The opinion of the court was delivered by: WAYNE ANDERSEN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM, OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on defendant Golden Image Graphics's
("Golden Image") motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), For the following
reasons, the motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction is
Plaintiff MLP U.S.A., Inc. ("MLP") is a Delaware Corporation with its
principal place of business in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Defendant Golden
Image is a New York Corporation with its principal place of business in
Amityville, New York. Golden Image filed for arbitration in New York
under the panics' sales agreement alleging that the printing press it
purchased from MLP is defective. In the arbitration, Golden Image seeks
damages and rescission. A three member panel has been selected to preside
over the pending arbitration.
MLP then filed a two-count complaint against Golden Image in this Court
alleging breach of contract and seeking injunctive relief. In this
action, MLP alleges that it entered into a sales agreement with Golden Image for the sale of one Mitsubishi printing
press and auxiliary equipment. The complaint alleges that Golden Image
has failed to make certain payments required under the Agreement. MLP
claims that Golden Image is in default of the Agreement and seeks damages
and immediate possession of the equipment,
Golden Image now seeks to dismiss MLP's complaint for lack of personal
When a defendant files a motion to dismiss a case for lack of personal
jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating the
existence of personal jurisdiction over the defendant. RAR, Inc. v.
Turner Diesel, Ltd., 107 F.3d 1272, 1276 (7th Cir. 1997). In assessing
such a motion, the allegations in the complaint are to be taken as true
unless controverted by a defendant's affidavit, and any conflicts are to
be resolved in favor of plaintiff. Turnock v. Cope, 816 F.2d 332, 333
(7th Cir. 1987).
This Court cannot exercise jurisdiction over a defendant if it is
improper under either the United States or Illinois Constitution, Brandon
Apparel Group, Inc. v. Quitman Mfg. Co. Inc., 42 F. Supp.2d 821 (N.D.
Ill. 1999), Because "there is no operative difference between the limits
imposed by the Illinois Constitution and the federal limitations on
personal jurisdiction," Hyatt Intern. Corp. v. Coco, 302 F.3d 707, 715
(7th Cir. 2002) (citation omitted), this Court will address a single due
process inquiry. Janmark, Inc. v. Reidy, 132 F.3d 1200, 1202 (7th Cir.
1997), The United States Constitution's limitation on the exercise of
personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant is through the due
process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. RAR, 107 F.3d at 1277. In
order for a court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant, due process requires that the defendant have "certain minimum
contacts with [the state] such that the maintenance of the suit does not
offend `traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice,'" Id.,
quoting International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945). A
court can acquire personal jurisdiction over a defendant through either
general or specific jurisdiction.
A defendant is subject to general jurisdiction in Illinois only when it
is either domiciled in Illinois, Euromarket Designs, Inc. v. Crate &
Barrel Ltd., 96 F. Supp.2d 824, 833 (N.D. Ill. 2000), or when "the
defendant has continuous and systematic general business contacts with
the forum." MR, Inc., 107 F.3d at 1277 (citation and internal quotations
omitted). MLP has not alleged that Golden Image has any offices or
employees in Illinois or that Golden Image has continuous and systematic
business contacts with Illinois. Thus, there is no basis for this Court
to exercise general jurisdiction over Golden Image.
Alternatively, a defendant is subject to specific jurisdiction when it
has "purposefully established minimum contacts with the forum State."
Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 476-77 (1985). In
determining whether a defendant has sufficient minimum contacts with
Illinois, courts should consider whether the defendant could "reasonably
anticipate being hauled into court" in Illinois. See World-Wide
Volkswagen Corp. v. Wooden, 444 U.S. 286, 297 (1980). "An oat-of-state
party's contract with an in-state party is alone not enough to establish
the minimum contacts." RAR. Inc., 107 F.3d at 1277.
The facts of this case as established in the complaint and affidavits
submitted in connection with the motion to dismiss show that Golden Image
was approached by a Mitsubishi salesman in New York who demonstrated the
equipment in New York. Golden Image signed the sales agreement in New York and had no contacts with the State of
Illinois in the formation of the Agreement, The equipment was delivered
to, and installed in, New York.
The Agreement contemplated that all payments from Golden Image to MLP
would be sent to Illinois. The Agreement contained a provision indicating
that it was to be governed by Illinois law. Moreover, the Agreement
apparently became effective when the last party signed it, and it was
last signed by MLP in Illinois, No services were performed in Illinois.
As mentioned above, MLP bears the burden to demonstrate that personal
jurisdiction exists over Golden Image in this Court. The only facts
alleged from which any reasonable inference of forum contacts could be
drawn are: 1) the existence of a contract with an Illinois company; 2)
the obligation to mail payments to an Illinois address; 3) an ...