are not enough to meet the burden of proof. Patterson, 893
F.2d at 604.
Because Machulsky has not met her burden of proof in response to
Knaak's Rule 12(b)(2) Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction, Knaak's Motion is granted.
iii. Defendant Hall
Hall also lacks sufficient internet business contacts for this Court to
exercise personal jurisdiction over him. Hall's case, like Leibrandt and
Knaak, is distinguishable from those in which the defendant's substantial
business activities over the Internet conferred jurisdiction over the
defendant. Hall engaged in a single online transaction totaling $31.00
and the Court finds that the quality and quantity of his internet
business activity does not rise to a substantial level such that the
Court can constitutionally exercise personal jurisdiction over him.
Machulsky fails to meet her burden of proof by presenting competent
evidence of Hall's contacts through his alleged tortious activity, also
failing to satisfy the effects test. She presents no evidence that New
Jersey was the focal point of the harm, or that Hall targeted his conduct
at New Jersey.
Hall posted a negative message on an eBay forum concerning his dealings
with Plaintiff (Hall Aff. Ex. F), and sent emails to a group of
individuals regarding Plaintiff's auctions, including steps to be taken
in responding to the so-called "Samrus2 rip off." (Machulsky Ex. G, J.)
The Court also finds his conduct comparable to the defendant in Barrett,
where the Court did not exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant
for posting defamatory comments about the plaintiff on web sites and
Moreover, regarding Hall's emails to Machulsky concerning his single
$31.00 transaction, his payment made through the mail, and his sending of
unsolicited coin grading information, the Court finds these internet and
non-internet related acts do not demonstrate purposeful availment of the
privilege of acting in New Jersey. (Machulsky Decl. II Ex. P, Q.) Her
allegation that Hall made "substantial communications into this state by
telephone . . .," (Machulsky Decl. II ¶ 12), is also not supported
by the evidence.
Were the Court to assume that Hall committed an intentional tort,
satisfying the first prong of the effects test, Machulsky fails to
establish the second and third prongs in this case, i.e. that she felt
the brunt of the harm in New Jersey, or that Hall expressly aimed his
conduct at New Jersey. Similar to the defendant in English Sports
Betting, Inc., Hall posted a negative message and exchanged emails with
other eBay users who shared a common interest in Machulsky's auctions. If
anything, she may have suffered harm in her national capacity as an eBay
seller, and the brunt of the harm was not suffered in New Jersey such
that it could be considered the focal point of the harm. Moreover,
although she provides evidence that Hall knew of her New Jersey
location, the Third Circuit has held that knowledge of the plaintiff's
location alone is not enough to satisfy the third prong of the effects
test. See IMO Indus., Inc., 155 F.3d at 266. Foreseeability is not enough
to establish harm unless Hall expressly aimed his conduct at New Jersey.
English Sports Betting, Inc. 2002 WL 461592, at *3.
Machulsky's allegations regarding Hall are unsupported by the
evidence. For instance, she alleges that Hall instructed other members of
the "Enterprise" to file fraudulent complaints with New Jersey
state agencies and to contact Plaintiff's eBay bidders and potential
bidders (Mach. Decl. II ¶ 13), but she provides no competent evidence
that Hall played a role as "one of the main orchestrators of the
enterprise." (Machulsky Decl. II ¶ 17; Ex. G, J.)*fn10
Plaintiff fails to meet her burden of proof in response to Hall's Rule
12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Because the
Court has found that his internet activity does not constitute sufficient
contacts with the state of New Jersey, nor does it satisfy the effects
test, Hall's Motion is granted.
For the above reasons, Defendants' Motions to Dismiss are granted. The
Court will enter an appropriate Order.
ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS
THIS MATTER having come before the Court on separate Motions to Dismiss
filed by Defendants Steven Leibrandt a/k/a busterlye ("Leibrandt"),
Norman Knaak a/k/a bidoveru, and David Hall a/k/a score 900 a/k/a
("Hall"), pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), (2), and (6), and,
THE COURT having reviewed the record and submissions of the parties,
and, for the reasons stated in the Court's Opinion entered herewith;
IT IS on this 9th day of July, 2002, hereby
ORDERED that the Motions to Dismiss filed by Defendants Leibrandt,
Hall, and Knaak are hereby GRANTED; and,
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants Leibrandt, Hall, and Knaak are
hereby DISMISSED from the case as defendants.