United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO ENFORCE
G. TORRES United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the Court on Oliver Robert Gillier's
(Plaintiff”) motion to enforce two subpoenas on Fisher
Island Marina and Fisher Island Club. [D.E. 74]. Richard
Perez (“Mr. Perez”) and Inversiones 2020 PR, LLC
“Defendants”) responded to Plaintiff's motion
on December 28, 2017 [D.E. 79] to which Plaintiff replied
later the same day. [D.E. 82]. Therefore, Plaintiff's
motion is now ripe for disposition. After careful
consideration of the motion, response, reply, relevant
authority, and for the reasons discussed below,
Plaintiff's motion is GRANTED.
filed this action on August 18, 2017 [D.E. 1] and alleges
that on September 4, 2015 he entered into an agreement for a
one day excursion on a boat named the Victoria. During the
charter, Plaintiff slipped and sustained injuries while
climbing to the roof of the boat. Under the terms of the
applicable charter agreement, any lawsuit or claim that might
arise therefrom was agreed to be brought within the state and
federal courts of Puerto Rico:
This Agreement shall be governed by and interpreted under the
laws of Puerto Rico, without regard to conflict of laws
provisions. If any lawsuit or claim is brought that arises
out of or relates to this Agreement or charter of the Vessel,
jurisdiction and venue for such suit shall be exclusively in
the state or federal courts located in Puerto Rico, to the
exclusion of any other jurisdiction or venue to which any
lawsuit could otherwise have been brought.
80]. In light of the jurisdiction and venue clause, all four
defendants in this case filed motions to dismiss to force
Plaintiff to pursue his claims in Puerto Rico. Defendants
also filed motions to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction because (1) this case concerns an accident that
occurred in Puerto Rico - meaning Plaintiff must show that
Defendants have sufficient ties to Florida to establish
general jurisdiction - and (2) both Defendants are Puerto
Rico citizens without any alleged ties to Florida.
November 7 and 8, 2017, Plaintiff served his first requests
for interrogatories and documents on Defendants. In a
November 27, 2017 Order, Judge Scola conducted a
“preliminary peak” into Defendants' motions
to dismiss and found that they “reveal a strong
likelihood” that their motions may be granted. [D.E.
60]. The Court granted a stay of general discovery and
allowed for limited jurisdictional discovery to proceed only
against Mr. Perez and Inversiones.
motion seeks the enforcement of two subpoenas that were
served on November 30, 2017 to Fisher Island Marina and
Fisher Island Club. At a discovery hearing on December 8,
2017, Defendants requested that the Court quash the
subpoenas. The undersigned stayed the enforcement of the
subpoenas “with leave for Plaintiff to request the stay
to be lifted as to them if the deponents deny their
continuous activity with respect to the [Victoria] in the
State of Florida.” [D.E. 69].
argues that both Mr. Burguillos (who is a member of
Inversiones) and Mr. Perez testified that they were unsure on
where the Victoria was located in certain years, and that the
subpoena directed at Fisher Island Marina and Fisher Island
Club may reveal the location of the boat and its ties to
Florida. Plaintiff further explains that Mr. Burguillos owned
the Victoria while Mr. Perez operated excursions of the boat
to generate income. As such, Plaintiff believes that the
relationship of the Victoria to the State of Florida is
relevant to the question of jurisdiction over Mr. Perez and
response, Defendants contend that the uncontested record
reveals that neither Inversiones nor Mr. Perez own the Victoria.
Rather, Defendants claim that Servicios Agecome (a Florida
company in which Inversiones and/or Mr. Perez have no
interest) owns the Victoria and that the Court should not
allow the subpoenas to be enforced because they cannot
produce any relevant information with respect to the pending
jurisdictional motions. Because neither Mr. Perez nor
Inversiones own the Victoria, Defendants conclude that the
boat's ties with Florida are irrelevant to the question
comports with due process when it is consistent with the
Constitution and laws of the United States.
“Considerations of due process require that a
non-resident defendant have certain minimum
contacts with the forum, so that the exercise of
jurisdiction does not offend traditional notions of fair play
and substantial justice.” Consol. Dev. Corp. v.
Sherritt, Inc., 216 F.3d 1286, 1291 (11th Cir. 2000)
(citing International Shoe v. Washington, 326 U.S.
310, 316 (1945); Borg- Warner Acceptance Corp. v. Lovett
& Tharpe, Inc., 786 F.2d 1055, 1057 (11th Cir.
1996)). However, the nature and quality of these contacts
ordinarily “vary depending upon whether the type of
personal jurisdiction being asserted is specific or
general.” Consol. Dev. Corp., 216 F.3d at
speaking, “[s]pecific jurisdiction arises out of a
party's activities in the forum that are related to the
cause of action alleged in the complaint.” Consol.
Dev. Corp., 216 F.3d at 1291 (citing Madara v.
Hall, 916 F.2d 1510, 1516 n.7 (11th Cir. 1990),
Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall,
466 U.S. 408, 414 nn.8-9 (1984)). The amount of minimum
contacts required to support specific jurisdiction occurs
when a defendant “purposefully avails itself of the
privilege of conducting activities within the forum State,
thus invoking the benefits and protections of its
laws.” Hanson v. Denckla, 357 U.S. 235, 253
other hand, general personal jurisdiction “arises from
a defendant's contacts with the forum that are unrelated
to the cause of action being litigated.” Consol.
Dev. Corp., 216 F.3d at 1292. “The due process
requirements for general personal jurisdiction are more
stringent than for specific personal jurisdiction, and
require a showing of continuous and systematic general
business contacts between the defendant and the forum
state.” Id. (citing Borg-Warner, 786
F.2d at 1057; Hall, 466 U.S. at 412-13). General
personal jurisdiction occurs in “instances in which the
continuous corporate operations within a state [are] so
substantial and of such a nature as to justify suit . . . on
causes of action arising from dealings entirely distinct from
those activities.” International Shoe, 326
U.S. at 318. The Supreme Court has established that general
jurisdiction over corporations is mostly limited to either
the place of ...