has engaged in purposeful activity in the United States, thus invoking the benefits and protection of United States' law." Western Equities, 956 F. Supp. at 1237; United Trading Co., S.A., v. M.V. Sakura Reefer, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9190, 1996 WL 374154 at *4 (S.D.N.Y. 1996).
Here, according to Columbia, its contacts with the United States are restricted to the management of vessels which may occasionally call at United States ports at the behest of and for the benefit of other parties. That it lacks control over what ports its managed ships call on weighs against exercising personal jurisdiction. See Asarco, Inc. v. Glenara, Ltd., 912 F.2d 784, 787 (5th Cir. 1990) (concluding that approximately twenty calls over a four-year period at ports in the forum state, by ships managed by the defendant, were insufficient to establish personal jurisdiction when the defendant did not choose the ports of call). In response to defendant's motion, plaintiff West Africa sought jurisdictional discovery to determine if there are sufficient contacts between Columbia and the United States. In his Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge found that such discovery was not warranted because Columbia lacked sufficient contacts with New Jersey. Jurisdictional discovery is ordinarily appropriate to further examine a defendant's ties with a forum state unless plaintiff's request is clearly frivolous. See, e.g., American Centennial Ins. Co. v. Handal, 901 F. Supp. 892, 899 (D.N.J. 1995); Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee v. L'Union Atlantique S.A. D'Assurances, 723 F.2d 357, 362 (3d Cir. 1983). This Court finds that plaintiff's request for jurisdictional discovery is critical to the determination of whether we may exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Accordingly, this Court grants plaintiff's request for jurisdictional discovery and denies defendant's motion to dismiss.
For the reasons stated, the Court rejects the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge and denies defendant's motion to dismiss without prejudice.
William H. Walls, U.S.D.J.
14 June 1997
Before the Court are a Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge recommending that this Court grant Defendant Columbia Shipmanagment's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff West Africa has filed an objection to the Report and Recommendation.
After reviewing the Report and Recommendation and all papers submitted by the parties,
On this 17th day of June 1997,
the Court rejects the Report and Recommendation ;
denies defendant's motion to dismiss; and
grants plaintiff's request for jurisdictional discovery.
William H. Walls, U.S.D.J.
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