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LLC v. Beavex Incorporated

United States District Court, D. Colorado

January 25, 2018

LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
BEAVEX INCORPORATED, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS

          Marcia S. Krieger United States District Court

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction and Improper Venue Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(3) or, in the Alternative, Motion to Transfer to the Northern District of Georgia Under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) (#19), the Plaintiff's response (#22), and the Defendant's reply (#24).

         JURISDICTION

         The Court has subject-matter jurisdiction to hear this case under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The parties dispute whether the Court can exercise personal jurisdiction over the Defendant.

         MATERIAL FACTS[1]

         The Court offers a brief summary of the facts here and elaborates as necessary in its analysis.

         The Plaintiffs, Level 3 Communications, LLC and Level 3 Telecom Holdings, LLC (collectively “Level 3”), are Delaware limited liability companies. On February 5, 2013, tw telecom holdings inc. (“tw”), a corporation headquartered in Colorado, entered into a contract (“tw contract”) with the Defendant BeavEx Incorporated (“BeavEx”), a Connecticut corporation with its principal place of business in Georgia. Under the tw contract, tw agreed to provide telecommunication services to BeavEx. Level 3 Communications, LLC purchased tw and converted it into Level 3 Telecom Holdings, LLC.

         During 2015 and 2016, Level 3 and BeavEx entered into additional agreements, which incorporated terms of the tw contract, for Level 3 to create and maintain secure private telecommunications network for BeavEx's operations at some of its 33 locations throughout the United States. As part of these agreements, Level 3 installed equipment and provided other telecommunications services at BeavEx's Denver, Colorado office. Level 3's invoices to BeavEx showed that Level 3 was located in Broomfield, Colorado and required BeavEx to send payments to a PO Box in Denver, Colorado. Over the course of their relationship, BeavEx sent multiple payments to the PO Box.

         BeavEx was not satisfied with the Level 3 network. BeavEx and Level 3 convened a “Get Well” telephone conference, which included Level 3 representatives in Colorado, to address those issues. Unsatisfied, BeavEx sent a notice to Level 3's general counsel in Colorado to cancel all of Level 3's services. Level 3 alleges that BeavEx owes it $1, 364, 528.54 (#13).

         ANALYSIS

         In the instant motion, BeavEx moves to dismiss (# 19) the claims against it for lack of personal jurisdiction and for improper venue. Alternatively, BeavEx requests that this action be transferred to the Northern District of Georgia.

         A. Whether the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over BeavEx

         When the Court's jurisdiction over a defendant is challenged pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2), the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that personal jurisdiction exists. Soma Medical Intern. v. Standard Chartered Bank, 196 F.3d 1292, 1295 (10th Cir. 1999); Omi Holdings, Inc. v. Royal Ins. of Canada, 149 F.3d 1086, 1091 (10th Cir. 1998). Courts may elect to resolve the jurisdictional question immediately, by conducting an evidentiary hearing on the issue, or they may defer resolution of the jurisdictional question until trial, requiring the plaintiff to make only a prima facie showing of jurisdiction at the pretrial phase. Wenz v. Memery Crystal, 55 F.3d 1503, 1505 (10th Cir. 1995). The Court may receive affidavits and other evidentiary material to assist in resolving the issue, but it must resolve any disputed facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Id.

         Normally, the jurisdictional inquiry comprises two components. The plaintiff must show: (i) whether the laws of the forum state confer jurisdiction by authorizing service upon the defendant; and (ii) whether the exercise of such jurisdiction comports with the principles of due process. Niemi v. Lasshofer, 770 F.3d 1331, 1348 (10th Cir. 2014). However, in Colorado, that inquiry is short-circuited, insofar as Colorado's Long-Arm Statute “confers the maximum jurisdiction permissible, consistent with the Due Process ...


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