United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
JEFFERY S. FRENSLEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Introduction and Background
matter is before the Court upon a Motion to Dismiss for lack
of personal jurisdiction filed by Defendants Stellar Songs
Limited (“Stellar”), Salli Isaak Songs Limited
(“Salli”), and Method Records Live LTD
(“Method”) pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2).
Docket No. 55. Defendants Stellar, Salli, and Method have
contemporaneously filed a supporting Memorandum of Law
(Docket No. 56), as well as the Declarations of James Sully
(Docket No. 52), Timothy Major (Docket No. 53), and Richard
Baskind (Docket No. 54). As grounds for their Motion,
Defendants Stellar, Salli, and Method argue that they are
limited liability companies established under the laws of the
United Kingdom, whose principal places of business are in
London, England. Docket No. 56. They maintain that they have
no offices in Tennessee, no employees in Tennessee, no
license to do business in Tennessee, and do not manufacture,
distribute, license, or sell any products in Tennessee, such
that they are not subject to general jurisdiction since they
are not “at home” in Tennessee, nor are they
subject to specific personal jurisdiction since they have not
“purposefully availed” themselves of the
privilege of doing business in Tennessee. Id.
Accordingly, Defendants Stellar, Salli, and Method that
Plaintiff's claims against them should be dismissed for
lack of personal jurisdiction.
has not responded to the instant Motion.
filed this pro se action against Sony/ATV Music Publishing
LLC, EMI April Music Inc., Gone Gator Music,
Universal-Polygram International Tunes, Inc., Sony/ATV Songs
LLC, Stellar Songs Ltd., Method Paperwork Ltd., Salli Isaak
Songs Ltd., Method Records Live Ltd., Capitol Records Ltd.,
and UMG Recordings, alleging copyright infringement by Sam
Smith's song “Stay With Me.” Docket No.
reasons set forth below, the undersigned finds that this
Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Defendants Stellar,
Salli, and Method. Accordingly, the undersigned recommends
that Defendants' Motion to Dismiss be GRANTED, that
Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Stellar, Salli, and
Method be DISMISSED, and that Defendants Stellar, Salli, and
Method be TERMINATED as parties to this action.
Law and Analysis
a court cannot decide a cause of action for which it lacks
jurisdiction, the primary issue before the undersigned is
whether the Court has jurisdiction over the instant
Defendants, and therefore over Plaintiff's claims against
them in this action. Plaintiff bears the burden of
establishing jurisdiction over Defendants. See, e.g.,
Intera Corp. v. Henderson, 428 F.3d 605, 615 (6th Cir.
regard to the issue of jurisdiction, the instant Defendants
have submitted the Declarations of James Sully, Timothy
Major, and Richard Baskind. Docket Nos. 52-54. The
jurisdictional facts are set forth below.
Declaration of James Sully
is a limited liability company established under the laws of
England and Wales, whose principal place of business is in
London, England. Docket No. 52, ¶ 3. The summons issued
for “Method Records Ltd.” in this action was
served at Flat 16 Burke House, Dalston Square, London E8 3GW.
Id., ¶ 6. Method, however, moved out of that
location several years ago. Id. Further, there is no
company called “Method Records Ltd.” Id.
As a result, Method did not receive timely notice of this
does not own property in Tennessee; has no offices in
Tennessee; has no license to do business in Tennessee; and
does not manufacture, distribute, license, or sell any
products in Tennessee. Id., ¶ 5.
owns no interest in the musical composition or sound
recording of “Stay ...