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Decker v. Circus Circus Hotel Case Brief

Summary of Decker v. Circus Circus Hotel, U.S. District Court, District of NJ, 1999

Cause of action: The following is a cause of action by PL Decker to have a case tried in NJ, while DF Circus Circus, is moving for either total dismissal, or for a change of venue as per Fed. Rules 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(3).

Procedural History: This is the first court this was heard in.  DF filed motion to dismiss on grounds of lack of personal jurisdiction and for improper venue.

Facts: Robert and Janice Decker (PL’s) are from NJ and went to NV to make it big.  They chose to stay at DF’s hotel, but no mention of how or why (which would be key).  While on the trip, Mrs. Decker was harmed by the Gambling Monster, a machine made in Iowa.  PL’s chose to file originally in Superior Ct. of NJ, Law Div. Yet the case was removed by DF to the named court above.  DF’s cause of action is in lieu of responding to PL’s charge of negligence.

Issue(s): Under Federal law of Civ. Pro, do residents in NJ have reasonable grounds to file complaint in Federal Court in NJ?

Court’s Rationale/Reasoning: The court reasoned that (1) a general internet advertisement was not sufficient enough to tie DF to NJ; any resident of any state could be a potential PL.  (2)National magazines fall basically in the same category.  (3) Former guests being mailed materials have nothing to do with PL, (4) the gaming application license in NJ is irrelevant, and (5) a separate suit for breach of K in NJ is similarly irrelevant.

Rule: A complaint must have ample connection to DF in both general and specific jurisdiction in order to be considered for the court it was filed in.

Holding: Court decides to move the case to NV as per Fed. Rule 28 U.S.C. 1406(a).



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