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APL Microscopic, LLC v. Corporate American Solutions, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Florida, Miami Division

November 9, 2017

APL MICRSCOPIC, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
CORPORATE AMERICAN SOLUTIONS, LLC, and CARIOLA GROUP, LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS

          FEDERICO A. MORENO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS CAUSE came before the Court upon Defendants' Motions to Dismiss the Complaint for Insufficient Service of Process (D.E. 6-7), filed on October 9. 2017.

         THE COURT has considered the motions, the pertinent portions of the record, and being otherwise fully advised in the premises, it is

         ADJUDGED that the motions are DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         A. Procedural Background

         On September 1, 2017, Plaintiff APL Microscopic, LLC filed a copyright infringement suit against Defendants Corporate American Solutions, LLC and Cariola Group, LLC. Defendants subsequently moved to dismiss the Complaint based on insufficient service of process. After challenging Plaintiffs service-and, in turn, the Court's personal jurisdiction over Defendants-Defendants immediately filed an Answer admitting that (i) "Defendants are subject to personal jurisdiction in Florida, " and (ii) "[v]enue is proper in this district under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b) and (c) and 1400(a) because Defendants reside in this district, and Defendants are subject to personal jurisdiction in this district." (Ans. 111113-14 (admitting allegations in Compl. 111113-14).)

         B. Factual Background

         Corporate American Solutions and Cariola Group operate as limited liability companies under the laws of Florida. Mariano J. Cariola is the registered agent for both Defendants. Notably, Corporate American Solutions, Cariola Group, and Mr. Cariola share the same address: 7255 NW. Corporate Drive, Suite E, Miami FL, 33126.

         Plaintiff hired Majestic Process to serve Defendants. On Monday, September 18, 2017, Majestic delivered a copy of the summons and complaint to Mercedes Perez-Mr. Cariola's administrative assistant-at the Corporate Drive address listed above.

         C. Arguments

         Defendant argues that Majestic did not effectuate service of process because (i) Mr. Cariola was away from the office when Majestic delivered the summons and complaint, and (ii) Mercedes Perez was not authorized to receive any documents on behalf of Mr. Cariola.[1]

         DISCUSSION

         Where service of process is insufficient, a district court lacks personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Kelly v. State of Florida,233 Fed.Appx. 883, 884 (11th Cir. 2007). Courts require "strict compliance with service of process procedures." Baraban v. Sussman, 439 So.2d 1046, 1047 (Fla. 4th DCA 1983) ...


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