When you are suing a business entity in Florida, one of the things you must be able to demonstrate is that the entity you’ve sued has what the law calls sufficient “minimum contacts” with the jurisdiction where you’ve brought your case. If you don’t have this proof, then the defendant may well be able to file a successful motion to dismiss, with the judge ruling that the court lacks jurisdiction to enter a judgment against the defendant. To make sure that your breach of contract action doesn’t get scuttled by this or other procedural problems, be sure you have representation from a skilled South Florida commercial litigation attorney.
There are several ways that you can establish personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state entity under what’s nicknamed Florida’s “Long Arm” statute. If, for example, the defendant engages in business in this state, breached a contract here, owns real estate in the Sunshine State, or “was engaged in solicitation or service activities within this state,” then any of those activities can trigger jurisdiction and allow you to pursue that entity in the Florida courts. (There are other bases listed in the statute, as well.)
These issues were at the center of one recent breach-of-contract lawsuit. The underlying disagreement was one over aircraft parts. One of the parties, a California-based company, held the parts in dispute at its facility in Los Angeles County. However, the other party, when deciding to pursue legal action, brought its case in state court in Miami-Dade County. This led the defendant company to ask the Florida judge to dismiss the plaintiff’s lawsuit. The defendant’s argument was that the Florida courts lacked personal jurisdiction over it.