FROM THE ASHLEY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. CV-2015-151-4]
HONORABLE DON E. GLOVER, JUDGE
& Keith, PLLC, by: Paul W. Keith, for appellant.
Hudson, Potts & Bernstein, LLP, by: G. Adam Cossey, for
K. WOOD, Associate Justice.
Carolyn Lawson appeals the circuit court's dismissal of
her premises-liability suit against appellee Simmons Sporting
Goods, Inc., for lack of personal jurisdiction. We affirm
because Arkansas courts do not have jurisdiction to entertain
Lawson's claims against Simmons.
Facts and Procedural Background
operates a retail-sporting-goods store in Bastrop, Louisiana.
It is incorporated in Louisiana with its principal place of
business in Louisiana. Simmons has never operated a store in
Arkansas. However, Simmons advertises in Arkansas through
promotional catalog inserts and display ads in Arkansas
newspapers, promotional television ads, and online ads with
the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. It contracts with an
Arkansas printing company to produce its print ads. Simmons
also hosts a "Big Buck Contest," which awards a
prize for the largest deer killed in Arkansas.
is a resident of Hamburg, Arkansas. In August 2012, she
traveled with her daughter from Hamburg to Bastrop to attend
Simmons's "Annual Tent Sale." Upon entering the
store, she tripped on a rug in the foyer, fell, and broke her
March 2015, Lawson filed suit against Simmons in the Ashley
County Circuit Court. Simmons moved to dismiss the case for
lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Arkansas Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(2). In response, Lawson argued that
personal jurisdiction existed because Simmons (1) advertised
in Arkansas; (2) held an annual "Big Buck Contest"
in Arkansas; and (3) used an Arkansas printing company to
produce advertisements for its store. Following a hearing,
the circuit court found that Arkansas lacked personal
jurisdiction over Simmons and dismissed the case.
appealed to the Arkansas Court of Appeals, which reversed,
holding that Simmons's contacts with Arkansas were
sufficient to warrant personal jurisdiction over Simmons.
Lawson v. Simmons Sporting Goods, Inc., 2017
Ark.App. 44, 511 S.W.3d 883, cert. granted, judgment
vacated, 138 S.Ct. 237 (2017) (Mem.). We denied
Simmons's petition for review. Simmons then filed a
petition for writ of certiorari with the United States
Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted the petition,
vacated the judgment of the court of appeals, and remanded
the case for further consideration in light of its recent
decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of
Cal., San Francisco Cty., 582 U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 1773
remand, the court of appeals affirmed the circuit court's
dismissal of Lawson's complaint for lack of personal
jurisdiction. Lawson v. Simmons Sporting Goods,
Inc., 2018 Ark.App. 343, 553 S.W.3d 190. It concluded
that because there was no affiliation between Arkansas and
the underlying controversy, which the Supreme Court in
Bristol-Myers requires, there was no specific
personal jurisdiction over Simmons. Id. Lawson then
petitioned this court for review, and we granted the
petition. When we grant a petition for review, we consider
the appeal as though it had originally been filed in this
court. James Tree & Crane Serv. v. Fought, 2017
Ark. 173, 518 S.W.3d 678.
Standard of Review
first clarify our standard of review on a motion challenging
personal jurisdiction. Rule 12(b)(2) motions to dismiss for
lack of personal jurisdiction are commonly founded on the
parties' pleadings. However, the court may also consider
matters outside the pleadings when ruling on a Rule 12(b)(2)
motion. See, e.g., Davis v. St. John's
Health Sys., Inc., 348 Ark. 17, 71 S.W.3d 55
(2002). In past cases, we have stated that consideration of
facts beyond the pleadings converts a Rule 12(b)(2) motion to
a Rule 56 motion for summary judgment. See, e.g.,
Ganey v. Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., 366 Ark.
238, 234 S.W.3d 838 (2006); Payne v. France, 373
Ark. 175, 282 S.W.3d 760 (2008); Hotfoot Logistics, LLC
v. Shipping Point Mktg., Inc., 2013 Ark. 130, 426 S.W.3d
448. And in those cases, we reviewed the ruling under the
summary judgment standard of review. Id. We now
conclude that this practice was incorrect.
12(b) does not provide for this conversion. Rule 12(b)
requires that Rule 56 standards be applied to motions to
dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) when
"matters outside the pleading are presented to and not
excluded by the court." Ark. R. Civ. P. 12 (2018); Ark.
R. Civ. P. 56. But Rule 12 does not prescribe