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Herrera v. Consolidated Travel Holdings Group, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois

August 4, 2016

ANGEL BAKOV and JULIE HERRERA, Individually and on Behalf of all others Similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
CONSOLIDATED TRAVEL HOLDINGS GROUP, INC., a Florida Corporation; CONSOLIDATED WORLD TRAVEL, INC, d/b/a HOLIDAY CRUISE LINE, a Florida Corporation; JAMES H. VERRILLO, an Individual; DANIEL E. LAMBERT, an Individual; JENNIFER POOLE, an Individual; and DONNA HIGGNS, an Individual, Defendants.

          Angel Bakov, Plaintiff, represented by Joseph J. Siprut, Siprut PC, Richard Lane Miller, II, Siprut, PC, Robert R. Ahdoot, Ahdoot & Wolfson, Pc, pro hac vice, Tina Wolfson, Ahdoot & Wolfson, Pc, pro hac vice, John Shannon Marrese, Siprut PC, Ke Liu, Siprut Pc, Kyle Alan Shamberg, Lite DePalma Greenberg, LLC, Richard Steven Wilson, Siprut Pc & Jeffrey Grant Brown, Jeffrey Grant Brown, P.C..

          Julie Herrera, Plaintiff, represented by Katrina Carroll, Lite DePalma Greenberg LLC, Richard Lane Miller, II, Siprut, PC, Robert R. Ahdoot, Ahdoot & Wolfson, Pc, pro hac vice, Tina Wolfson, Ahdoot & Wolfson, Pc, pro hac vice, Kyle Alan Shamberg, Lite DePalma Greenberg, LLC, Richard Steven Wilson, Siprut Pc & Joseph J. Siprut, Siprut PC.

          Consolidated World Travel, Defendant, represented by Jeffrey Backman, Greenspoon Marder, P.A., pro hac vice, Richard W. Epstein, Greenspoon Marder, P.A., pro hac vice & Timothy A. Hudson, Tabet DiVito Rothstein.

          Donna Higgins, Defendant, represented by Timothy A. Hudson, Tabet DiVito Rothstein.

          Consolidated Travel Holdings Group, Inc., Defendant, represented by Timothy A. Hudson, Tabet DiVito Rothstein.

          James Verrillo, Defendant, represented by Timothy A. Hudson, Tabet DiVito Rothstein.

          Daniel E Lambert, Defendant, represented by Timothy A. Hudson, Tabet DiVito Rothstein.

          Jennifer Poole, Defendant, represented by Timothy A. Hudson, Tabet DiVito Rothstein.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          HARRY D. LEINENWEBER, District Judge.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs Angel Bakov ("Bakov") and Julie Herrera ("Herrera") (collectively, the "Plaintiffs") filed separate class action complaints seeking injunctive relief and damages against Consolidated World Travel, Inc. d/b/a Holiday Cruise Line ("HCL") pursuant to the Telephone Consumer, Inc. Act, 42 U.S.C.ยง 227, et seq. (the "TCPA") and seeking relief under the Illinois Automatic Telephone Dialers Act, 815 ILCS305/1, et seq. (the "ATDA"). The two cases were deemed related, and by Order of the Court on September 17, 2015, a Consolidated Complaint was filed, which named additional Defendants Consolidated Travel Group Holdings ("CTH") and James H. Verrillo, Donna Higgins, Daniel Lambert, and Jennifer Poole (the "Individual Defendants"). The Individual Defendants and CTH have moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2). All Defendants have moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12 (b)(6).

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. The Individual Defendants' Jurisdiction Motion

         Because the TCPA does not authorize nationwide service of process, the court must look to Illinois law for the limitation on the exercise of personal jurisdiction. Its "long arm" statute (735 ILCS 5/2-209(C)) authorizes courts to exercise jurisdiction to the fullest extent allowed by the Illinois and federal constitutions. Hyatt International Corp. v. Coco,302 F.3d 707. 713 (7th Cir. 2002). Jurisdiction can be general or specific. General jurisdiction exists only when a party's affiliation with a state is "constant and pervasive" and there is jurisdiction even if the specific action is unrelated to the contacts with the state. Nicholson v. E-Telequote Insurance, Inc., 205 WL 5950659 (N.E. Ill., Oct. 13, 2015). Specific jurisdiction on the other hand must arise out of or is related to a defendant's contacts with the forum. Id. Specific jurisdiction exists where a defendant has purposefully directed its activities at the forum state or purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting business in that state and the alleged injury arises out of the defendants' forum related activities. N. Grain Marketing, LLC v. Greving,743 F.3d 487, 492 (7th Cir. 2015). A plaintiff bears the burden of establishing personal jurisdiction when a defendant challenges it. Id. A plaintiff, however, need only make out a prima facie case to establish personal jurisdiction and ...


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