Tampa Motel Management Co. v. Stratton of Florida, Inc., 75114

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
Citation186 Ga.App. 135,366 S.E.2d 804
Docket NumberNo. 75114,75114
Decision Date01 March 1988

Page 804

366 S.E.2d 804
186 Ga.App. 135
No. 75114.
Court of Appeals of Georgia.
March 1, 1988.

Page 805

[186 Ga.App. 140] Celeste McCollough, John L. Taylor, Jr., Atlanta, for appellant.

Bryan M. Cavan, C. Walker Ingraham, Atlanta, for appellee.

[186 Ga.App. 135] BENHAM, Judge.

This appeal follows the trial court's grant of a motion to confirm and enforce an arbitration award, made by appellee Stratton of Florida ("Stratton"), and the denial of appellant Roberts' motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and venue.

Appellant Tampa Motel Management Company ("TMMC") owned five sites under construction in Oklahoma and Florida. Appellant Roberts served as president, chairman of the board, and a director of TMMC. Appellee Stratton was the general contractor of the five TMMC construction projects. In an effort to resolve Stratton's claims of nonpayment by TMMC, the parties entered into an agreement on November 29, 1984, in which they agreed to submit to arbitration in Atlanta, Georgia, all claims and disputes concerning the five construction projects. Disputes again arose and in June 1985, Stratton [186 Ga.App. 136] filed a demand for arbitration. After conducting a five-day hearing in Atlanta, attended by Roberts and representatives of TMMC and Stratton, the arbitrators entered an award on May 27, 1986, requiring TMMC and Roberts to pay Stratton $927,250. Four months after the award in its favor, Stratton filed its motion to confirm and enforce the arbitration award in the Superior Court of DeKalb County. TMMC and Roberts filed separate responses in which they claimed that the arbitration award was unenforceable for a number of reasons. Asserting that the trial court did not have personal jurisdiction over him and that venue in DeKalb County was improper, Roberts also filed a motion to dismiss Stratton's motion to confirm and enforce. The trial court denied Roberts' motion and granted Stratton's motion to confirm and enforce the arbitration award.

1. We initially address Roberts' assertions that he was not subject to the personal jurisdiction of the trial court, and

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that venue as to him was improper in DeKalb County.

In an affidavit filed in support of his motion to dismiss, appellant Roberts averred that the November 1984 agreement was signed in Fulton County, Georgia, after "minor negotiations in Fulton County." He swore that the agreement was "negotiated primarily" in Florida, and that no "negotiations, executions or other actions with regard to the Agreement" took place in DeKalb County, Georgia. Attorneys for appellee Stratton filed affidavits in which they chronicled the Atlanta negotiations of the agreement with appellant Roberts and his attorney, as well as the signing of the agreement in Atlanta. Paragraph 27 of the agreement states that the "Agreement and its performance shall be interpreted and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Georgia." It is undisputed that Roberts attended the five-day arbitration hearing which was held in 1986 in the Colony Square complex located in Atlanta, Fulton County.

" ' "Jurisdiction of the person is the power of a court to render a personal judgment, or to subject the parties in a particular case to the decisions and rulings made by it in such a case ..." ' Basically jurisdiction means the power of a court to render a binding judgment in the case...." Williams v. Fuller, 244 Ga. 846(3), 262 S.E.2d 135 (1979). "A court of this state may exercise personal jurisdiction over any nonresident ... as to a cause of action arising from any of the acts, omissions, ownership, use, or possession enumerated in this Code section, in the same manner as if he were a resident of the state, if in person or through an agent, he: (1) [t]ransacts any business within this state...." OCGA § 9-10-91. "Under our Long Arm Statute [OCGA § 9-10-91] jurisdiction over a nonresident exists on the basis of transacting business in this state if the nonresident has purposefully done some act or consummated some transaction in this state, if the cause of action arises from or is connected with such [186 Ga.App. 137] act or transaction, and if the exercise of jurisdiction by the courts of this state does not offend traditional fairness and substantial justice." Davis Metals v. Allen, 230 Ga. 623, 625, 198 S.E.2d 285 (1973). "If ... the requirements of Rules (1) and (2) are (met, there must also exist) a 'minimum contact' between the nonresident and the forum. ... (Lastly,) the assumption of jurisdiction (by the forum) must be ... consonant with ... due process notions of "fair play" and 'substantial justice.' [Cit] ... [I]t is essential in each case that there be some act by which the defendant purposefully avails itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum state, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws. [Cits.]" Girard v. Weiss, 160 Ga.App. 295(1), 287 S.E.2d 301 (1981).

The execution of the agreement in Georgia is a sufficient purposeful transaction of business within the forum ( Bloise v. Trust Co. Bank of Savannah, 170 Ga.App. 405(1), 317...

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10 cases
  • Franklin's Systems, Inc. v. Infanti, 94-C-3830.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • 31 March 1995
    ...437 S.E.2d 857 (1993); Davis Metals, Inc. v. Allen, 230 Ga. 623, 198 S.E.2d 285 (1973); Tampa Motel Mgmt. Co. v. Stratton of Fla. Inc., 186 Ga. App. 135, 366 S.E.2d 804 In Booksing v. Holley, for example, Mr. Corrado, an Ohio resident, traveled to Georgia to close two agreements that had al......
  • T.A.W., In Interest of, A94A0789
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • 14 July 1994
    ...were adopted, both they and the Constitution are cited as authority for transfer. See, e.g., Tampa Motel Mgmt. Co. v. Stratton of Fla., 186 Ga.App. 135, 137(2), 366 S.E.2d 804 (1988) (physical precedent), applying the Constitution and USCR 19.1; Douglas v. Gilbert, 195 Ga.App. 796, 799, 395......
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • 30 July 2004
    ...to give force and effect to the federal arbitration code." (Citation omitted.) Tampa Motel Mgmt. Co. v. Stratton of Florida, 186 Ga.App. 135, 139(3), 366 S.E.2d 804 (1988) (physical precedent only). Accordingly, the trial court correctly applied federal 2. Joyner contends the trial court mi......
  • McDonald v. H & S Homes, LLC, A07A1621.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • 7 March 2008
    ...to attack an arbitration award after expiration of three-month challenge period); see also Tampa Motel Mgmt. Co. v. Stratton of Florida, 186 Ga.App. 135, 140(3), 366 S.E.2d 804 (1988) ("Once the three-month period following the filing or delivery of the arbitration award has expired, any at......
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