attorney Michael E. Douglas Attorney at Law
  Personal Injury Attorney
  St. Paul Workers Compensation Lawyer work comp attorney
 > About Me
   :: My Commitment
   :: Our Community
 > Legal Practice Areas
  twin cities comsumer lawPersonal Injury
   :: Traffic Accidents
   :: Medical Malpractice
   :: Social Security Disability
   :: Premises Liability
   :: Wrongful Death
   :: Dog Bite
   :: Back/Spinal/Neck Injuries
   :: Whiplash
   :: Defective Medical Devices
   :: Defective Drugs
  Minnesota Personal InjuryWorkers Compensation
  St. Paul personal injuryConsumer Law
   :: Debt Collection
   :: Repossessions
   :: Foreclosures
   :: Loan, Credit, Banking
   :: Arbitration Agreements
   :: Deception and Fraud
   :: Auto Fraud / Lemon Law
   :: Warranties
   :: Predatory Lending
 > Contact Us
   :: Contact Us

Law Offices of Michael E. Douglas
P.O. Box 251551
Woodbury, Minnesota 55125-6551

 Saint Paul Lawyer


Peterson v. Sunderman: US District Court : CIVIL PROCEDURE - no 'effects in forum' or conspiracy-based jurisdiction over defendant; dismissed

William Peterson, Civil No. 08-1126 (DWF/AJB)
Jerry Wallace, Creative Real
Estate.Net, and Steven V. Sunderman,
Michael R. Docherty, Esq., Attorney at Law, PLLC, and Richard J. Gerace, Esq., counsel
for Plaintiff.
Defendant Jerry Wallace, pro se.
Creative Real Estate.Net, unrepresented.
Tina R. Mills, Esq., Law Firm of Tina R. Mills, LLC, and James G. Ryan, Esq., Ryan
Law Firm, counsel for Defendant Steven V. Sunderman.
This matter is before the Court upon the motion of Defendant Steven V.
Sunderman (Sunderman) to dismiss the complaint of Plaintiff William Peterson
(Peterson). Sunderman argues that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over him. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Sundermans motion to dismiss.
This case concerns an alleged real estate investment scheme. Peterson alleges that
Defendant Jerry Wallace (Wallace), Sunderman, and Defendant Creative Real
Estate.Net (Creative) perpetrated the scam and took 0,000 from him. According to
Peterson, he and Wallace were business associates, Wallace introduced Peterson to
Sunderman in connection with the alleged fraud, and Creative is a company owned and
controlled by Wallace.
Peterson alleges that he contacted Wallace in May 2005 about a real estate
investment opportunity in Kentucky, about which Peterson read in a newspaper, and
asked Wallace to investigate. The investment related to the Doe Valley Golf & Country
Club in Brandenburg, Kentucky (the Doe Valley Property). Wallace reported he was
familiar with the Doe Valley Property and thought it might be a good investment.
Peterson traveled to Kentucky to meet with Wallace and, while there, he met Sunderman,
whom Wallace introduced as Wallaces partner. Peterson, Wallace, and Sunderman met
with a representative of the Doe Valley Propertys owners and toured the Doe Valley
Property, after which the three of them had lunch and decided to pursue the investment.
Wallace was to negotiate the purchase, and he represented that he was doing so
until early June 2005. At that time, however, Wallace told Peterson he was discontinuing
negotiations and that the deal [was] dead due to infighting among the propertys
owners. (Doc. No. 1 24.) On June 15, 2005, Wallace called Peterson and informed him
that the deal was back on because the owners had resolved their differences and were
ready to move forward.
Wallace represented to Peterson that the Doe Valley Propertys owners wished to
sell 488 lots for a total of ,725,000 and that the sale needed to close quickly. Wallace
outlined a plan under which Peterson would invest ,000,000, Wallace and his partners
would invest 5,000, and the remaining 0,000 would be financed by the sellers.
Peterson indicated he could only raise 0,000, but stated that he would contact a friend
to raise the other 0,000. Peterson alleges he contacted a friend in Minneapolis,
Ronald Olsen (Olsen), to raise this additional money, but Olsen wanted to conduct a
due diligence review of the investment. Wallace, however, represented that there was no
time for such a review because the sale had to close on June 24, 2005, and also
represented that he had another partner who could contribute 0,000 so that the deal
could close on time. Wallace subsequently contacted Peterson and directed him to wire
0,000 to an escrow account.
Peterson wired the 0,000 as directed. Wallace issued Peterson a note granting
him a 42% interest in the venture. Over the next few months, Peterson and Wallace
discussed various plans regarding the Doe Valley Property, including selling or trading
the lots to a home builder. Ultimately, Wallace told Peterson that the home builder had
proposed a trade for all 488 lots; in exchange for the lots, the investors would receive five
houses in Ohio and eight condominiums in Las Vegas (the Hard Rock Properties), as
well as an account with ,600,000 in escrowed funds. Peterson agreed to this exchange,
and Wallace subsequently represented that the exchange had occurred. Wallace also told
Peterson they had already earned ,000 in interest on the escrow account.
In August or September 2005, Peterson decided to visit Las Vegas to view the
Hard Rock properties. Wallace indicated he would send a package regarding the Hard
Rock Properties to Peterson at his hotel in Las Vegas, but the package never arrived and,
without documents identifying the Hard Rock Properties, Peterson was unable to view
them. Peterson was unable to contact Wallace while in Las Vegas and he ultimately left
without viewing the Hard Rock Properties and returned to Minnesota.
In late September, Wallace contacted Peterson and claimed that Federal Express
lost the package sent to him in Las Vegas. Wallace represented he had sent another
package to Minnesota, but this package failed to arrive as well. Peterson attempted to
contact Wallace when he did not receive the second package, but was unable to reach
Wallace until October 18, 2005. At that time, Wallace told Peterson he had transferred
the money in the escrow account, now ,671,000, from US Bank because he was
concerned about the banks solvency. He indicated that he transferred the funds to Bank
of America, but that Bank of America placed the funds with a division of Refco, a
commodities trading firm that had filed a petition for bankruptcy. Wallace indicated that
the money was frozen due to the bankruptcy case.
Peterson looked into Refcos bankruptcy and decided Wallaces story did not
make sense; he attempted to contact Wallace but was unable to reach him. Peterson
called Sunderman.1 According to Peterson, Sunderman stated that the lots in Kentucky
had been purchased as promised but that Wallace handled all of the paperwork.
Sunderman also stated that the lots were exchanged for the houses, condominiums, and
the escrowed funds, as represented by Wallace, and that ,671,000 was in an account
with Bank of America. Peterson told Sunderman that he was lying, demanded the return
of his money, and threatened to pursue criminal charges against Sunderman and Wallace.
1 The Complaint states that Peterson called Sunderman on October 21, 2007, but all
of the other events in the case are alleged to have occurred in 2005, suggesting that this
may be a typographical error.
Peterson alleges Sunderman indicated he would contact Wallace and have Wallace
respond to Peterson.
According to Peterson, Wallace then contacted him and admitted that no
properties had ever been purchased, and there had not been a trade for houses,
condominiums, and funds in a bank account. Wallace admitted that he used Petersons
money for other real estate deals. Peterson alleges that Wallace lied about this as well; he
alleges that Wallace invested some of the money in a foreign currency trading account
with Refco. Peterson has pursued claims against Wallace and Sunderman to recover his
funds, but alleges he has been able to recover only 4,000 of his investment.
In the motion before the Court, Sunderman argues that this Court lacks jurisdiction
over him. Sunderman contends that he has insufficient contacts with Minnesota to permit
suit against him here. Peterson argues that Sunderman directed his activities toward
Minnesota and also that Wallaces contacts with Minnesota can be attributed to
Sunderman because the two were involved in a conspiracy.
I. Standard of Review
When a defendant challenges personal jurisdiction, the plaintiff has the burden to
show that personal jurisdiction exists. Burlington Indus., Inc. v. Maples Indus., Inc.,
97 F.3d 1100, 1102 (8th Cir. 1996) (citing Gould v. P.T. Krakatau Steel,
957 F.2d 573, 575 (8th Cir. 1992)). To survive a motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction, however, the plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of personal
jurisdiction over the defendant. Digi-Tel Holdings, Inc. v. Proteq Telecomms. (PTE),
Ltd., 89 F.3d 519, 522 (8th Cir. 1996) (citing Northrup King Co. v. Compania
Productora Semillas Algodoneras Selectas, S.A., 51 F.3d 1383, 1387 (8th Cir. 1995)).
When considering whether personal jurisdiction exists, the court may consider
matters outside the pleadings; the court may inquire, by affidavits or otherwise, into the
facts as they exist. Stevens v. Redwing, 146 F.3d 538, 543 (8th Cir. 1998) (quoting Land
v. Dollar, 330 U.S. 731, 735 n.4 (1947)). For the purposes of determining whether the
plaintiff has made a prima facie showing of personal jurisdiction, the court must view the
evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and resolve all factual conflicts in the
plaintiffs favor. Digi-Tel, 89 F.3d at 522 (citing Dakota Indus., Inc. v. Dakota
Sportswear, Inc., 946 F.2d 1384, 1387 (8th Cir. 1991)).
In determining whether a court has personal jurisdiction over a non-resident
defendant, a court must ordinarily satisfy both the requirements of the state long-arm
statute and of federal due process. Id. (citing Northrup King, 51 F.3d at 1387). The
Minnesota long-arm statute extends jurisdiction to the maximum limit consistent with
due process, and therefore a court in Minnesota need only evaluate whether the
requirements of due process are satisfied. Wessels, Arnold & Henderson v. Natl Med.
Waste, Inc., 65 F.3d 1427, 1431 (8th Cir. 1995). When analyzing most personal
jurisdiction questions in Minnesota, courts may simply apply the federal standards.
Valspar Corp. v. Lukken Color Corp., 495 N.W.2d 408, 411 (Minn. 1992).
Federal due process requires that a defendant have certain minimum contacts
with the forum state such that maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions
of fair play and substantial justice. Intl Shoe Co. v. Wash., 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)
(internal quotations omitted). The defendants conduct and connection with the forum
state must be such that the defendant should reasonably anticipate being haled into court
there. World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297 (1980). It is
essential in each case that the defendant has purposefully availed himself of the privilege
of conducting activities within the forum state, thus invoking the benefits and protections
of its laws. Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 475 (1985) (quoting Hanson
v. Denckla, 357 U.S. 235, 253 (1958)).
A court may use one of two different analyses to determine whether the
defendants contacts with the forum state establish personal jurisdiction. Epps v. Stewart
Info. Servs. Corp., 327 F.3d 642, 648 (8th Cir. 2003). In a general jurisdiction case, a
defendant maintains such continuous and systematic contacts with a state that it
becomes subject to the jurisdiction of that states courts for any purpose. Morris v.
Barkbuster, Inc., 923 F.2d 1277, 1281 (8th Cir. 1991) (quoting Helicopteros Nacionales
de Columbia v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 414 n.9, 416, 41819 (1984)); Valspar,
495 N.W.2d at 411. Specific jurisdiction, on the other hand, requires that the defendant
has purposely directed its activities at residents of the forum and that the litigation
results from alleged injuries that arise out of or relate to those activities. Wessels,
65 F.3d at 1432 (quoting Burger King, 471 U.S. at 472).
Regardless of which analysis is used, the Eighth Circuit applies a five-factor test in
determining whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction would pass constitutional
muster: (1) the nature and quality of defendants contacts with the forum state; (2) the
quantity of contacts; (3) the source and connection of the cause of action with those
contacts; and, to a lesser degree, (4) the interest of the forum state; and (5) the
convenience of the parties. Wessels, 65 F.3d at 1432. The first three factors are of
primary importance, while the last two are secondary factors. Minn. Mining & Mfg.
Co. v. Nippon Carbide Indus. Co., Inc., 63 F.3d 694, 697 (8th Cir. 1995). The third
factor distinguishes between specific and general jurisdiction. Digi-Tel, 89 F.3d at 523
n.4 (citing Wessels, 65 F.3d at 1432 n.4).
II. Personal Jurisdiction Over Sunderman
Sunderman is a resident of Ohio and has been to Minnesota only once, when he
played in a baseball tournament as a teenager. He owns no property in Minnesota, has no
bank accounts or other money in Minnesota, and has never solicited or done business in
Minnesota. If jurisdiction lies in this case, it does so on the basis of specific, rather than
general, jurisdiction. The Court, therefore, must determine whether Sunderman
purposely directed his activities at residents of Minnesota and whether the present
litigation results from alleged injuries that arise out of or relate to those activities.
Peterson alleges two contacts between himself and Sunderman related to the
alleged fraudulent transaction. First, he alleges he met Sunderman in Kentucky to tour
the Doe Valley Property, at which time Wallace referred to Sunderman as his partner.
Second, Peterson alleges that he called Sunderman for information after he came to
believe that the investment deal was a scam and alleges that Sunderman lied to him about
the property exchange. Sunderman received this call from Peterson in Ohio. All of
Sundermans activities in connection with the alleged fraud occurred outside Minnesota.
Peterson alleges that these contacts are of sufficient quantity and nature to give rise to
personal jurisdiction over Sunderman in Minnesota, however, because he alleges
Sunderman was part of a fraudulent scheme, the brunt of the effect of which was felt by
Peterson in Minnesota.
The Supreme Court announced the effects test for personal jurisdiction in
Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783 (1984). In that case, a professional entertainer, Shirley
Jones, sued two reporters employed by the National Enquirer over a story published by
the magazine stating that Jones drank so heavily she was unable to fulfill her contractual
obligations. Calder, 465 U.S. at 789 n.9. The Supreme Court concluded that personal
jurisdiction over the two reporters existed in California because they had directed their
intentional tortious actions toward California. Id. at 789. The Supreme Court stated that
the reporters knew that Jones would feel the brunt of that injury in California, where
she lived and worked, and where the National Enquirer had its largest circulation. Id. at
The Eighth Circuit applied the Calder test in Dakota Industries, 946 F.2d 1384, in
determining that a California corporation could be sued for trademark infringement, an
intentional tort, in South Dakota. There, the defendant California corporation made
clothing with an allegedly infringing mark that was available for sale in South Dakota.
Dakota Indus., 946 F.2d at 1391. Though the company contended that it did not directly
ship the goods there, it was aware that it sold goods to chains with retail outlets in
South Dakota. Id. The court concluded that the defendant had not merely placed goods
into the stream of commerce because the merchadising of the offending clothes was not a
mere isolated act and that the cause of action asserted flowed from commercial ties to
South Dakota. Id. at 1390.
In another case, Finley v. River North Records, Inc., 148 F.3d 913 (8th Cir. 1998),
an Arkansas concert promoter sued a Tennessee record company and booking agent for
fraudulent misrepresentation related to a concert to be held in Arkansas and the record
company challenged jurisdiction. The court concluded that jurisdiction existed under the
Calder test. An employee of the record company sent promotional materials regarding
the four artists who were to perform and made phone calls to the concert promoter in
Arkansas. Finley, 148 F.3d at 915. The court concluded that the promotional materials
were sent to Arkansas with the knowledge that they would be used commercially to
promote the concert. Id. at 916. The court also stated that the recording company
knowingly misrepresented that one artist would appear when she would not and
misrepresented the existence of a band it said would perform at the concert; therefore, the
company engaged in fraudulent conduct, intended to induce commercial activity within
the forum state. Id.
Further, in Oriental Trading Company, Inc. v. Firetti, 236 F.3d 938 (8th Cir.
2001), the Eighth Circuit held that minimum contacts existed for a suit against Virginia
defendants in Nebraska. The defendants operated a company that sold pencils and
crayons and the defendants negotiated a contract to sell goods to the plaintiff for delivery
in Nebraska. Oriental Trading, 236 F.3d at 941. The defendants made numerous phone
calls and sent faxes to Nebraska in connection with a scheme to charge the plaintiff for
customs fees never assessed upon the shipment. Id. at 943. The court concluded that the
defendants engaged in intentional tortious acts directed at residents of Nebraska and that
the brunt of the effect of the scheme was felt there. Id.
The key similarity between each of these cases is the allegation of an intentional
tort related to activity, particularly commercial activity, in the forum state and where the
brunt of the impact of the injury is also felt in the forum state. The facts of this case do
not meet this standard. Here, Peterson lives, and suffered financial harm, in Minnesota.
The alleged scheme related to real estate in Kentucky and a trade of that property for
houses in Ohio and condominiums in Nevada. Sundermans activities not only occurred
outside Minnesota, but also were directed to commercial or other activity outside
Peterson asserts that the telephone call he placed to Sunderman is a contact with
Minnesota in which Sunderman directed intentionally fraudulent and tortious statements
to him in Minnesota, satisfying the Calder effects test. Generally, sending letters into or
making telephone calls to a forum state is insufficient, by itself, to satisfy due process and
confer jurisdiction. Mountaire Feeds, Inc. v. Agro Impex, S. A., 677 F.2d 651, 656 (8th
Cir. 1982). In this case, Sunderman received a telephone call from Minnesota, rather
than placing one to Minnesota, making the contact less significant for due process
purposes. Peterson nonetheless contends that this case is like Brainerd v. Governors of
the Univ. of Alberta, 873 F.2d 1257 (9th Cir. 1989). In Brainerd, an official at a
Canadian university was alleged to have made disparaging contacts about the plaintiff
during a phone call to him initiated by the plaintiffs Arizona employer. The court
concluded jurisdiction existed based on this telephone call, notwithstanding the absence
of other contacts for the foreign defendants and even though the defendants did not
initiate the contact. Brainerd, 873 F.2d at 1259.
Sunderman, however, asserts this case is similar to Stangel v. Rucker, 398 N.W.2d
602, 605 (Minn. Ct. App. 1986). There, the plaintiff alleged that defendants provided
care to his son in Louisiana after the child was removed unlawfully from the state by
plaintiffs ex-wife. Stangel, 398 N.W.2d at 605. The plaintiff further alleged that one of
the defendants lied to him in a telephone call plaintiff placed to the defendant in
Louisiana, stating that his son was not there even though the plaintiff could hear the child
in the background. Id. The court held that providing care for the child in Louisiana had
nothing to do with Minnesota and did not constitute a contact with the forum. Id. In
addition, the court stated that the phone call, placed by plaintiff, in which the defendant
allegedly lied to him, was a weak basis for jurisdiction. Id. In all, the court concluded
that there was no basis for jurisdiction over the defendants.
This Court concludes that this case is more like Stangel than Brainerd. In
Brainerd, the defendant made disparaging remarks regarding the plaintiffs employment
to his employer in the forum state, and the court held that the defendant knew that injury
and harm resulting from his comments would be felt in the forum state where the plaintiff
planned to live and work. Brainerd, 873 F.2d at 1259. Therefore, in Brainerd, the
defendant purposefully directed his tortious activities toward the forum state. In Stangel,
the defendant resided and received a phone call in a state other than the forum state, and
she allegedly lied about activities occurring outside the forum state. Her statements were
not directed toward the forum state although she was speaking to a forum resident.
Similarly, the subject of Sundermans alleged lies and of the fraudulent transaction was
the purchase and trade of properties outside the forum state.
Further, even if Sunderman intentionally lied to Peterson in this telephone call,
such lies do not sufficiently connect Sunderman to an intentional tort directed toward
Minnesota. In Kopperud v. Agers, jurisdiction existed over an Arizona defendant who
engaged in activities intended to induce Minnesota residents to invest in land
development in Arizona; the plaintiffs sued alleging that real estate mortgaged in
connection with the transactions was insufficient to secure the notes issued. 312 N.W.2d
443 (Minn. 1981). In Kopperud, the defendant directed his activities toward obtaining a
commercial benefit in Minnesota. Id. at 445. The defendant met with the broker who
sold the securities to Minnesota residents and discussed with him how to transact the
sales; he knew the broker was selling notes and mortgages in Minnesota and was
personally involved in determining the amounts and drafting the note and mortgage
documents, and he corresponded with two Minnesota attorneys regarding probate
treatment of the mortgages. Id. The court concluded that the defendants contacts with
Minnesota were not isolated or unforeseeable, but that he purposefully availed himself of
the state to defraud Minnesota investors and was instrumental in setting in motion and
perpetuating a fraudulent scheme.
Kopperud, however, does not make every intentional tort that injures a Minnesota
resident a basis for jurisdiction. Id. (stating that Minnesotas long-arm statute . . . does
not confer jurisdiction whenever a tort is committed by a nonresident.). Sundermans
contacts with Peterson and role in the alleged fraud, and the fraud itself, are far more
tangentially related to Minnesota than the fraud considered in Kopperud. Even
construing the facts in the light most favorable to Peterson, Peterson knew that
Sunderman was making a false statement and told him so in that same conversation.
Peterson, therefore, does not allege that Sunderman actually succeeded in misleading him
during this telephone call. Unlike the defendant in Kopperud, Sundermans contact with
Minnesota is isolated and any connection between Sunderman and Minnesota is too
random, fortuitous or attenuated to give rise to jurisdiction here. Burger King, 471
U.S. at 475.
Peterson also argues that jurisdiction exists over Sunderman because Sunderman
and Wallace were engaged in a conspiracy to defraud Peterson.2 Peterson, therefore,
asserts that Wallaces activities can be attributed to Sunderman for jurisdictional
Minnesota has recognized conspiracy-based personal jurisdiction. Hunt v. Nevada
State Bank, 172 N.W.2d 292 (Minn. 1969). In Hunt, the court concluded long-arm
jurisdiction existed to permit a suit in Minnesota when the defendants, three of whom
were Minnesota residents, were alleged to have conspired to convert the assets of an
insurance company whose policy holders were primarily Minnesota residents. Id. at
312-313. The court noted that Minnesota was the only state that had significant contacts
2 In addition to the contacts between Peterson and Sunderman noted above, Peterson
argues that Sunderman was involved in the alleged conspiracy because he wrote checks
that directed Petersons investment funds out of the account where Wallace placed them
and to an associate of Wallaces. Sunderman argues that he simply issued checks at
Wallaces direction as a clerical task without any knowledge of Wallaces fraudulent
activities. This activity also occurred outside Minnesota, and the Court concludes that
this allegation is not determinative of the jurisdictional question presented.
with all of the defendants and that the defendants intentionally set in motion financial
actions that injured Minnesotans. Id. at 312. The court remarked that it was undisputed
that the great majority of the defendants had been present for an important meeting in St.
Paul, Minnesota, but further stated that [o]nce participation in a tortious conspiracy - the
effect of which is felt in this state is firmly established, actual physical presence of each
of the alleged conspirators is not essential to a valid assertion of jurisdiction. Id. at 311.
The Court concludes that conspiracy-based jurisdiction does not apply here. First,
the contacts between the conspirators in Hunt and Minnesota were more substantial than
the contacts between Wallace and Sunderman and the state of Minnesota. Though actual
physical presence of each of the conspirators in Minnesota may not be required, some of
the conspirators in Hunt did have actual physical presence here and engaged in acts
related to the conspiracy within the state. 172 N.W.2d at 296, 311, 312; see also Remmes
v. Intl Flavors & Fragrances, Inc., 389 F. Supp. 2d 1080, 1093-96 (N.D. Iowa 2005)
(discussing cases and stating that asserting jurisdiction based on conspiracy requires a
showing that: (1) a conspiracy existed; (2) the non-resident participated in or joined the
conspiracy; and (3) an overt act was taken in furtherance of the conspiracy within the
forums borders). This is not a case in which a non-resident defendant directed the
activities of an agent within the forum, thereby causing harm within the state, but seeks to
shield himself because his own activities were extra-territorial. In this case, neither
Wallace nor Sunderman was physically located here, nor did either of them take an act in
Minnesota in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy. Even Wallace, whose role in the
conspiracy involved many more contacts with Peterson, only made telephone calls to
Peterson in Minnesota from outside the state.
Further, a showing of minimum contacts is not unnecessary when a conspiracy
with Minnesota effects is alleged and the allegation of such a conspiracy does not satisfy
the minimum contacts test itself. Stangel, 398 N.W.2d at 606. The connection with
Minnesota in this case is that Peterson lives here and sent money from Minnesota to
Wallace at Wallaces request to complete the purchase of the Doe Valley Property. This
is simply too insubstantial a basis to conclude that Wallace and Sunderman directed their
activities at Minnesota sufficiently to constitute purposeful availment.
The Court, therefore, concludes that the first three factors of the test used to
determine whether personal jurisdiction exists weigh against jurisdiction. In addition, the
Court finds that the final two factors do not tip the balance in the other direction. Though
Minnesota has an interest in providing a forum for residents of the state, Minnesotas
interest is muted because the transactions Peterson alleges occurred took place outside the
state. Further, the convenience of the parties does not weigh in favor of jurisdiction here.
Though Peterson would find Minnesota a more convenient place to litigate, the other
parties would not.
The Court concludes that Peterson has failed to make a prima facie case that
Sunderman has minimum contacts with Minnesota, such that he purposefully availed
himself of Minnesota and could reasonably expect to be haled into court here. Therefore,
this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Sunderman.
Though Peterson may have a cause of action against Sunderman in connection
with this transaction, such a suit may not lie in Minnesota because Sunderman lacks the
requisite minimum contacts with this state. Therefore, Sundermans motion to dismiss is
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction of Defendant
Steven V. Sunderman (Doc. No. 16) is GRANTED.
2. The Complaint (Doc. No. 1) is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE as
to Defendant Sunderman.
Dated: December 10, 2008 s/Donovan W. Frank
Judge of United States District Court


  What day were you injured?

  / /

  What caused your injuries?
Traffic/Bicycle Accident
Work-Related Injury
Wrongful Death
Dog Bite
Slip and Fall

  How have your injuries affected

  your life?


  What kinds of medical care
  professionals have you seen?


  What has your treatment cost?


  Is Insurance Involved?
My insurance may cover

Someone else's insurance
        may cover this.

I already filed a claim.
I rejected a settlement

I accepted a settlement

  Were there any witnesses?
Bystanders Witnessed This.
Police Responded and Filed
        a Police Report

Police Responded but Did
        Not File a Police Report



          By visiting this page or clicking the
  "submit" button above, you agree
  that you have read and accept this   "disclaimer".
Copyright © Michael E. Douglas, Attorney at Law, Saint Paul MN. All Rights Reserved.
Minnesota Law Firm representing Personal Injury, Car / Auto Accident, Workers Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Social Security Disability claims.
Dedicated to Injured Workers, Victims of Negligence, Car Accidents, Victims of Fraud, and those in need of legal assistance.