Monday, August 15, 2016

No Evidence, No Personal Jurisdiction

Viaview, Inc. v. Retzlaff, No. H041521 (D6 July 6, 2016)

Petitioner in this case—some sort of internet outfit devoted to exposing cheaters and bullies—sought a TRO against a Dude who was, to say the least, not a fan. But the Dude doesn’t live in California. He lives in Texas or Arizona. He tried to quash service for lack of personal jurisdiction, while at the same time litigating various motions on the merits., like an anti-SLAPP motion. The sheer litigiousness of the parties makes this opinion hard to follow, but at the end of the day, the court holds that the Dude didn’t make a general appearance by simultaneously litigating personal jurisdiction alongside the merits issues. So personal jurisdiction wasn’t waived. And since plaintiff didn’t provide a sworn declaration in support of the jurisdictional facts, there was no evidence to support the exercise of personal jurisdiction. Its verified complaint wasn’t enough. Because plaintiff was a corporation, the verification by an officer doesn’t make the complaint the equivalent of a declaration. See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 446(a). The case thus should have been dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction.


1 comment:

  1. Hi! I am the "dude" in this case. The clown who sued me filed three different lawsuits in three different courts - at the very same time - in both CA and TX. In Texas we won over $450,000 in anti-SLAPP court sanctions and attorney's fees. The federal lawsuit he filed was also dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction. If you are interested in learning more I can send you a link to an audio file of the Ct of Appeals oral arguments and I can send you some of the briefs in pdf files.