The World in U.S. Courts: Spring 2014 - Personal Jurisdiction
Plaintiff Capital Investments Group filed suit in Delaware against nineteen foreign defendants, alleging theft and conversion of property of Capital Investments’ real property in Ukraine. Specifically, Capital Investments claimed that Defendant Korban and eighteen others used a forged power of attorney and sham Ukrainian legal proceedings to take control of its real property. Korban, an Israeli citizen, moved to dismiss the claims for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper service of process.
The U.S. District Court in Delaware found that it did not have personal jurisdiction over Korban. Although one of the co-conspirators allegedly used a forged Delaware notarization and apostille seal in the forged power of attorney document, that allegation did not relate to Korban, who was not otherwise alleged to have any connection to Delaware. Separately, The court held the allegation regarding the forged seal did not confer personal jurisdiction because it did not involve a transaction that occurred in Delaware, as required by the Delaware personal jurisdiction statute. The court also noted that Capital Investments Group was a Wyoming corporation and did not suffer the injury in Delaware, further supporting the dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction.