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Hosseini v. National Cooperative Bank

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

March 29, 2018



          Joseph M. Hood, Senior U.S. District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction [DE 11]. The plaintiffs responded [DE 13] and the motion is ripe for ruling. For the reasons stated herein, the motion will be GRANTED.

         I. Factual Background

         Plaintiffs, proceeding pro se, filed the Complaint in this matter against National Cooperative Bank for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692. Plaintiffs obtained a loan from Defendant in 2000. The loan related to property or an interest in a co-op (it is not clear from the record at this stage), which Defendant says is located in Michigan and Plaintiff claims is an intangible interest not located in any state. Plaintiffs allege Defendant misapplied payments on their loan and made inaccurate reports to the credit reporting agencies that negatively affected their credit scores. Plaintiffs moved from Michigan to Kentucky in 2006.

         Defendant filed an Answer to the Complaint, but soon thereafter moved to dismiss the Complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2). Plaintiffs did not aver any facts relating to personal jurisdiction in the Complaint other than that Defendant's principal place of business is in Hillsboro, Ohio, a fact that Defendant admits as true.

         II. Standard of Review

         Plaintiffs “need only make a prima facie showing of jurisdiction.” CompuServe, Inc. v. Patterson, 89 F.3d 1257, 1262 (6th Cir. 1996). To meet this burden, they must establish “with reasonable particularity sufficient contacts between [Defendants] and the forum state to support jurisdiction.” Neogen Corp. v. Neo Gen Screening, Inc., 282 F.3d 883, 887 (6th Cir. 2002) (citation omitted). In reviewing a defendant's motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2), this Court relies on the pleadings and affidavits of the parties and construes the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving parties. See Serras v. First Tenn. Bank Nat'l Ass'n, 875 F.2d 1212, 1214 (6th Cir. 1989). “[T]the plaintiff must make only a prima facie showing that personal jurisdiction exists in order to defeat dismissal . . . the pleadings and affidavits submitted must be viewed in a light most favorable to the plaintiff, and the district court should not weigh the controverting assertions of the party seeking dismissal. Air Prod. & Controls, Inc. v. Safetech Int'l, Inc., 503 F.3d 544, 549 (6th Cir. 2007) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

         “Where a federal court's subject matter jurisdiction over a case stems from the existence of a federal question, personal jurisdiction over a defendant exists ‘if the defendant is amenable to service of process under the [forum] state's long-arm statute and if the exercise of personal jurisdiction would not deny the defendant[ ] due process.'” Bird v. Parsons, 289 F.3d 865, 871 (6th Cir. 2002) (quoting Michigan Coalition of Radioactive Material Users, Inc. v. Griepentrog, 954 F.2d 1174, 1176 (6th Cir.1992). Where, as here, the defendant objects to personal jurisdiction, this Court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant only if such jurisdiction is (1) authorized by Kentucky law and (2) otherwise consistent with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. See Youn v. Track, Inc., 324 F.3d 409, 417 (6th Cir. 2003) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(k)(1). Kentucky's long-arm statute provides in pertinent part:

(2) (a) A court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a person who acts directly or by an agent, as to a claim arising from the person's:
1. Transacting any business in this Commonwealth; 2. Contracting to supply services or goods in this Commonwealth;
. . . .

KRS § 454.210(2)(a). Kentucky courts construe the state's long-arm statute as coextensive with the limits of due process. Wilson v. Case, 85 S.W.3d 589, 592 (Ky. 2002). The Court may exercise jurisdiction over Defendants if personal jurisdiction is consistent with the requirements of federal due process.

         Specific jurisdiction exists where the claims in the case arise from or are related to the defendant's contacts with the forum state. Kerry Steel, Inc. v. Paragon Indus., Inc., 106 F.3d 147, 149 (6th Cir. 1997).[1]

         The Court addresses three criteria to determine if an exercise of specific jurisdiction is proper. First, Defendants must have purposefully availed themselves of the privilege of acting in Kentucky or purposefully caused a consequence in the state. Next, the cause of action must arise from Defendants' actions in Kentucky. Finally, the exercise of jurisdiction must be reasonable. See Aristech Chem. Int'l Ltd. v. Acrylic Fabricators Ltd., 138 F.3d 624, 628 ...

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