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Judge Robinson: Motion to Dismiss in Belden Case Results In Sua Sponte Transfer of Venue

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In Belden Technologies, Inc. v. LS Corp., C.A. No. 08-823-SLR (D. Del. Sept. 30, 2010), Judge Robinson granted a motion to dismiss contesting proper jurisdiction and venue, but only “to the extent that the present action shall be transferred to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.” The Court found that venue was lacking because of neither of the defendants have an established place of business in Delaware. Id. at 19. Interestingly, neither party had argued for transfer to New Jersey; instead, the Court determined sua sponte that transfer was appropriate as an alternative to dismissal, id. at 19, and determined that New Jersey was the appropriate venue based on the fact that one of the defendants is headquartered there, while another maintains a warehouse there. Id. at 20.

Along the way to that conclusion, the Court also addressed personal jurisdiction, and the interaction between Delaware’s “dual jurisdiction concept” (under Delaware’s long-arm statute) and the due process analysis set forth by the Supreme Court in 1987. Judge Robinson held that a finding of jurisdiction under the “dual jurisdiction concept” was not enough – a due process analysis is still required: “The court concludes that both analyses look to the non-resident defendant’s ‘intent or purpose’ to serve the Delaware market. Nevertheless, the court declines to forego a due process analysis on the basis of its finding under the Delaware long-arm statute.” Id. at 13.

Belden Technologies, Inc. v. LS Corp., C.A. No. 08-823-SLR (D. Del. Sept. 30, 2010)

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