650 Fed.Appx. 267 (6th Cir. 2016), 15-5736, Harmer v. Colom

Docket Nº:Case 15-5736
Citation:650 Fed.Appx. 267
Opinion Judge:BERNICE BOUIE DONALD, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:PETER S. HARMER; CHRISTINE C. HARMER, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. WILBUR O. COLOM; COLOM LAW FIRM, L.L.C., A MISSISSIPPI LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, Defendants-Appellees
Attorney:For PETER S. HARMER, et ux, Christine C. Harmer, Plaintiffs - Appellants: Larry Edward Parrish, Parrish & Shaw, Memphis, TN. For Wilbur O. Colom, COLOM LAW FIRM, L.L.C., a Mississippi limited liability company, Defendants - Appellees: Scott Winston Colom, Colom & Colom, Columbus, MS; Jonathan Pau...
Judge Panel:BEFORE: SUHRHEINRICH, McKEAGUE, and DONALD, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:May 27, 2016
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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Page 267

650 Fed.Appx. 267 (6th Cir. 2016)

PETER S. HARMER; CHRISTINE C. HARMER, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

WILBUR O. COLOM; COLOM LAW FIRM, L.L.C., A MISSISSIPPI LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, Defendants-Appellees

Case No. 15-5736

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

May 27, 2016

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PUBLICATION

Editorial Note:

Sixth Circuit Rule 28(g) limits citation to specific situations. Please see Rule 28(g) before citing in a proceeding in a court in the Sixth Circuit. If cited, a copy must be served on other parties and the Court.

ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE.

For PETER S. HARMER, et ux, Christine C. Harmer, Plaintiffs - Appellants: Larry Edward Parrish, Parrish & Shaw, Memphis, TN.

For Wilbur O. Colom, COLOM LAW FIRM, L.L.C., a Mississippi limited liability company, Defendants - Appellees: Scott Winston Colom, Colom & Colom, Columbus, MS; Jonathan Paul Lakey, Pietrangelo Cook, Memphis, TN.

BEFORE: SUHRHEINRICH, McKEAGUE, and DONALD, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 268

BERNICE BOUIE DONALD, Circuit Judge.

Peter S. Harmer and his wife Christine (" the Harmers" ) appeal the district court's

Page 269

decision to grant a Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, and its refusal to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. We AFFIRM.

I

.

On July 16, 2010 the Colom law firm (" Colom" ) in Columbus, Mississippi filed a lawsuit against Peter Harmer on Donald DePriest's (" DePriest" ) behalf in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. DePriest asserted claims of defamation, tortious interference with business relationships, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The basis for the suit was that Peter Harmer provided publicly available documents from the Federal Communications Commission (" FCC" ) to Telesaurus Holdings, a competitor of Maritime Communications Land/Mobile, LLC (" Maritime" ), a company affiliated with DePriest. The documents showed that DePriest tried to redeem a counterfeit bearer bond worth $25,000,000 while serving on the Tennessee Valley Authority's (" TVA" ) board.

Soon after, the FCC initiated a public investigation and then formal proceedings against Maritime relating to false statements made when it acquired a license in 2005. The investigation revealed that DePriest had personally guaranteed a $200,000 loan at a 25% annual interest rate; the loan was payable to Sextons, Inc (" Sextons" ) and due on November 14, 2011. Sextons then sued DePriest in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi and obtained a $445,771.21 judgment on August 27, 2012.

Before suing Harmer, Colom sent the following letter to Harmer's Franklin, Tennessee residence: Mr. ... DePriest demands that you retract the statements you made to Scott Baker, the Knoxville News Sentinel, the Nashville Tennessean, any courts of law, and all other organizations and individuals, and have copies of these retractions delivered to ... DePriest. Mr. ... DePriest also demands that you cease and desist from any further attempts to injure or interfere with his business or personal reputation. This is your opportunity to resolve the matter without legal expense and exposure to liability and damages. If you fail to respond to this demand, Mr. ... DePriest will commence legal proceedings against you.

Very Truly Yours,

The Colom Law Firm, LLC

By: /s/

Wilbur O. Colom

District Court Opinion, R. 76. Pg. Id# 764.

Harmer lacked the money to hire a lawyer and so defended himself pro se. On June 1, 2011, Colom called Harmer at his residence in Tennessee. During the recorded conversation, Colom stated that DePriest knew Harmer " can't unring any bell that's been rung" but that DePriest " doesn't want any more bells rung." Id. at Pg. Id# 765. Colom also said he would tell DePriest to get another lawyer to continue pressing the claims because DePriest was " not ever gonna collect any money from you" and " you're not ever gonna collect any money from him unless something fortunate happens." Id.

On June 15...

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