may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Stancil Aviation Enterprise, Ltd.,
A California corporation, et al.,
Rodney H. Winter,
Toussaint, Chief Judge
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 971373
Dylan J. McFarland, Steven M. Burstein, Burstein, Hertogs, Olsen & McFarland, P.A., 2900 Norwest Center, 90 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for appellant and respondent Rodney H. Winter)
Michael C. Lindberg, David H. Stern, Johnson & Lindberg, P.A., 8500 Normandale Lake Blvd., Suite 1610, Minneapolis, MN 55437-3828 (for appellants Stancil Aviation Enterprises, Ltd., et al.)
Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge, Crippen, Judge, and Forsberg, Judge.**
Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.
Respondent Dean Duffney purchased a 1958 Beechcraft Travel Air airplane from Rodney H. Winter and Joseph E. Stancil, Jr., d/b/a Stancil Aviation Enterprises, Ltd. (Stancil). Duffney discovered that the paint on the airplane came off during a rainstorm. Duffney brought numerous causes of action against Winter and Stancil. The district court determined that it had personal jurisdiction over Winter and Stancil. Winter and Stancil appeal, arguing they do not have sufficient minimum contacts with Minnesota to support personal jurisdiction. Because we conclude that the nature and quality of contacts is sufficient to extend jurisdiction, we affirm.
notions of fair play and substantial justice'." International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 66 S. Ct. 154, 158 (1945) (citations omitted).
To determine whether sufficient minimum contacts exist, we must evaluate (1) the quantity of contacts with the forum state; (2) the nature and quality of contacts; (3) the source and connection of the cause of action with these contacts; (4) the interest of the state in providing a forum; and (5) the convenience of the parties. Rostad v. On-Deck, Inc., 372 N.W.2d 717, 719-20 (Minn. 1985).
The plaintiff's allegations and supporting evidence must be taken as true at the pretrial stage. Dent-Air, Inc. v. Beech Mountain Air Serv. 332 N.W.2d 904, 907 n.1 (Minn. 1983). In close cases, "doubts should be resolved in favor of retention of jurisdiction." Valspar Corp. v. Lukken Color Corp., 495 N.W.2d 408, 411-12 (Minn. 1992). Whether personal jurisdiction exists is a question of law, which this court reviews de novo. Stanek v. A.P.I., Inc., 474 N.W.2d 829, 832 (Minn. App. 1991), review denied (Minn. Oct. 31, 1991).
Stancil is a California corporation not registered to conduct business in Minnesota and Winter is a California resident. Stancil and Winter's contacts with Minnesota were minimal. Contact was initiated by Duffney, who bought a copy of Trade-A-Plane magazine, a nationally distributed publication featuring airplanes for sale across the country. Duffney was interested in Winter's Beechcraft, which was placed in Trade-A-Plane by Stancil for Winter. Winter and Stancil's contacts included faxing an airplane information sheet prepared by Stancil to Duffney, mailing pictures of the airplane to Duffney, and numerous telephone calls between the parties. Stancil also induced Duffney to mail a downpayment of $1000 to assure first right of refusal.
Where, as here, the quantity of contacts is minimal, the nature and quality of the contacts become dispositive. Marquette Nat'l Bank v. Norris, 270 N.W.2d 290, 295 (Minn. 1978). It must be determined whether Stancil and Winter purposefully availed themselves of the privilege of conducting activities in this state so that they would reasonably anticipate being haled into Minnesota's courts. See World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297, 100 S. Ct. 559, 567 (1980)(when a corporation purposefully avails itself of the privilege of conducting activities with the forum state, it has clear notice that it is subject to suit there).
Winter and Stancil argue that placement of one ad in a publication with national distribution is insufficient to charge them with notice that suit might be brought in Minnesota. We agree that the placement of a single advertisement in a nationally distributed magazine is insufficient. See Now Foods Corp. v. Madison Equip. Co., 386 N.W.2d 363, 367 (Minn. App. 1986) (refusing to extend jurisdiction where one advertisement in national trade magazine induced sale of defective product), review denied 395 N.W.2d 926 (Minn. 1986).
However, solicitation-type contacts can be "purposeful" and "sufficient for exercising personal jurisdiction if extensive and directed at Minnesota customers or if combined with other qualitative contacts." Id. (citations omitted). Here, Stancil and Winter solicited business by advertisement, but they actively pursued a customer in Minnesota by making representations by facsimile transmissions directed to Minnesota, mailing pictures to Duffney in Minnesota, and negotiating by telephone calls to Minnesota.
We conclude that Winter and Stancil should have reasonably anticipated being haled into Minnesota court given their active solicitation of a Minnesota customer and their "qualitative contacts" with this state.
A single transaction can be sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction when the cause of action arises out of the contacts. McGee v. Int'l Life Ins. Co., 355 U.S. 220, 220, 78 S. Ct. 199, 201 (1957); Marquette, 270 N.W.2d at 295. Duffney's causes of action arose out of Stancil's representations about the plane, and the telephone, mail, and facsimile contacts with Duffney. This factor supports exercising personal jurisdiction.
We conclude these factors do not have any significant impact on our analysis. See Dent-Air, 332 N.W.2d at 907 (first three factors are primary and last two are of lesser consideration).
Because of the quality of Winter and Stancil's contacts with Minnesota and the close relationship between those contacts and Duffney's causes of action, we conclude that the district court did not err in ruling that it has personal jurisdiction over Winter and Stancil.