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Unformatted text preview: 4 235 Case # 23 HATFIELD vs. AUTONATION
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
Garrick HATFIELD, Appellant,
AUTONATION, INC., Appellee.
Dec. 21, 2005.
Background: Car dealership operator brought action against former employee seeking
injunctive relief and damages for employee's alleged breach of non-compete agreement.
Employee moved to dismiss the action for lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state
a cause of action. Car dealership filed and emergency motion to require specific
performance of venue selection clause in non-compete agreement, and to enjoin misuse
of its confidential and proprietary information. The Circuit Court, Seventeenth Judicial
Circuit, Broward County, Leroy H. Moe, J., denied employee's motion to dismiss.
Holdings: The District Court of Appeal, Gerber, Jonathan D., Associate Judge, held that:
(1) evidence was sufficient to sustain dealership's jurisdictional allegations under state
long-arm statute, and
(2) employee had the requisite minimum contacts with the state to satisfy due process
The District Court of Appeal reviews a trial court's denial of a motion to dismiss for lack
of personal jurisdiction de novo.
To determine whether a court has personal jurisdiction over a non-resident, the court
must determine whether the complaint pleads jurisdictional facts in order to sufficiently
bring the action within the ambit of the state long-arm statute; if so, the court then must
determine whether there exists minimum contacts between the state and the non-resident
or, essentially, whether the non-resident should reasonably anticipate being haled into a
state court. West's F.S.A. § 48.193.
The plaintiff may seek to obtain jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant by pleading the
basis for service in the language of the statute without pleading the supporting facts.
By itself, the filing of a motion to dismiss on grounds of lack of jurisdiction over the
person does nothing more than raise the legal sufficiency of the pleadings.
A non-resident defendant wishing to contest the allegations of the complaint concerning
personal jurisdiction or to raise a contention...
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- Spring '08