United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Northern Division
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
following Proposed Findings and Recommendation have been sent
to Chief United States District Judge Brian S. Miller. You
may file written objections to all or part of this
Recommendation. If you do so, those objections must: (1)
specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your
objection; and (2) be received by the Clerk of this Court
within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. By not
objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of
Fred Edgin filed a pro se complaint on October 7,
2015, and an amended complaint on November 17, 2015, naming
Dr. Shah as a defendant, among others. See Doc. Nos.
2 & 6. The other defendants have since been dismissed.
See Doc. Nos. 58, 69, 83 & 93. As to Dr. Shah,
Edgin alleges constitutional violations based on medical
treatment provided by Dr. Shah at the Bowie County
Correctional Center (“BCCC”) in Texarkana,
Texas. According to the docket sheet for this
case, the United States Marshal served Defendant Dr. Shah via
certified mail on December 21, 2015. See Doc. No.
20. Because Dr. Shah did not timely file an answer or any
other responsive pleading, this Court entered an Order to
Show Cause, directing the U.S. Marshal to serve Dr. Shah at
the BCCC (Doc. No. 85). The U.S. Marshal returned the summons
unexecuted with an explanation that Dr. Shah does not work at
the BCCC. See Doc. No. 86. The Court then attempted
service of an Order to Show Cause at Dr. Shah's
professional office giving Dr. Shah fourteen days to file a
response explaining why the Clerk should not enter default
against him pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
55(a). See Doc. No. 87. The Order to Show Cause was
successfully served, and Dr. Shah filed a response and a
motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction,
insufficient service, and failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted (Doc. No. 90). Plaintiff subsequently
filed a response to Dr. Shah's motion to dismiss (Doc.
No. 93). Because the Court agrees that this Court lacks
personal jurisdiction over Dr. Shah, it does not reach Dr.
Shah's other arguments.
Shah moves to dismiss Edgin's complaint for lack of
personal jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(2). “[T]he party asserting jurisdiction
bears the burden of establishing a prima facie case.”
Steinbuch v. Cutler, 518 F.3d 580, 585 (8th Cir.
2008). The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has described the
applicable burden of proof as follows:
To survive a motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction, a plaintiff “must state sufficient facts
in the complaint to support a reasonable inference that [the
defendants] can be subjected to jurisdiction within the
state. Once jurisdiction ha[s] been controverted or denied,
[the plaintiff] ha[s] the burden of proving such
facts.” Block Indus. v. DHJ Indus., Inc., 495
F.2d 256, 259 (8th Cir. 1974) (internal citation omitted).
The plaintiff's “‘prima facie showing'
must be tested, not by the pleadings alone, but by the
affidavits and exhibits presented with the motions and in
opposition thereto.” Id. at 260.
Dever v. Hentzen Coatings, Inc., 380 F.3d 1070, 1072
(8th Cir. 2004).
federal court may exercise jurisdiction ‘over a foreign
defendant only to the extent permitted by the forum
state's long-arm statute and by the Due Process Clause of
the Constitution.'” Cutler, 518 F.3d at
585 (quoting Dakota Indus., Inc. v. Ever Best Ltd.,
28 F.3d 910, 915 (8th Cir. 1994)). Because Arkansas's
long-arm statute confers jurisdiction to the fullest
constitutional extent, the Court need only examine whether
the exercise of personal jurisdiction in this case comports
with due process. Id.
Due process requires “minimum contacts” between a
non-resident defendant and the forum state such that the
maintenance of the suit does not offend “traditional
notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S.
286, 291-92, 100 S.Ct. 559, 62 L.Ed.2d 490 (1980). The
minimum contact inquiry focuses on whether the defendant
purposely availed itself of the privilege of conducting
activities within the forum state and thereby invoked the
benefits and protections of its laws.
The Supreme Court has recognized two theories for evaluating
personal jurisdiction: general and specific jurisdiction.
Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall,
466 U.S. 408, 414-15, 104 S.Ct. 1868, 80 L.Ed.2d 404 (1984).
A state may exercise general jurisdiction if a defendant has
carried on in the forum state a continuous and systematic,
even if limited, part of its general business; in such
circumstances the alleged injury need not have any connection
with the forum state. Keeton v. Hustler Magazine,
Inc., 465 U.S. 770, 779, 104 S.Ct. 1473, 79 L.Ed.2d 790
(1984). The plaintiff must make a prima facie showing,
however, that the defendant's contacts were not
“random, ” “fortuitous, ” or
“attenuated.” Id. at 774, 104 S.Ct.
1473. Specific jurisdiction on the other hand is appropriate
only if the injury giving rise to the lawsuit occurred within
or had some connection to the forum state, meaning that the
defendant purposely directed its activities at the forum
state and the claim arose out of or relates to those
activities. Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S.
462, 472, 105 S.Ct. 2174, 85 L.Ed.2d 528 (1985).
Id. at 585-86.
Eighth Circuit has instructed courts to consider the
following factors when resolving a personal jurisdiction
inquiry, affording the first three primary importance:
“1) the nature and quality of the defendant's
contacts with the forum state; 2) the quantity of such
contacts; 3) the relation of the cause of action to the
contacts; 4) the interests of the ...