On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, DJ-264-803-06.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted October 17, 2007
Before Judges R. B. Coleman and Lyons.
Defendant Hackensack Medical Imaging d/b/a Lifescan Diagnostic Imaging (Hackensack MRI) appeals from a November 17, 2006 order denying its motion to stay execution of a Texas judgment in favor of plaintiff McKesson Corp. d/b/a McKesson Specialty Distribution Services (McKesson). We have carefully considered the arguments of the parties and the applicable law and conclude that Texas lacked in personam jurisdiction over Hackensack MRI. Accordingly, we reverse.
On or about March 31, 2006, plaintiff McKesson filed an original petition in the District Court for Dallas County, Texas, 193rd Judicial District, alleging that Hackensack MRI failed to make payments for medical supplies that plaintiff delivered to Hackensack MRI. Hackensack MRI did not file an answer or file any motions with the court in Texas. Instead, Hackensack MRI's attorney sent a letter to the Texas court asking that the court dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction. On or about August 31, 2006, the Texas court entered a default judgment in favor of McKesson and against Hackensack MRI because Hackensack MRI had failed to answer or otherwise appear. The judgment reflected the amount McKesson alleged Hackensack MRI owed as well as pre-judgment interest, post-judgment interest and attorneys' fees.
On October 10, 2006, pursuant to the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA), N.J.S.A. 2A:49A-27 to -28, McKesson filed a copy of the Texas judgment, along with an Affidavit In Support of Registration for Foreign Judgment, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County.
After Hackensack MRI received notice that the Texas judgment had been recorded in New Jersey, it filed a motion to stay execution. McKesson submitted an opposition to Hackensack MRI's motion.
On November 17, 2006, after hearing oral argument, the court delivered an oral decision denying Hackensack MRI's motion and entered an order memorializing the same. On December 20, 2006, Hackensack MRI filed its notice of appeal.
The following factual background is pertinent to our decision. Hackensack MRI provides radiology and imaging services at its facility in Hackensack, New Jersey. Hackensack MRI received a catalogue and promotional materials advertising plaintiff's products. Hackensack MRI submitted a credit application to plaintiff's Texas location, which was approved. It thereafter placed several orders for plaintiff's products which were delivered to Hackensack MRI's facility in New Jersey. Although it received the goods, Hackensack MRI failed to pay invoiced amounts totaling $24,406.18. Additionally, Hackensack MRI remitted two checks to plaintiff which were returned due to insufficient funds. Plaintiff demanded payment of the debt in full but Hackensack MRI still did not remit payment. As a result, plaintiff filed a complaint in Texas where it obtained a default judgment against Hackensack MRI.
In connection with its effort to enforce the Texas judgment in New Jersey, plaintiff McKesson brings the following facts to the attention of the court: (1) all decisions concerning whether to extend credit to Hackensack MRI were made in Texas; (2) McKesson's representatives that spoke with Hackensack MRI's representatives were in Texas; (3) all decisions regarding its relationship with Hackensack MRI were decided in Texas; (4) McKesson processed Hackensack MRI's orders in Texas; (5) all other business functions, including inventory control, invoicing, accounts receivable, collections, and customer service were performed by McKesson in Texas; and (6) Hackensack MRI remitted payments to McKesson in Texas.
By contrast, defendant Hackensack MRI asserts that it "never transacted business in the State of Texas," and notes the following:
(1) it does not maintain corporate offices in Texas; (2) none of its employees traveled to Texas to conduct business with plaintiff; and (3) Hackensack MRI never advertised or circulated printed ...