Jeffrey-Nichols Motor Co. v. Hupp Motor Car Corporation, 2496.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
Citation46 F.2d 623
Docket NumberNo. 2496.,2496.
PartiesJEFFREY-NICHOLS MOTOR CO. v. HUPP MOTOR CAR CORPORATION.
Decision Date11 February 1931

Edward C. Park, of Boston, Mass. (Lothrop Withington, of Boston, Mass., on the brief), for appellant.

Albert A. Schaefer, of Boston, Mass. (Alexander B. Siegel, of New York City, Ropes, Gray, Boyden & Perkins, of Boston, Mass., and Van Vorst, Siegel & Smith, of New York City, on the brief), for appellee.

Before BINGHAM, ANDERSON, and WILSON, Circuit Judges.

WILSON, Circuit Judge.

This is an action under the federal antitrust laws to recover damages alleged to have been suffered by the plaintiff and appellant through acts of the defendant tending to lessen competition in the automobile business and in restraint of trade.

The plaintiff is a Massachusetts corporation, and the defendant is a Virginia corporation, licensed to do business and having its principal place of business in Detroit, Mich.

The plaintiff brought its action in the district of Massachusetts and served a summons on the defendant in the Eastern district of Michigan.

The defendant appeared by counsel for the sole purpose of objecting to the jurisdiction, and filed a motion to dismiss the action on the ground that the defendant was not a resident nor did it transact business in Massachusetts. The plaintiff contended below that an issue of fact was thereby presented which should be heard on oral testimony and before a jury. The District Court, however, heard the motion on affidavits and ruled that the defendant was not transacting business within the meaning of section 12 of the Clayton Act, and section 22, 15 USCA, and dismissed the action. 41 F.(2d) 767. The case is here on appeal from this decision.

It is unnecessary to consider the first contention of the plaintiff, as upon the affidavits presented we think the defendant was transacting business in Massachusetts within the meaning of section 12 of the Clayton Act, and therefore venue was properly laid in the district of Massachusetts.

Prior to the enactment of October 15, 1914, c. 323, § 12, 38 Stat. 736 (15 USCA § 22), a person or corporation violating the anti-trust laws could only be sued in the district where resident, or where found. The provision of section 12 of the Clayton Act relieved "the injured person from the necessity of resorting for the redress of wrongs committed by a nonresident corporation, to a district, however distant, in which it resides or may be `found' — often an insuperable obstacle — and enabling him to institute the suit in a district, frequently that of his own residence, in which the corporation in fact transacts business, and bring it before the court by the service of process in a district in which it resides or may be `found.'" Eastman Co. v. Southern Photo Co., 273 U. S. 359, 373, 374, 47 S. Ct. 400, 403, 71 L. Ed. 684; Gen. Inv. Co. v. Lake Shore Rwy., 260 U. S. 261, 279, 43 S. Ct. 106, 67 L. Ed. 244.

"A corporation is engaged in transacting business in a district, within the meaning of this section section 12, in such sense as to establish the venue of a suit — although not present by agents carrying on business of such character and in such manner that it is `found' therein and is amenable to local process — if in fact, in the ordinary and usual sense, it `transacts business' therein of any substantial character." Eastman Co. v. Southern Photo Co., supra.

Under the rule laid down in the Eastman Co. Case, while a single transaction of business may not be sufficient to establish a venue in a district, it does not require the maintenance of an office or place of business or the presence of agents soliciting or taking orders. If a foreign manufacturing corporation has a well-defined plan of promoting the...

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    ...D.C. 252, 254, 292 F.2d 745, 747, cert. denied, 368 U.S. 898, 82 S.Ct. 175, 7 L.Ed.2d 94 (1961); Jeffrey-Nichols Motor Co. v. Hupp Motor Car Corp., 46 F.2d 623, 625 (C.A.1, 1931); Grappone, Inc. v. Subaru of America, Inc., 403 F.Supp. 123, 132 (D.N.H.1975); Hitt v. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., 39......
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