North Carolina jurisdiction applies to companies suing


Where a business that would not be subject to the personal jurisdiction of a North Carolina court nonetheless brings a lawsuit in North Carolina, the court may properly exercise jurisdiction over the business to hear all disputes between the parties. parties without violating due process rights. Vitaform, Inc. v. Aeroflows, Inc. 2021 NCBC 58 (J. Bledsoe). Consequently, the commercial court had jurisdiction over the plaintiff to hear and decide on the defendant’s counterclaims.

The plaintiff, a California company, filed a lawsuit against the defendant in Superior Court in Buncombe County, North Carolina, alleging that the defendant stole the products, product designs and business plans of the applicant. After denying the plaintiff’s claims in its response, the defendant sought to modify its response and assert various counterclaims against the plaintiff arising from the relationship between the two companies. The claimant resisted, saying the business court could not properly exercise jurisdiction over him because he (the claimant) did not have sufficient minimum contact with North Carolina to address due process concerns . The defendant countered that the plaintiff, in bringing the original lawsuit in a North Carolina court, voluntarily submitted to the personal jurisdiction of the North Carolina courts.

The commercial court ruled in favor of the defendant, rejecting the plaintiff’s argument. Noting the absence of entirely relevant North Carolina rulings, the Commercial Court followed numerous decisions of federal courts which have recognized that a party bringing a lawsuit necessarily avails itself of the jurisdiction of the courts of that jurisdiction. State and, by extension, allows the court to deal with all issues between the parties. This is especially true, the commercial court noted, where the counterclaims are “related and closely related” to a plaintiff’s claims, as in the present case. (Reviews, 15). Based on the plaintiff’s voluntary action to initiate a lawsuit against the defendant in a North Carolina court, the business court held that its exercise of personal jurisdiction over the plaintiff with respect to the defendants’ counterclaims met the requirements of due process.

Based on this ruling, a business seeking to have its affirmative claims resolved in a North Carolina court should understand that the North Carolina court will likely decide all issues between the parties, especially where all the issues are related. .

Copyright © 2021 Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP All rights reserved.Revue nationale de droit, volume XI, number 263


Thelma J. Longworth