Communication Directed to Forum at Time Different From When Claim Accrued Fails To Establish Personal Jurisdiction

The World in U.S. Courts: Fall 2013 - Personal Jurisdiction | September.13.2013

Francounsel Group, LLC v. Dessange Int’l, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142074 (D. Mass Sept. 13, 2013)

Plaintiff sued Dessange Int’l and DF Export, French corporations, for breach of contract among other claims. The case was dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Court held that the plaintiff could not rely on unsupported allegations of the Defendants’ connection to the U.S., but instead had to submit “affirmative proof.” Here, the plaintiff alleged that the Defendants’ had targeted a particular Massachusetts corporation for business, including sending communications over a period of years. Although the Court noted this conduct did “evidence[] a deliberate and intentional availment,” the record failed to contain any evidence that such conduct had occurred around the time the cause of action accrued. As such, the plaintiff failed to meet its burden to show purposeful availment of the jurisdiction and the Court lacked personal jurisdiction over the French defendants.

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