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Andress v. Commonwealth of Kentucky

March 31, 2006


The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Skretny United States District Judge



On May 4, 2005, Plaintiff Alan Andress commenced this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Presently before this Court are Motions to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint filed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Mark Miller, Larry Cleveland, Franklin County Commonwealth Attorney and Mark Thomas. For the reasons discussed below, this Court finds that it lacks personal jurisdiction over the defendants in this action. Defendants' motions seeking dismissal based on jurisdictional grounds will therefore be granted and this case will be transferred to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.


A. Facts

In adjudicating Defendants' Motions to Dismiss, this Court assumes the truth of the following factual allegations contained in the Complaint. See Hosp. Bldg. Co. v. Trs. of Rex Hosp., 425 U.S. 738, 740, 96 S.Ct. 1848, 1850, 48 L.Ed.2d 338 (1976); see also Hamilton Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi, Inc. v. Hamilton Coll., 128 F.3d 59, 63 (2d Cir. 1997).

Plaintiff is a resident of the State of New York. (Complaint, ¶ 1.) Defendants Mark Thomas, Mark Miller and Larry Cleveland are residents and employees of the State of Kentucky. (Complaint, ¶ 2.) Defendant Mark Miller is a Kentucky State police officer. (Complaint, ¶ 2.) Defendant Larry Cleveland is a county prosecutor in the County of Frankfurt in Kentucky.*fn1 (Complaint, ¶¶ 2, 3.) The Complaint does not specify Defendant Thomas's position with the State.

On June 29, 2003, Plaintiff sold Defendant Thomas a 1969 Airstream Land Yacht through the Internet auction site Ebay for $3,800. (Complaint, ¶ 4.) Defendant Thomas paid for the item by cashiers check. (Complaint, ¶ 4.) Plaintiff advised Defendant Thomas that he could pick up the Land Yacht during normal business hours on any business day after providing telephone notice. (Complaint, ¶ 4.) Plaintiff required telephone notice so that he could get the transfer papers notarized ahead of time. (Complaint, ¶ 4.)

On Saturday, August 9, 2003, at 11:30 p.m., Defendant Thomas's wife and father arrived at Plaintiff's place of business without prior notice and demanded the title and registration papers for the Land Yacht. (Complaint, ¶ 4.) Plaintiff was apparently unable to give Defendant Thomas's wife the requested paperwork, at which point she telephoned Defendant Thomas, who was in Kentucky. (Complaint, ¶ 4.) Defendant Thomas advised his wife that there were liens on the trailer,*fn2 which Plaintiff denied. (Complaint, ¶ 4.)

Defendant Thomas's wife then demanded that Plaintiff return Defendant Thomas's $3,800 and pay her expenses, which Plaintiff refused to do. (Complaint, ¶ 4.) Defendant Thomas's wife at some point during the confrontation also indicated that she would take the Land Yacht for $1,500, which Plaintiff also refused. (Complaint, ¶ 4.)

At some point after this encounter, Defendant Thomas filed a report with the New York State Police.*fn3 (Complaint, ¶ 4.) The police investigated Defendant Thomas's report, found no wrongdoing on Plaintiff's part, and telephoned Defendant Thomas to advise him that he should return and pick up the trailer. (Complaint, ¶ 4.)

Plaintiff alleges that instead of returning to pick up the trailer, Defendant Thomas, together with Defendant Larry Cleveland, commenced an illegal and abusive extradition proceeding against him in Kentucky based on an illegal Indictment. (Complaint, ¶ 4.) Plaintiff was subsequently arrested on a fugitive warrant in New York.*fn4 (Complaint, ¶ 4.) He was incarcerated for three days, then released on $500 bail, then incarcerated for a second period of three days. (Complaint, ¶ 4.) On the advice of his counsel, Plaintiff at some point returned to Defendant Thomas the $3,800 he paid for the Land Yacht in exchange for dismissal of the charges Defendant Thomas filed against him in Kentucky. (Complaint, ¶ 4.)

Plaintiff alleges that at all times relevant he had clean title to the trailer and was ready, willing, and able to perform his part of the transaction. (Complaint, ¶ 5.) He maintains that "Defendants were calculated to extort money from Plaintiff, on a deal that the Defendant Thomas changed his mind on and did not want to go through with." (Complaint, ¶ 6.) Plaintiff alleges that he sustained damage to his personal and business reputation and that ...

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