Xcentric Ventures, LLC v. Bird, No.CV-09-01033-PHX-ROS (D. Ariz. Feb. 4, 2010)


A lawyer-blogger posted an article analyzing lawsuits against RipOff Report, an internet publication; her article contained at least one error, and Xcentric Ventures (which owns RipOff Report) brought suit alleging defamation and "aiding and abetting" tortious acts by others. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds, forcing plaintiffs to prove jurisdiction. To meet their burden, the plaintiffs had to meet the "effects" test established by Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 789-90 (1984). The court held that while (1) the defendant had committed an intentional act in publishing the article, (2) it was not expressly aimed at the forum state (and did not consider whether the third factor was met -- whether the act caused harm, the brunt of which is suffered and which the defendant knows is likely to be suffered in the forum state). The court considered the second prong most, noting that apart from alleging that Defendants knew Plaintiffs were Arizona residents when the article was published (established only by circumstantial evidence), plaintiffs "did not allege any facts to support a connection between Arizona and the article." In accord with numerous other district courts, the court found that plaintiffs had not met their burden of proving jurisdiction.

Links and court documents
Complaint, filed May 4, 2009
Ripoff Report Sues Blogger, Loses on Jurisdictional Grounds, Technology & Marketing Law Blog, Feb. 12, 2010
Order Granting Motion to Dismiss, Feb. 4, 2010

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