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MShore Law
MShore Law, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 25285
Experience:  Drafted Negotiated and/or Reviewed Thousands of Commercial Agreements
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My company filed a Warrant in Debt in small claims court in

Customer Question

My company filed a Warrant in Debt in small claims court in Virginia. Defendant has moved case to general district court and is now filing a Motion to Dismiss based on jurisdiction. Defendant is a hair salon in Washington, D.C., and we are a web development company in Virginia. Contract states that work would be performed in Virginia. However, Defendant claims that all business was transacted in D.C. - cited check signing, meetings, etc., as justification. We believe the cause of action was our work in Virginia.

How can we fight the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss? And, what is the legal definition of "transacting business in Virginia" as written in Virginia Code § 8.01-328.1 (jurisdiction)?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  MShore Law replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the post, I am happy to assist you by answering your questions. Is the cause of action breach of contract? If so, did the contract state that VA would have jurisdiction? If not, did the defendant ever enter the state of VA to conduct its business?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Cause of action is breach of contract: signed contract for six months of service but stopped paying after two months.

Contract stated "laws of Commonwealth of Virginia shall apply." Contract also stated that all work would be performed at contractor's facilities in Richmond, VA.
Expert:  MShore Law replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX then is only personal jurisdiction over the defendant as the defendant agreed that VA has subject matter jurisdiction. The "all work performed at contractor's facilities..." could be relied on to the sue the contractor for negligence in performing the work, breach of contract, etc., but not the defendant company as the company is not entering the state of VA to conduct its business. For your reference, here is a law journal article on the very subject of what it means to do business in Virginia: http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1018&context=wmrval&sei-redir=1#search=%22transacting%20business%20Virginia%22

In sum, a foreign corporation cannot be sued in VA unless that corporation actually transacts business in the commonwealth, has property there, or its agents are located there. Deatrick v. State Life Insurance Co., 107 Va. 602, 59 S. E. 482
(1907).

Please let me know if you need additional guidance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Additional guidance:

We had communications regarding the work via email — would the foreign corporation emailing us consitute an act in the commonwealth? From (B) in §8.01-328.1: "Using a computer or computer network located in the Commonwealth shall constitute an act in the Commonwealth."
Expert:  MShore Law replied 2 years ago.
No, email sent from outside of the Commonwealth does not equate to entering the Commonwealth. The section you cite references using a computer in the Commonwealth (i.e. being physically located in the Commonwealth).
MShore Law, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 25285
Experience: Drafted Negotiated and/or Reviewed Thousands of Commercial Agreements
MShore Law and 8 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So your take is that the Motion to Dismiss will be successful, despite the fact that all work performed was in Virginia?
Expert:  MShore Law replied 2 years ago.
Yes, because the work is not the subject of the dispute, the failure to pay for the work is the subject of the dispute.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much.
Expert:  MShore Law replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, have a good day.

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