503 F.2d 955 (5th Cir. 1974), 431, Keaty v. Freeport Indonesia, Inc.

Docket Nº:431 F.2d 409, Part I.
Citation:503 F.2d 955
Party Name:Thomas S. KEATY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. FREEPORT INDONESIA, INC., Defendant-Appellee. No. 74-2472 * *Rule 18, 5 Cir.; See Isbell Enterprises, Inc. v. Citizens Casualty Company of New York et al., 5 Cir. 1970,
Case Date:November 11, 1974
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 955

503 F.2d 955 (5th Cir. 1974)

Thomas S. KEATY, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

FREEPORT INDONESIA, INC., Defendant-Appellee.

No. 74-2472 *

*Rule 18, 5 Cir.; See Isbell Enterprises, Inc.

v.

Citizens Casualty Company of New York et al., 5 Cir. 1970,

431 F.2d 409, Part I.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

November 11, 1974

Page 956

John G. Torian, II, Lafayette, La., for plaintiff-appellant.

Donald W. Doyle, Howard J. Smith, Jr., Edward F. Stauss, Jr., New Orleans, La., for defendant-appellee.

Before BELL, SIMPSON and MORGAN, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

Appellant, Thomas S. Keaty, seeks review of the district court's refusal to exercise jurisdiction of his breach of contract action against Freeport Indonesia, Inc. (Freeport). The lower court based its dismissal on the following contract provision:

'This agreement shall be construed and enforceable according to the law of the State of New York and the parties submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of New York.'

The sole issue with which we must contend is whether this above quoted provision constitutes a mandatory forum-selection clause, requiring that any action under the contract be brought only in the courts of New York. We hold that it does not and reverse for further proceedings.

Uncontroverted facts, as shown by the complaint, control. Keaty, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, entered into a two year employment contract with Freeport, a Delaware corporation doing business in Louisiana, but with its principal office elsewhere, whereby he was to establish and supervise a job training program for local Indonesians at the site of Freeport's West Irian, Indonesia facilities. While Keaty was still in Indonesia, his services were terminated by Freeport prior to the expiration date of the contract. Keaty returned to the United States and initiated suit for damages for breach of contract against Freeport in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Diversity jurisdiction was asserted. Freeport moved to dismiss the action pursuant to the quoted contract provision, asserting that the language, 'and the parties submit to the jurisdiction of the courts in New York,' constituted a mandatory forum-selection clause which the court should honor. The action was dismissed and the instant appeal followed.

The trial judge by his dismissal...

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