Personal Jurisdiction


Ex parte Gregory O’Neil Starr, [Ms. SC-2023-0550, Mar. 8, 2024] ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. 2024). The Court (Cook, J.; Parker, C.J., and Wise, Sellers, Mendheim, Stewart, and Mitchell, JJ., concur; Shaw, J., concurs in the result; Bryan, J., concurs in the result, with opinion) issues a writ of mandamus directing the Choctaw Circuit Court to dismiss an action against Gregory O’Neil Starr for lack of personal jurisdiction. Starr, a Mississippi resident, was involved in a motor vehicle collision in Mississippi with Noah Dew, a resident of Choctaw County Alabama.

In opposition to the mandamus petition, Dew argued that “Starr waived his right to challenge personal jurisdiction….” Ms. *9. The Court declines to decide the waiver issue because in the trial court “Dew did not argue waiver in his response to Starr’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(2). Instead, … [i]n his response to Starr’s motion to dismiss, Dew argued that the trial court has jurisdiction over Starr because ‘the nexus of filing is based on’ (1) Dew’s state of residency, which is Alabama, and (2) Dew’s insurance agreement with GEICO.” Ms. *10.

Noting that personal jurisdiction “stands or falls on the unique facts of each case,” Ms. *12, the Court holds “there is nothing before us that would support the trial court’s exercise of specific personal jurisdiction over Starr.” Ms. *19.

Justice Bryan’s special concurrence asserts that because Dew was the mandamus respondent the Court could consider his “argument that Starr waived his challenge to personal jurisdiction by not timely asserting it below. However, I do not think that our consideration of this argument would change the result in this case, and I agree with the main opinion that Dew has failed to establish that the trial court has personal jurisdiction here.” Ms. *24.

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