Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (CA-6999-08) (Hon. Ronna L. Beck, Trial Judge) (Hon. Cheryl M. Long, Trial Judge).
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ruiz, Associate Judge
Before RUIZ, FISHER, and THOMPSON, Associate Judges.
Appellant, David Kissi, challenges the Superior Court's grant of summary judgment dismissing his complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction over appellee. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
Appellant, a District of Columbia resident, is proceeding pro se and was incarcerated in Lisbon, Ohio, during part of these proceedings. It is undisputed that on September 7, 2000, appellant's company, DK&R Company ("DK&R"), which is incorporated in Delaware, filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland and that on September 23, 2003, two Maryland condominium units owned by DK&R were sold to Morgan Investments, L.L.C. ("Morgan Investments") as part of the bankruptcy proceedings. The condominium units are located in the Riggs Hill Condominium in Jessup, Maryland.
On September 27, 2008, appellant filed a complaint alleging that appellee, Hugh Hardesty, and the Riggs Hill Condominium Association converted his personal property at the Riggs Hill Condominium*fn2 in Maryland and filed a "false condo fee claim" against appellant. Appellant's complaint refers to appellee and Riggs Hill as a single "defendant" and states that they share the same address: "10630 Riggs Hill Rd., V&W, Jessup, MD 20794." The complaint asserts that the Superior Court "has jurisdiction because Plaintiff is a D.C. resident and also worked in D.C. prior to his incarceration. And members of the Riggs Hill Condo Association have D.C. ties. At least some do business in D.C. and have D.C. bank accounts."
Appellee filed a motion to dismiss asserting lack of subject matter and personal jurisdiction, statute of limitations bar, failure to state a claim, and failure to join necessary parties. In the motion, appellee states that he is "part-owner" of Morgan Investments, L.L.C., the entity that purchased appellant's Riggs Hill Condominium units from the bankruptcy trustee for DK&R.*fn3 Appellee also submitted an affidavit in which he asserts that he is a resident of Maryland, does not own property in the District, and that:
[He] work[s] for a corporation (which [he] own[s]) which is located in Maryland (not Washington, D.C.) and does business only infrequently in D.C. The contracting projects (for [his] business) which do occur from time to time in Washington, D.C. have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Plaintiff in the above-captioned action, or his alleged personal property, or any alleged taking.
The affidavit also states that appellee is not an officer of the Riggs Hill Condominium Association.
Appellant filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss, requesting that the court "help [appellant] enforce Discovery and compel all the Defendants to respond to [appellant's] request for interrogatories so that [appellant] can demonstrate jurisdictional facts to prove this court is the proper forum." Appellant, however, did not file any interrogatories.
The trial judge (Judge Beck) denied appellee's motion without prejudice and gave appellant leave to reformulate and clarify his claims in an amended complaint. The Superior Court's order states, in relevant part:
The amended complaint shall set forth in greater detail the basis for Plaintiff's complaint and for this court's jurisdiction. For example, because there are multiple defendants, Plaintiff should not simply refer to actions by "Defendant" but instead should be clear about which Defendant did the specific actions set forth in his complaint. He also should describe where and when the activities about which he complains occurred. And he should describe with specificity why this court has personal jurisdiction over each of the Defendants, especially if the conduct about which Plaintiff complains occurred in Maryland. In addition ...