United States District Court, D. Oregon
AMENDED OPINION AND ORDER
Michael J. McShane United States District Judge
Court originally dismissed Third-Party Defendant Freightliner
Custom Chassis Corp. (“FCCC”) from this case
after determining that the Court lacked personal jurisdiction
over FCCC. Op. and Order 1, ECF No. 22. Now, Third-Party
Plaintiff Newmar Corp. (“Newmar”) asserts an
indemnification claim against FCCC and FCCC, once again,
moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. However,
unlike the Court's previous decision, new jurisdictional
facts allow for the exercise of specific personal
jurisdiction. Accordingly, the motion is DENIED.
Roblin purchased a Recreational Vehicle (“RV”)
manufactured by Newmar. The chassis was manufactured by FCCC.
After experiencing mechanical and service-related issues with
his RV, Mr. Roblin filed an action against Newmar and FCCC
alleging violation of the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act,
15 U.S.C. § 2301, Oregon Lemon Law Act, Or. Rev. Stat.
§ 646A.400 et. seq., and Oregon Consumer
Warranty Act, Or. Rev. Stat. § 72.8100 et. seq.
the Court dismissed FCCC from the original complaint, Newmar
filed a third-party complaint against, alleging new facts
that arguably create personal jurisdiction over FCCC.
Def.'s Newmar Unopposed Mot. for Leave to File
Third-Party Compl. 2-3, ECF No. 44.
again moves the Court to dismiss it from the case for lack of
personal jurisdiction. Where, as here, there is no applicable
federal statute governing personal jurisdiction, a district
court must apply the law of the state in which it sits.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(1)(A); Panvasion
Int'l, L.P. v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316, 1320 (9th
Cir. 1998). Oregon law authorizes personal jurisdiction to
the full extent permitted by the Due Process Clause of the
U.S. Constitution. See Or. R. Civ. P. 4L. To comport
with the requirements of due process, a court may only
exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant
if that defendant has sufficient “minimum
contacts” with the forum state, such that the exercise
of personal jurisdiction would not “offend traditional
notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316
(1945) (citations and quotation marks omitted). A
defendant's minimum contacts may be established through a
showing of either general or specific jurisdiction.
Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d
797, 801 (9th Cir. 2004). FCCC is not subject to general
personal jurisdiction in Oregon. See Op. and Order
Ninth Circuit, courts apply a three-part test to determine
whether the exercise of specific jurisdiction over a
non-resident defendant is appropriate:
(1) the non-resident defendant must purposefully direct his
activities or consummate some transaction with the forum or
resident thereof; or perform some act by which he
purposefully avails himself of the privilege of conducting
activities in the forum, thereby invoking the benefits and
protections of its laws; (2) the claim must be one which
arises out of or relates to the defendant's forum-related
activities; and (3) the exercise of jurisdiction must comport
with fair play and substantial justice, i.e. it must be
Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 802 (citation and
quotation marks omitted). A plaintiff bears the burden of
establishing the first two elements of the test, after which
the burden shifts to the defendant to “present a
compelling case” that the exercise of jurisdiction
would not be reasonable. Burger King Corp. v.
Rudzewic, 471 U.S. 462, 477 (1985).
Court originally dismissed FCCC under the first prong of the
jurisdictional test because FCCC had “no control over
the service centers.” Op. and Order 8. As stated by
Newmar, “the factual record was not developed and [Mr.
Roblin] could point to little more than FCCC's warranty
and that FCCC maintained a network of authorized service
centers in Oregon.” Def.'s Newmar Unopposed Mot.
for Leave to File Third-Party Compl. 3.
the key difference now is the newly alleged facts surrounding
FCCC's communication with and control of the service
center as it relates to the repair of the RV. Id. at
2-3. FCCC directed where the RV was to be towed. It
instructed the service center to expedite repairs. It
instructed the service center to avoid communication with Mr.
Roblin's “investigator because customer is possibly
trying to build a case for Lemon Law.” It instructed
the service center not to remove certain equipment. It
instructed the service center to “not return the failed
components to [Mr. Roblin] ‘under any
believes that these additional facts do not alter the
Court's original jurisdiction determination because they
do not constitute purposeful availment in Oregon. Third-Party
Def. FCCC's Reply to Dismiss Third-Party Compl. 2, ECF
No. 72. As explained in Asahi v. Superior Court of Cal.,
Solano Cnty., “additional conduct” by a
defendant is necessary for the exercise of jurisdiction. The
new facts surrounding FCCC's control of the service
center is additional conduct allowing for the exercise of
jurisdiction. 480 U.S. 102, 112 (1987); see also
McIntyreMachinery, Ltd. v. Nicastro, 564 U.S.
873, 883 (“[I]t is the defendant's
actions, not his expectations, that empower a
State's courts to subject ...