Posts tagged "SCVNGR"

SCVNGR, Inc. v. Punchh, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-179-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-12297   SCVNGR, INC.[1]  vs.  PUNCHH, INC.       Suffolk.     September 6, 2017. – November   , 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Gaziano, Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.     Practice, Civil, Motion to dismiss.  Jurisdiction, Personal, Nonresident, Long-arm statute.  Due Process of Law, Jurisdiction over nonresident.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on February 19, 2016.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Mitchell H. Kaplan, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Brian C. Carroll for the plaintiff. Jeffrey J. Pyle for the defendant.     LENK, J.  Plaintiff SCVNGR, Inc., doing business as LevelUp (LevelUp), is a Massachusetts-based company that develops software applications for restaurants.  Punchh, Inc. (Punchh),is a California-based company that develops competing applications.  LevelUp filed a complaint in the Superior Court against Punchh alleging that, in 2015 and 2016, Punchh repeatedly made knowingly false statements about LevelUp to LevelUp’s clients and potential clients, causing it harm.  Punchh appeared specially, moving under Mass. R. Civ. P. 12 (b) (2), 365 Mass. 754 (1974), to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that it had insufficient contacts with Massachusetts to permit the exercise of personal jurisdiction.  Focusing upon whether it would comport with due process to hale Punchh into a Massachusetts court, the parties disputed the proper application of two United States Supreme Court cases that partially define the constitutional parameters guiding the exercise of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant.[2] Concluding that the constitutional analysis resolved the jurisdictional question in Punchh’s favor, a Superior Court judge allowed Punchh’s motion to dismiss.  The judge noted that, because of the parties’ focus on due process, he had not determined whether the Massachusetts long-arm statute would permit the exercise of personal jurisdiction over Punchh.  LevelUp appealed, and we transferred the case to this court on our own motion. Prior to exercising personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant, a judge must determine that doing so comports with both the forum’s long-arm statute and the requirements of the United States Constitution.  World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 290 (1980).  Because the long-arm statute imposes specific constraints on the exercise of personal jurisdiction that are not coextensive with the parameters of due process, and in order to avoid unnecessary consideration of constitutional questions, a determination under the […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 8, 2017 at 4:16 pm

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