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JARMUTH v. TURETSKY

February 25, 1993

RONALD E. JARMUTH, Plaintiff,
v.
OXANA TURETSKY, et al., Defendants.


ATTRIDGE


The opinion of the court was delivered by: PATRICK J. ATTRIDGE

Background

 In this diversity action, the plaintiff Ronald E. Jarmuth seeks to recover damages from the defendants in a multi-count complaint alleging common law causes of action for conversion, theft, an accounting and detinue.

 None of the defendants are citizens or residents of the District of Columbia, therefore, venue in this jurisdiction is premised on the allegation that some of the claims arose in the District of Columbia. See 28 U.S.C. ┬ž 1391(a).

 A number of motions have been rendered moot by reason of the Court's ruling on the defendant Turetsky's motion to quash service of process. That ruling renders moot the plaintiff's motion for back-up service, [27], and the plaintiff's motion that the Court recognize that the defendant Turetsky submitted herself to the jurisdiction of the Court. [26]

 The remaining motions primarily concern the defendant McLemore. The first of these motions is McLemore's motion to dismiss for lack of personal and subject matter jurisdiction and on account of the pendency of litigation in another jurisdiction regarding the same parties and claims and for Rule 11 sanctions. Only the allegations of lack of personal jurisdiction and Rule 11 sanctions warrant discussion. Moreover, the Court's resolution of those motions will lead to the resolution of the other pending motions which seek injunctive relief and an order compelling discovery since their outcome initially depends upon the resolution of the threshold issue of whether McLemore is properly before the Court.

 Discussion

 On the personal jurisdiction issue, McLemore contends and the plaintiff concedes that she is a citizen of Pennsylvania and a resident of Philadelphia. Service of process is alleged to have been made by certified mail pursuant to District of Columbia local law.

 The proper exercise of personal jurisdiction in diversity cases over a non-resident defendant implicates both the local long-arm statute and the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Hasenfus v. Corporate Air Services, et al., 700 F. Supp. 58, 60 (DCDC 1988).

 Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c) provides in pertinent part that "(a) summons and complaint may be served upon a defendant . . .

 (1) Pursuant to the law of the State in which the district court is held for the service . . . upon such defendant in an action brought in the courts of general jurisdiction of that State."

 Section 13-423(a) of the District of Columbia Code allows the Superior Court, the court of general jurisdiction, to exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant based on that person's conduct in the District of Columbia.

 Section 423(a) enumerates seven specific instances wherein conduct will give rise to personal jurisdiction. Only one, transacting any business in the District of Columbia, can arguably form the basis of ...


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