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Wav, Inc. v. Walpole Island First Nation

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

June 6, 2014

WAV, Inc. d/b/a APRIZ, Plaintiff,
v.
WALPOLE ISLAND FIRST NATION, Defendant

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Wav, Inc., doing business as Apriz, Plaintiff: James Vincent Garvey, LEAD ATTORNEY, Jeremy Ross Heuer, Vedder Price P.C., Chicago, IL.

For Walpole Island First Nation, Defendant: Douglas Whitcomb Graham, Attorney at Law, Chicago, IL.

Page 723

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

John J. Tharp, Jr., United States District Judge.

Plaintiff WAV, Inc., doing business as APRIZ, sued Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN), a native Canadian tribe, alleging that WIFN has failed to pay APRIZ under a contract for wireless internet services and equipment maintenance. WIFN moves to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) for lack of personal jurisdiction. For the reasons set out below, the Court denies the motion.

FACTS

Plaintiff APRIZ is an Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in Warrenville, Ill., and operates as a distributor in the wireless broadband market. Compl. ¶ 2-3. WIFN is a native Canadian tribe located on several islands in Ontario, Canada. Def.'s Mot. Dismiss 1.

Before entering into the 2012 contract that is the subject of this dispute, the parties first collaborated on the procurement and installation of a broadband wireless internet system on Walpole Island, Ontario. Following discussions in early 2010, WIFN entered an agreement with Advanced Technology Group LLC (ATG), a business consulting service, for assistance in procuring the wireless system that WIFN would own. Kewayosh Decl. ¶ 3-5. Edward Hudson of ATG introduced WIFN to APRIZ as a potential source for providing the necessary bandwith for the system that ATG had proposed to WIFN. Id. ¶ 6. In 2010, Allen Deleary, WIFN's Director of Operations at the time, and Hudson contacted APRIZ about providing equipment for the planned wireless network on Walpole Island.[1] Linnartz Decl. ¶ 5. WIFN chose to work with APRIZ because of its experience with projects in remote locations and because APRIZ's Illinois location was relatively close to the

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island, which would minimize travel time and cost. Deleary Decl. ¶ 9-12.

The parties conducted negotiations mainly by telephone and email, Id. ¶ 15, and APRIZ does not allege that any WIFN representative ever physically entered Illinois. Service installation on Walpole Island presented some " unique challenges" because of the island's physical characteristics, Linnartz Decl. ¶ 11, and APRIZ prepared a proposal for setting up the network at WIFN's request. Id. ΒΆ 17. This work, evidently, was done without a written contract between WIFN and APRIZ (neither party mentions one, in any event). Ultimately, APRIZ entered into a contract on or about February 18, 2011, with Carousel Industries, ...


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