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Jerez v. JD Closeouts, LLC

District Court of Nassau County, First District

March 20, 2012

Guillermo Jerez, Plaintiff(s),
v.
JD Closeouts, LLC, JD CLOSEOUTS.COM, INC., and JOSEPH BEYHAN, Defendant(s).

Steven J. Moser, P.C., Attorney for the Plaintiff

The Silber Law Firm, LLC, Attorneys for the Defendants

Michael A. Ciaffa, J.

The following papers have been considered by the Court on this motion: submitted February 17, 2012

Papers Numbered

Notice of Motion, Affirmation & Exhibits Annexed..........................................1 - 2

Affirmation in Opposition......................................................................................3

Reply Affirmation..................................................................................................4

Internet-related business transactions form a major part of our nation's economy. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, www.census.gov/estats, "e-commerce" sales by "merchant wholesalers" in 2009 amounted to more than 1.2 trillion dollars ($1, 211, 000, 000, 000).

Through the use of e-mails and websites, many formerly small local businesses now sell their goods worldwide. Thanks to the growth of sales over the world wide web, local merchants often have the opportunity to obtain wholesale merchandise at even greater discounts today, from businesses throughout the world.

When e-commerce transactions go smoothly, both parties benefit. But when disputes arise, the parties typically seek a judicial resolution.

Plaintiffs bringing such cases against e-commerce merchants typically want their claims heard in a local court. Defendants, in turn, typically want to litigate all matters in a single chosen forum. This case fits the same pattern. Plaintiff, Guillermo Jerez, a Nassau County resident, brought suit in Nassau County District Court against two Florida corporations, JD Closeouts, LLC and JD Closeouts.com, Inc., seeking a refund of monies paid ($7, 146.00) for the purchase and shipping of certain "closeout" merchandise (thousands of pairs of tube socks). Through e-mails and advertisements on their website, jdcloseouts.com, defendants sell such "closeout" merchandise all across the United States.

Defendants contend that this lawsuit should have been brought in Florida, not New York. In so arguing, they seek dismissal of the action on the ground that "a valid and enforceable forum selection clause requires jurisdiction of any disputes in Broward County, Florida."

As demonstrated below, forum selection clauses are presumptively enforceable. They provide a predictable and important means for the orderly and consistent adjudication of disputes between merchants and their customers. However, before a forum selection clause can be deemed binding, it ...


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