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Vivint Inc. v. Bailie

United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division

January 30, 2017

VIVINT, INC., a Utah corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
CRAIG BAILIE, an individual; JONATHAN ANTHONY, an individual; ARMOR PROTECTION, LLC, a Missouri limited liability company; and JOHN DOES I through XX, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          DALE A. KIMBALL United States District Judge.

         This matter is before the court on Defendant Jonathan Anthony's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. A hearing on the matter was held on January 9, 2017. At the hearing, Plaintiff was represented by Jonathan Bletzacker and Trent Lowe. Defendant was represented by D. Brian Boggess. Before the hearing, the court carefully considered the memoranda and other materials submitted by the parties. Since taking the matter under advisement, the court has further considered the law and facts relating to the matter. Now being fully advised, the court renders the following Memorandum Decision and Order.

         BACKGROUND

         In February 2011, Defendant Jonathan Anthony became employed with APX Alarm (“APX”). In August 2011, APX changed its name to Vivint, Inc. (“Vivint”). Vivint is a Utah corporation with its headquarters in Utah and is the Plaintiff in this action.

         Since 2009, Mr. Anthony has been a resident of Missouri. Before 2009, Mr. Anthony was a resident of Kansas and Illinois, but never of Utah. Mr. Anthony heard about APX and the potential for a job from another APX employee in St. Louis Missouri. Mr. Anthony applied for the job through APX's Missouri-based management. Mr. Anthony was hired as a Field Service Technician and was given work in and around Saint Charles, Missouri. He worked for Vivint in Saint Charles, Missouri, until approximately February 2015 when he was offered a position as a Service Manager with Vivint in Chicago, Illinois.

         Mr. Anthony has visited Utah only once. He traveled to Utah for three days of training when he was first hired by APX in early 2011.

         On September 22, 2015, Vivint filed a Complaint in this court against Defendants Craig Bailie, Armor Protection, LLC (“Armor”), and John Does I-XX. On July 28, 2016, Vivint filed an Amended Complaint, which added Mr. Anthony as a Defendant. In relation to Mr. Anthony, the Amended Complaint alleges that Mr. Anthony had restricted access to some of Vivint's trade secret information and that Mr. Anthony conspired together with Mr. Bailie to unlawfully obtain access to the trade secret information by accessing a password-protected database, which is located in Utah, without authorization or by receiving and accepting access to the trade secret information through a third party, or both. Vivint then alleges that Defendants used the trade secret information to approach Vivint customers in Missouri, Arkansas, and Illinois to convince them to enter into a contract with Armor. The Amended Complaint was served on Mr. Anthony at his home address in Missouri.

         On September 16, 2016, Mr. Anthony filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction claiming that this court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Anthony.

         DISCUSSION

         In his Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction, Mr. Anthony argues that he lacks minimum contacts with Utah sufficient for this court to exercise personal jurisdiction over him. The court will analyze his arguments below.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         In any federal court proceeding, “[t]he plaintiff bears the burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over the defendant.” Benhagen v. Amateur Basketball Ass'n of U.S.A., 744 F.2d 731, 733 (10th Cir. 1984). “Prior to trial, however, when a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction is decided on the basis of affidavits and other written materials, the plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing.” Id. In the court's analysis of the factual evidence, “[t]he allegations in the complaint must be taken as true to the extent they are uncontroverted by the defendant's affidavits.” Id. “When evaluating the prima facie case, the court is bound to resolve all factual disputes in favor of the plaintiff in determining whether he has made the requisite showing.” AST Sports Science, Inc. v. CLF Distribution Ltd., 514 F.3d 1054, 1057 (10th Cir. 2008); see also Benhagen, 744 F.2d at 733 (“If the parties present conflicting affidavits, all factual disputes are resolved in the plaintiff's favor, and the plaintiff's prima facie showing is sufficient notwithstanding the contrary presentation by the moving party.”) “If the presence or absence of personal jurisdiction can be established by reference to the complaint, the Court need not look further.” Klein Frank, P.C. v. Girards, 932 F.Supp.2d 1203, 1208-09 (D. Colo. 2013).

         PERSONAL JURISDICTION

         In order for a court “to subject a particular defendant to the decisions of the court, ” the court must first have personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Rocky Mountain Claim Staking v. Frandsen, 884 P.2d 1299, 1301 (Utah Ct. App. 1994). A court may have either general or specific personal jurisdiction over a defendant. “General personal jurisdiction permits a court to exercise power over a defendant without regard to the subject of the claim asserted and is dependent on a showing that the defendant conducted substantial and continuous local activity in the forum state.” Pohl, Inc. of Am. v. Webelhuth, 201 P.3d 944, 949 (Utah 2008) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). ‚ÄúSpecific personal jurisdiction gives a court power over a defendant only with respect to claims arising out of the particular activities of the defendant in the forum state and only if the defendant has certain minimum ...


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