United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
HONDA JET LIMITED, L.L.C. PLAINTIFF
HONDA AIRCRAFT COMPANY, LLC DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are Defendant Honda Aircraft Company,
LLC's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction
(Doc. 25); Plaintiff Honda Jet Limited, L.L.C.'s Response
(Doc. 26) and Memorandum Brief in Support (Doc. 27);
Defendant's Supplement (Doc. 30) and Reply (Doc. 31); and
Plaintiffs Supplements (Docs. 32, 34). For the reasons given
below, the Court will GRANT Defendant's Motion.
is an aircraft manufacturer. Back in 2006, Plaintiff signed a
purchase agreement ("the Purchase Agreement") with
Defendant, for the purchase of a small twin-engine private
aircraft ("the Jet"). The model that Plaintiff
agreed to purchase from Defendant (Model HA-420) was still in
development at that time-which is to say, Plaintiff agreed to
purchase the Jet before it came to market. Over the next
eleven years, Defendant continued to develop and manufacture
the aircraft, and in 2017 the Jet was finally delivered to
alleges that the Jet was delivered with various defects that
have required extensive and expensive diagnostics and
repairs. Those alleged defects are the subject of this
lawsuit, which Plaintiff filed on March 7, 2019, in the
Circuit Court of Baxter County, Arkansas. A month and a half
later, Defendant removed the lawsuit to this Court.
Plaintiffs operative complaint asserts one count against
Defendant for breach of the Purchase Agreement's
warranty. Plaintiff seeks a judgment for the damages
allegedly caused by Defendant's breach, along with either
a replacement jet that is free of defects or an award in the
amount of the Jet's purchase price.
has filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal
Jurisdiction. Essentially, Defendant argues that this lawsuit
cannot be brought against it in the state of Arkansas because
this state is not Defendant's principal place of
business, Defendant is not organized under the laws of this
state, and none of the events giving rise to this lawsuit
occurred in Arkansas. Plaintiff, of course, disagrees, having
filed the lawsuit in this state. Defendant's Motion has
been fully briefed, and is ripe for decision.
bears the burden of proving sufficient facts to "make a
prima facie showing of personal jurisdiction over
the defendant." See Digi-Tel Holdings, Inc. v.
Proteq Telecomm. (PTE), Ltd., 89 F.3d 519, 522 (8th Cir.
1996). But the Court "must view the evidence in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff and resolve all
conflicts in the plaintiffs favor." Id.
court to have personal jurisdiction over a defendant, two
requirements must be satisfied. One requirement is that the
forum state's long-arm statute must permit service of
process. The other requirement is that the defendant must
have sufficient minimum contacts with the forum state such
that it would not violate federal constitutional requirements
of due process for the defendant to be sued in that state.
But in Arkansas, these two requirements collapse into one,
because Arkansas's long-arm statute authorizes the
exercise of personal jurisdiction to the maximum extent
permitted by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution. See
Ark. Code Ann. § 16-4-101(B); see also Epps v.
Stewart Info. Servs. Corp., 327 F.3d 642, 647 (8th Cir.
Process Clause allows courts to exercise personal
jurisdiction only when a defendant has "certain minimum
contacts with" the forum state "such that the
maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions
of fair play and substantial justice." See Int'l
Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)
(internal quotation marks omitted). This standard
"presaged the development of two categories of personal
jurisdiction": general jurisdiction and specific
jurisdiction. Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117,
jurisdiction allows a court to hear "any and all
claims" against a defendant. See Goodyear Dunlop
Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 564 U.S. 915, 919
(2011). When the defendant is a corporation, the Due Process
Clause permits general jurisdiction over it only when its
"affiliations with the State are so continuous and
systematic as to render them essentially at home in the forum
State." See Id. (internal quotation marks
omitted). "The place of incorporation and principal
place of business" are the "paradigm bases for
general jurisdiction" over a corporation.
Daimler, 571 U.S. at 137 (internal alterations and
quotation marks omitted).
jurisdiction, on the other hand, depends on an affiliation
between the forum and the underlying controversy,
principally, activity or an occurrence that takes place in
the forum State and is therefore subject to the State's
regulation." Goodyear, 564 U.S. at 919
(internal alteration and quotation marks omitted). Its
exercise is "confined to adjudication of issues deriving
from, or connected with, the very controversy that
establishes jurisdiction." Id. (internal
quotation marks omitted). "The inquiry whether a forum
State may assert specific jurisdiction over a nonresident
defendant focuses on the relationship among the defendant,
the forum, and the litigation." Walden v.
Fiore, 571 U.S. 277, 283-84 (2014) (internal quotation
district courts in determining whether a defendant has
sufficient minimum contacts with a forum, the Eighth Circuit
has crafted a five-factor test:
(1) the nature and quality of the contacts with the forum
state; (2) the quantity of the contacts with the forum state;
(3) the relation of the cause of action to the contacts; (4)
the interest of the forum state in providing a forum for ...