be felt in Louisiana are taken as true, those allegations are still insufficient to support exercising personal jurisdiction over it.[15] EZCare argues that SAPS's exhibits are not authentic and, in any respect, fail to show that EZCare knew SAPS was from Louisiana.[16] EZCare points out, for example, that SAPS's address is not on the main page of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.