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Ramgoolie v. Ramgoolie

United States District Court, S.D. New York

February 10, 2017

JENNY RAMGOOLIE, Plaintiff,
v.
ANDY RAMGOOLIE, AANDCO HEALTH CARE LTD., KEVIN RAMGOOLIE, JEREMY RAMGOOLIE, ANNIE RAMGOOLIE, KDR MEDICAL CARE LTD., Defendants.

          ORDER ADOPTING REPORT & RECOMMENDATION

          VALERIE CAPRONI, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Jenny Ramgoolie, proceeding pro se, commenced this action against defendants Andy Ramgoolie, Jeremy Ramgoolie, Kevin Ramgoolie, Annie Ramgoolie, and foreign corporate defendants AANDCO Healthcare Ltd ("AANDCO") and KDR Medical Care Ltd. ("KDR") alleging various causes of action. On May 19, 2016, the action was referred to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. Order of Reference to a Magistrate Judge, Dkt. 3. On July 1, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion for preliminary injunction and appointment of a receiver. Plaintiff s Notice of Motion for Preliminary Injunction & Appointment of a Receiver ("Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Receiver"), Dkt. 25. On July 14, 2016, corporate defendants AANDCO and KDR ("Corporate Defendants") moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Defendants' Notice of Motion to Dismiss the Complaint ("Motion to Dismiss"), Dkt. 30.

         On December 20, 2016, Magistrate Judge Netburn issued a Report & Recommendation recommending that the Motion to Dismiss be granted and that the Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Receiver be denied. Report and Recommendation ("R&R"), Dkt. 55. Written objections to the R&R were due fourteen days from service of the R&R. R&R at 16. To date, no party has filed any objections to the R&R. For the following reasons, this Court ADOPTS the R&R in its entirety.

         DISCUSSION

         In reviewing a report and recommendation, a district court "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(C). When no objections are made to a magistrate judge's report, a district court may adopt the report unless a "clear error on the face of the record" is present. Phillips v. Reed Grp., Ltd., 955 F.Supp.2d 201, 211 (S.D.N.Y.2013) (quoting Nelson v. Smith, 618 F.Supp. 1186, 1189 (S.D.N.Y. 1985)). Because no objections were filed in this case, the Court reviews the Magistrate Judge's R&R for clear error. As discussed below, a careful review of the R&R reflects no clear error in Magistrate Judge Netburn's findings.

         Submissions by pro se litigants are construed more leniently than submissions by lawyers, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and are interpreted to raise the strongest arguments they suggest. Pabon v. Wright, 459 F.3d 241, 248 (2d Cir. 2006) (quoting Burgos v. Hopkins, 14 F.3d 787, 790 (2d Cir. 1994)). This Court notes that although Magistrate Judge Netburn did not explicitly state that she was construing Plaintiffs submissions liberally, the R&R reflects every argument presented in the Plaintiffs brief and Complaint viewed in the most favorable light to her.[1]

         I. Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction

         The Corporate Defendants move to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, arguing that this Court lacks both general and specific jurisdiction over them. For the following reasons, this Court adopts the R&R's recommendation to grant the Corporate Defendants' motion to dismiss.

         There are two types of personal jurisdiction: specific and general. Brown v. Lockheed Martin Corp., 814 F.3d 619, 624 (2d Cir. 2016). For foreign corporate defendants, general jurisdiction exists only when the defendant is "essentially at home in the forum State." Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746, 751, 760 (2014) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The states in which a defendant is incorporated and has its principal place of business have general jurisdiction. Id. at 760. Specific jurisdiction is conferred on a foreign defendant if the lawsuit arises out of or is related to the defendant's contacts with the forum. Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 414, n.8 (1984). Regardless of whether personal jurisdiction is specific or general, "the exercise of personal jurisdiction over a defendant is informed and limited by the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of due process, which requires that any jurisdictional exercise be consistent with 'traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.'" Brown, 814 F.3d at 625 (quoting Int 7Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)).

         There is no clear error in the R&R's conclusion that Plaintiff has not established general or specific jurisdiction over the Corporate Defendants. There is no clear error in the R&R's conclusion that Plaintiffs allegations do not establish that the Corporate Defendants were "at home" in New York. The Corporate Defendants are both incorporated in Trinidad. Complaint ¶¶ 18-19, 24, Dkt. 1. Although in her opposition brief Plaintiff asserts that AANDCO has "continuous, permanent and substantial activity in New York, " Plaintiffs allegations do not tend to show that AANDCO was "essentially at home" in New York, as is required for the assertion of general jurisdiction under Daimler. Plaintiff also does not allege any facts or make any arguments tending to show that KDR was "essentially at home" in New York.[2]

         In addition, there is no clear error in the R&R's conclusion that Plaintiff failed to establish specific jurisdiction. Although Plaintiff alleged that certain AANDCO business transactions occurred in New York, she failed to establish any nexus between those transactions and her claims. R&R at 9. In addition, even if Plaintiff could demonstrate that the exercise of jurisdiction was permissible under New York's long-arm statute, Plaintiff has failed to establish that the exercise of such jurisdiction would comport with "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice." Int'l Shoe, 326 U.S. at 316.

         Careful review and consideration of this case reveals no clear error in the R&R's recommendation to grant the Corporate Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. For the reasons discussed herein and in the R&R, this Court ADOPTS the R&R's recommendation and grants the Corporate Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.

         II. Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Appointment of a Receiver

         Plaintiff moved for a preliminary injunction to be entered against all the defendants and for the appointment of a receiver. This Court also agrees with the R&R that Plaintiff failed to establish that she was entitled to a preliminary injunction or to the appointment of a receiver. To succeed on a motion for a preliminary injunction, the movant must show: (1) "a likelihood of success on the merits or . . . sufficiently serious questions going to the merits to make them a fair ground for litigation and a balance of hardships tipping decidedly in the plaintiffs favor;" (2) a likelihood of "irreparable injury in the absence of an injunction;" (3) that "the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs favor;" and (4) that the "public interest would not be disserved" by the issuance of an injunction." Benihana, Inc. v. ...


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