Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 10:03 PM

COA Issues Another Personal Jurisdiction Decision

Today in Eaker v. Gower the Court of Appeals (COA) reversed a trial court's finding of personal jurisdiction.

First, the COA held that the verified complaint's allegation that defendant is a citizen and resident of N.C. was entitled to no deference, because the defendant submitted an affidavit (in support of her motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction) stating she's a citizen and resident of Florida, and plaintiff didn't counter that affidavit. Therefore, the trial court could properly find only that defendant is a citizen and resident of Florida.

Second, the COA held that defendant didn't have minimum contacts with N.C. to comport with due process. While the verified complaint alleged that defendant is "engaged in commerce within the State of North Carolina," the COA said this statement was a legal conclusion rather than a factual allegation, and plaintiff provided no facts to support the conclusion.

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