Business Lawyer Alabama State Supreme Court Significant Decision

In a potential procedural case of first impression in the practice area of business litigation, the State Supreme Court of Alabama in Ex parte Northstar Battery Company, LLC, No. 1110612 (Ala., June 1, 2012), granted a writ of mandamus ordering the trial court to dismiss an action against an out-of-state business entity due to lack of personal jurisdiction.  The defendant, Northstar Battery Company, LLC whose principal place of business is located in Springfield, Missouri, presented evidence addressing the claimed lack of personal jurisdiction in its motion to dismiss.  However, the majority opinion decided to grant the motion solely on the ground that there was not an allegation in the complaint that supported personal jurisdiction against the defendant.  Therefore, the court held the burden never shifted to the defendant to present evidence refuting the personal jurisdiction issue.  In the absence of such an allegation, the court held the case was due to be dismissed. Justice Murdock, while concurring, stated that the Rules of Civil Procedure do not require an allegation of facts supporting personal jurisdiction against a defendant.  However, based on the evidence that had been presented by the defendant he concurred in the result.

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