United States District Court, D. Utah
STAKER & PARSON COMPANIES, INC., d/b/a WESTERN ROCK PRODUCTS, a Utah corporation, Plaintiff,
SCOTTSDALE INSURANCE COMPANY, an Ohio corporation; COLORADO CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, a New Hampshire corporation; and HANCOCK-LEAVITT INSURANCE AGENCY, INC., an Arizona corporation; DOE INDIVIDUALS 1-10, unknown individuals; and ROE ENTITIES 1-10, unknown entities. Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING
DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
Nuffer, United States District Judge.
Hancock-Leavitt Insurance Agency, Inc.
(“Hancock-Leavitt”) filed a Motion to
Dismiss all claims asserted against it in this
case by Plaintiff Staker & Parson Companies, Inc. d/b/a
Western Rock Products (“Plaintiff”) for lack of
personal jurisdiction. A hearing on the motion was held on
June 15, 2018. Plaintiff was represented by counsel,
Elijah Milne, and Hancock-Leavitt was represented by counsel,
Matthew N. Evans.
upon the papers filed by the parties, oral argument and good
cause, the following findings are entered only for purposes
of Hancock-Leavitt's Motion to Dismiss:
is engaged in the business of procuring insurance for
businesses and individuals. Blake Reidhead Inc.
(“BDR”), an Arizona corporation doing business in
Arizona, contracted with Hancock-Leavitt for some insurance
policies for its business. BDR procured two policies from
Hancock-Leavitt, a general automobile coverage and a general
commercial liability policy. Colorado Casualty Insurance
Company issued the commercial general liability policy, and
the commercial auto coverage policy was issued from
Scottsdale Insurance Company through Colonial General
both policies, the underlying workplace accident that gave
rise to the disputed insurance coverage that forms the basis
of this action occurred in Arizona and involved an Arizona
keeps its business records in its office in Taylor, Arizona.
It has two bank accounts that are located in the Snowflake,
Arizona branch of the National Bank of Arizona.
Hancock-Leavitt does not own any assets, property, real
estate, or equipment outside of Arizona. Hancock-Leavitt
itself is owned by Monti Hancock, a 40% shareholder and
resident of Arizona, and by the Leavitt Group, Inc., which
owns the other 60%. The Leavitt Group is a Nevada corporation
that has its offices in Cedar City, Utah.
Hancock is the producer and agent for Hancock-Leavitt. He is
the only employee, board member, or owner with a key man life
insurance policy. He directs the Hancock-Leavitt day-to-day
operations. Hancock-Leavitt's other corporate officers
are located in Cedar City, Utah, and they attend annual
meetings via telephone from Utah and have on rare occasion
been to Hancock-Leavitt's Arizona offices. The day-to-day
operations of Hancock-Leavitt are left up to Monti Hancock.
Hancock-Leavitt is registered to do business in Utah, has
appointed a registered agent in Utah, and has an active
insurance license in Utah. However, well over 95% of
Hancock-Leavitt's accounts are located in Arizona.
Hancock-Leavitt has only three to five currently insured
clients who are located in Utah. Those clients were in
Arizona or other states when their first policy was issued
but later moved to Utah.
purchases many services from the Leavitt Group in Utah
including IT services, tax preparation services, billing
services, sales training, legal services. But Monti Hancock
is the decision-maker as to these services being purchased or
discontinued. The Leavitt Group monitors and reviews
Hancock-Leavitt's financial results, budgets, capital
purchases, and monthly reports. But nearly all of the revenue
generated from insurance customers occurs in Arizona. The
day-to-day decision-making on hiring and firing employees and
spending money also occurs in the Taylor, Arizona branch
through Monti Hancock. Hancock-Leavitt is an agency that
serves the Taylor, Heber, and Snowflake area of Arizona. That
is where most of its customers are located. Hancock-Leavitt
does not advertise in Utah.
bylaws of Hancock-Leavitt specify that any corporate meetings
are concerned they would take place in Taylor, Arizona, or
via telephone. Monti Hancock has always been in Arizona for
of Law for the Motion
upon these findings, the following conclusions of law are
court may assert general jurisdiction over foreign
(sister-state or foreign-country) corporations to hear any
and all claims against them when their affiliations with the
State are so ‘continuous and systemic' as to render
them essentially at home in the forum
state.” For a corporation's domicile for
purposes of this analysis, it is the place where it is
incorporated, or the principal place of