United States District Court, D. Hawaii
DOUGLAS M. SHEEHAN Plaintiff,
SOUTHERN FOODS GROUP, LLC; DEAN FOODS COMPANY, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING, IN PART, AND DENYING, IN PART,
DEFENDANT DEAN FOODS COMPANY'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK
OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION (ECF NO. 23) WITHOUT
GILLMOR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Douglas M. Sheehan filed a Complaint asserting claims of
employment discrimination against Defendants Southern Foods
Group, LLC and Dean Foods Company. Plaintiff alleges that
from 1998 until his termination in 2017 he was the plant
manager of Meadow Gold Dairies. He claims that during his
employment the Dean Foods Company purchased Southern Foods
Group, LLC. He claims he was jointly employed by both
Southern Foods Group, LLC and Dean Foods Company.
Dean Foods Company filed a Motion to Dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction. Dean Foods Company submitted evidence
that it is incorporated in Delaware with its principal place
of business in Texas.
Foods Company claims that Southern Foods Group, LLC is its
subsidiary and that Southern Foods Group, LLC operates Meadow
Gold Dairies, the location where Plaintiff performed his
is no general personal jurisdiction over Dean Foods Company.
are questions of fact as to whether there is specific
jurisdiction over Dean Foods Company based on the claims
asserted in the Complaint and the evidence available at this
stage in the proceedings.
Dean Foods Company's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of
Personal Jurisdiction (ECF No. 23) is GRANTED, IN
PART, AND DENIED, IN PART, WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
is permitted to conduct jurisdictional discovery to establish
specific personal jurisdiction over Dean Foods Company
October 22, 2018, Plaintiff Douglas M. Sheehan filed a
Complaint against Southern Foods Group, LLC and Dean Foods
Company. (ECF No. 1).
19, 2019, Defendant Dean Foods Company filed a MOTION TO
DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION. (ECF No. 23).
27, 2019, Defendant Southern Foods Group, LLC filed a
Statement of No Opposition. (ECF No. 25)
18, 2019, Plaintiff Sheehan filed his MEMORANDUM IN
OPPOSITION. (ECF No. 26).
August 9, 2019, Defendant Dean Foods Company filed its REPLY.
(ECF No. 27).
August 30, 2019, the Court held a hearing on Defendant Dean
Foods Company's Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction. (ECF No. 28).
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), a defendant may
seek dismissal of an action for lack of personal
jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2). In determining whether
personal jurisdiction exists, courts may consider evidence
presented in affidavits and declarations. Doe v. Unocal
Corp., 248 F.3d 915, 922 (9th Cir. 2001), abrogated
on other grounds in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117
bears the burden of showing that the court has personal
jurisdiction over a defendant. Pebble Beach Co. v.
Caddy, 453 F.3d 1151, 1154 (9th Cir. 2006). Absent
formal discovery or an evidentiary hearing, the determination
requires that the plaintiff make only a prima facie showing
of jurisdictional facts to withstand the motion to dismiss.
Id. To make this prima facie showing, a plaintiff
may not simply rest on the bare allegations of its complaint.
Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d
797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004).
allegations in the complaint, however, must be taken as true
and any conflicts between the parties over statements
contained in affidavits must be resolved in the
plaintiff's favor. Bancroft & Masters, Inc. v.
Augusta Nat'l, Inc., 223 F.3d 1082, 1087
(9th Cir. 2000).
general rule is that personal jurisdiction over a defendant
is proper if it is permitted by a long-arm statute and if the
exercise of that jurisdiction does not violate federal due
process. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v. Nat. Bank of
Coops., 103 F.3d 888, 893 (9th Cir. 1996).
there is no applicable federal statute governing personal
jurisdiction, the district court applies the law of the state
in which the district court sits. Panavision Int'l,
L.P. v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316, 1320 (9th Cir. 1998).
Hawaii's long-arm statute, Hawaii Revised Statutes §
634-35, authorizes the exercise of personal jurisdiction to
the extent permitted by the Due Process clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Barranco v. 3D Sys. Corp., 6 F.Supp.3d 1068, 1077
(D. Haw. 2014).
Process requires that a defendant have minimum contacts with
the forum state such that the maintenance of the suit does
not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice. Int'l Shoe Co. v. State of Wash., Office of
Unemployment Comp. & Placement, 326 U.S. 310, 316
are two types of personal jurisdiction: general jurisdiction
and specific jurisdiction. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v.
Superior Ct. of Cal., 137 S.Ct. 1773, 1779-80 (2017).
Paradigm Test For Determining General Jurisdiction Over A
Corporation Is The Corporation's Place Of Incorporation
And Principal Place Of Business
jurisdiction refers to jurisdiction to adjudicate any claim
against the defendant, including claims unrelated to the
defendant's contacts with the forum state.
Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall,
466 U.S. 408, 414 (1984). General jurisdiction ordinarily
exists over a corporation when it is incorporated in the
forum state or its principal place of business is located in
the forum state. Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S.Ct.
746, 760-61 (2014) (quoting Goodyear Dunlop Tires
Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 564 U.S. 915, 924 (2011)).
Dean Foods Company (“Dean Foods”) is incorporated
in the State of Delaware and its principal place of business
is in Dallas, Texas. (Declaration of Andrea Bettis
(“Bettis Decl.”) at ¶ 2, ECF No. 23-2). Dean
Foods is not incorporated in Hawaii. It does not maintain its
principal place of business in Hawaii.
must demonstrate that an exception to the
“paradigm” of general jurisdiction analysis
applies to Defendant Dean Foods that would allow this Court
to exercise ...