United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
DANIEL M. KALTMAYER, Plaintiff,
FRANK BOMMARITO BUICK GMC, INC. d/b/a Bommarito Audi West County, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the motion to dismiss
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) filed
by defendant Frank Bommarito Buick GMC, Inc. d/b/a Bommarito
Audi West County (“Bommarito”) (Doc. 15).
Bommarito argues that it is not subject to the Court's
personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff Daniel M. Kaltmayer has
responded to the motion (Doc. 27).
filed this lawsuit after he took his 2016 Audi to Bommarito,
where he had purchased the car, to repair trim molding that
had started to peel. Bommarito is incorporated in Delaware,
but is located in Missouri. The day after Kaltmayer delivered
the car to Bommarito in Missouri for the repair, it was
involved in an accident while being driven by a Bommarito
filed this lawsuit in the Circuit Court for the Third
Judicial District, Madison County, Illinois. In it, he
alleges a claim for negligence (Count I) and conversion
(Count II) of the 2016 Audi. After entering a limited
appearance for the purpose of contesting personal
jurisdiction, Bommarito removed the case to this Court
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) relying on this
Court's original diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
filed the pending motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule
12(b)(2), arguing that it is not subject to the Court's
personal jurisdiction because it does not do business in
Illinois and all the acts alleged in the complaint occurred
in Missouri. Kaltmayer does not dispute that Bommarito has no
presence in Illinois and that the relevant events occurred in
Missouri. He has provided evidence, however, that Bommarito
placed advertisements in newspapers and on the internet that
reached potential Illinois customers, that he purchased three
vehicles from Bommarito over a four-year period, and that
during that four-year period Bommarito repeatedly reached out
to him in Illinois by phone and email to market its vehicles,
including an individual email to him specifically marketing
the 2016 Audi at issue in this case.
Standard for Dismissal
personal jurisdiction is challenged under Rule 12(b)(2), the
plaintiff bears the burden of establishing personal
jurisdiction over a defendant. Purdue Research Found. v.
Sanofi-Synthelabo, S.A., 338 F.3d 773, 782 (7th Cir.
2003). If there are material facts in dispute regarding the
Court's jurisdiction over a defendant, the Court must
hold an evidentiary hearing at which the plaintiff must
establish jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence.
Id. (citing Hyatt Int'l Corp. v. Coco,
302 F.3d 707, 713 (7th Cir. 2002)). Alternatively, the Court
may decide the motion to dismiss without a hearing based on
the submitted written materials so long as it resolves all
factual disputes in the plaintiff's favor. Purdue
Research, 338 F.3d at 782 (citing RAR, Inc. v.
Turner Diesel, Ltd., 107 F.3d 1272, 1276 (7th Cir.
1997)). If the Court consults only the written materials, the
plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of
personal jurisdiction. Purdue Research, 338 F.3d at
782 (citing Hyatt, 302 F.3d at 713).
the Court decides the pending motion to dismiss based on the
written materials, resolving any factual disputes in
Kaltmayer's favor. It finds that Kaltmayer has made a
prima facie showing of this Court's personal
jurisdiction over Bommarito.
federal court sitting in diversity looks to the personal
jurisdiction law of the state in which the court sits to
determine if it has jurisdiction. Hyatt Int'l Corp.
v. Coco, 302 F.3d 707, 713 (7th Cir. 2002) (citing
Dehmlow v. Austin Fireworks, 963 F.2d 941, 945 (7th
Cir. 1992)). Thus, this Court applies Illinois law. Under
Illinois law, a court has personal jurisdiction over a
defendant if an Illinois statute grants personal jurisdiction
and if the exercise of personal jurisdiction is permissible
under the Illinois and United States constitutions. RAR,
Inc. v. Turner Diesel, Ltd., 107 F.3d 1272, 1276 (7th
Cir. 1997); Wilson v. Humphreys (Cayman), Ltd., 916
F.2d 1239 (7th Cir. 1990).
Illinois Statutory Law
Illinois law, the long-arm statute permits personal
jurisdiction over a party to the extent allowed under the due
process provisions of the Illinois and federal constitutions.
735 ILCS 5/2-209(c); Hyatt, 302 F.3d at 714;
Central States, Se. & Sw. Areas Pension Fund v.
Reimer Express World Corp., 230 F.3d 934, 940 (7th Cir.
2000). Therefore, whether the Court has jurisdiction over a
defendant depends on whether such jurisdiction is permitted
by federal and state constitutional standards.