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INTERNATIONAL TRUCK v. HADEN SCHWCIETZER CORP.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois


January 28, 2004.

International Truck
v.
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 contacts").

  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 jurisdiction.

  The Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award is granted. Page 1

20040128

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