Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.


April 9, 2001


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Darrah, Judge.


Plaintiff; Recycling Sciences International, a Delaware corporation having its sole place of business in Chicago, Illinois, commenced an action against several defendants, alleging patent infringement. Before this Court are two defendants' Motions to Dismiss and/or Motions to Transfer Venue.


Defendant, Williams Environmental Systems, Inc. (Williams), seeks dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction and lack of proper venue. In the alternative, Williams seeks a transfer of the cause to the Northern District of Georgia.

Williams is a corporation organized under the laws of Georgia with its principal place of business in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Williams is an environmental remediation contractor. Williams has no employees who reside or have offices located within Illinois and has never performed any remediation services in Illinois. Williams filed tax returns in the State of Illinois for the years 1996 through 1999 that reflect no income attributable to business activity within Illinois. Williams bid on projects within Illinois in 1998 and 1999 based on requests received from potential Illinois customers.*fn1 Williams' bids were never accepted. In 1994, Williams received $102,000 from an Illinois business that leased some equipment from Williams.

Plaintiff alleges patent infringement; therefore, Federal Circuit law is controlling with deference given to the state's highest court to determine whether a defendant is amendable to process in the forum state. LSI Indus. Inc. v. Hubbell Lighting, 232 F.3d 1369, 1371 (2000 Fed. Cir.) (LSI Indus.). The determination of whether a court may properly exercise personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant is governed by a two-prong analysis: (1) a defendant must be amendable to process in the forum state, and (2) the court's exercise of personal jurisdiction over the defendant must comply with federal due process requirements. LSI Indus., 232 F.3d at 1371.

Plaintiff has the burden of establishing a prima facie case of personal jurisdiction. When the court rules on a motion to dismiss based on lack of personal jurisdiction without an evidentiary hearing, the court must consider the pleadings and affidavits in a light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Michael J. Neuman & Assoc. v. Florabelle Flowers, Inc., 15 F.3d 721, 724 (7th Cir. 1994); In re Cardizem, 105 F. Supp.2d 618, 671 (E.D. Mich. 2000).

A. Amenability to Service

A defendant is amenable to service of process if it "could be subjected to the jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction in the state in which the district is located." Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(1)(A). The instant case is brought in the Northern District Federal Court; therefore, defendants' amenability to service is governed by the Illinois long-arm statute, 735 ILCS 5/2-209(a).

Section (b)(4) of the Illinois long-arm statute provides that a court may exercise jurisdiction if the defendant is a "corporation doing business" within the state. 735 ILCS 5/2-209(b)(4). A corporation is "doing business" in Illinois if it operates within the state with a fair measure of permanence and continuity, not just occasionally or casually. Rokeby-Johnson v. Derek Bryant Ins. Brokers, 594 N.E.2d 1190, 1194 (1992) (Rokeby-Johnson). The court looks to the character and extent of the defendant's conduct as to warrant the inference that the corporation has subjected itself to the jurisdiction and laws of Illinois. Cook Ass'n, Inc. v. Lexington United Corp., 429 N.E.2d 847, 850 (1981). The determination is made on a ease-by-case basis, based on the unique situation presented. Hulsey v. Scheidt, 630 N.E.2d 905, 908 (1994).

In the instant case, Williams had leased equipment to an Illinois company in 1994 and received $102,000 from such lease. In addition, Williams has and continues to bid on projects within Illinois. Williams' conduct has been continual for at least a few years and demonstrates that Williams was "doing business" in Illinois.

B. Due Process

The limits of due process on the extraterritorial reach of a state are determined by accessing whether the defendant had established "minimum contacts" with the forum state "such that [it] should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there." World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297 (1980). If minimum contacts with the forum state are established, those contacts are considered in light of other factors to determine whether the assertion of personal jurisdiction would comport with "fair play and substantial justice." International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 320 (1945).

1. Mimmum Contacts

A defendant may be subject to either specific or general jurisdiction under the "minimum contacts" test. LSI Indus., 232 F.3d at 1375. Specific jurisdiction exists if: (1) the defendant purposefully directed its activities at residents of the forum state; (2) the claim arises out of or is related to those activities; and (3) the assertion of personal jurisdiction is ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.