United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
January 28, 2004.
Haden Schwcietzer Corp.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOAN GOTTSCHALL, District Judge
RESERVE SIDE OF MINUTE ORDER DATED JANUARY 28, 2004
Case No. 03 C 8630
Before the court is petitioner International's Motion to Strike
Respondent Haden's Sur-Response. The motion is denied. However, the court
agrees with International that Haden, by appearing in this action, has
waived any infirmities in service of process. F.R.Civ.P. 12(g). See also
Section 45.3 of the parties' Contract. In addition, the court sua sponte
strikes so much of International's Motion to Strike as goes to the merits
of International's Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award. International
is quick to criticize Haden for filing papers not authorized by the
court's briefing schedule but proceeds to file a motion to strike the
sur-response that is largely taken up, not with the issues raised by the
sur-response, but with rearguing issues addressed in its prior briefs.
International is doing exactly what it criticizes Haden for doing.
Additionally, International's Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award is
granted. The parties contractually agreed to arbitrate any disputes in
the City of Chicago. Pursuant to that provision, the parties engaged in
lengthy arbitration proceedings in Chicago, and on October 7, 2003,
Arbitrator Richard S. Rhodes issued an Arbitration Award in favor of
petitioner International. On November 26, 2003, International filed this
suit to confirm the award.
Haden's only properly asserted defense to the Petition is its claim
that this court lacks personal jurisdiction over Haden, an Ohio company
conducting business in Michigan. Haden argues that it has insufficient
contacts with Illinois to make it subject to jurisdiction in Illinois
under a theory of either general or specific jurisdiction.
The court concludes that 9 U.S.C. § 9 controls this case. The parties'
contract provided that "If necessary, the arbitration resolution shall be
executed by any competent court." While the wording is peculiar both with
respect to the word "resolution" and the word "execute," the court cannot
imagine what else this provision could mean other than that any competent
court can conduct proceedings necessary to effectuate the provisions of
the award. Section 9 provides that when no court is specified in the
parties' agreement, the proper court is the court "in and for the district
within which such award was made." Such court manifestly has personal
jurisdiction over the respondent because the respondent availed itself of
the arbitration procedure in that district. See Fireman's Fund Ins. Co.
v, Nat'l Bank of Cooperatives, 103 F.3d 888, 894 (9th Cir. 1996). Haden
participated in extended arbitration proceedings in this district, thus
conducting activities in this district. This claim, a petition to confirm
the award, arises directly out of Haden's activities in this district-its
participation in the arbitration. Further, the court sees nothing
unreasonable about requiring Haden to respond to proceedings to confirm
the award in this district; 9 U.S.C. § 9 gave Haden clear notice that if
it agreed to arbitrate here and an arbitration award ensued, it might
have to respond to confirmation proceedings here. The requirements for
specific jurisdiction are thus satisfied. See generally Hyatt Internat'l
Corp. v. Coco, 302 F.3d 707, 713 (7th Cir. 2002) (specific jurisdiction
is an exercise of state power more limited than general jurisdiction "for
controversies that arise out of or arc related to the defendant's forum
United Financial Mortg. Corp, v, Bayshores Funding Corp.,
245 F. Supp.2d 884 (N.D.Ill 2002), on which Haden relies, is
distinguishable. There, the only asserted basis for personal jurisdiction
was a party's agreement to an arbitration clause providing for
arbitration in this district. No arbitration was ever conducted, and the
court reasonably concluded that merely agreeing to a contractual
provision to arbitrate in a district, when no arbitration has taken
place, is an insufficient basis for the exercise of personal
The Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award is granted.
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