Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, April 24, 2006

District Court Transfers Website Case; No Jurisdiction

In Bell v. Shah, Joel Bell and Bell Management alleged that Jonathan Givony, "a writer for a website entitled ""...directed false and defamatory accusations against them on the Website on several occasions. Defendant has moved to dismiss...under Rule 12(b)(2)...for lack of personal jurisdiction...I agree...."

"Plaintiffs contend that the court has personal jurisdiction over the defendant under Connecticut's long-arm statute because he was a partner in a de facto Connecticut transacted business in this state....The plaintiffs' submissions, viewed fully and most favorably to them, are insufficient to sustain their burden of smowing that the defendant has transacted business in Connecticut....Maintaining a website does not constitute transacting business under the long-arm statute unless the website specifically targets COnnecticut consumers, which is not alleged here.


"Plaintiffs contend that the court has personal jurisdiction...under another section of the long-arm statute...which applies to a person who "uses a computer...". Defendant did not use a computer in Connecticut--he only sent emails to Shah, some of which were read on Shah's Connecticut computer. And his use of the Website, which was accessible by computer in Connecticut, does not constitute use of a computer network....If the legislature had meant "internet" instead of "computer network" it would have said so...."

Read the court's entire ruling here.

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