SW Legal studies in Business

State of Seller of Disputed Good via eBay Is Appropriate Venue for Litigation
Description

Idaho buyer bought a car over eBay from a seller in Indiana who delivered it to a shipping company in Indiana for delivery. When the buyer was unhappy with the car and refused to pay, the seller sued. Indiana appeals court held that Indiana courts had personal jurisdiction over the Idaho resident.

Topic Court Procedure
Key Words

Personal Jurisdiction; Venue; eBay Sale

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Omega, an Indiana resident, listed a Porsche for sale on eBay. Attaway, an Idaho resident, entered the winning bid of $5,000 plus delivery costs. Attaway paid Omega through PayPal and arranged for delivery. Upon getting the car, Attaway filed a claim with PayPal asking for a refund because the car was “significantly not-as-described.” PayPal denied the request and told Attaway to work with Omega. Attaway then convinced MasterCard, which handled the payment to rescind payment to Omega. Omega then sued Attaway in small claims court in Indiana demanding $5,900 in damages. Attaway filed a motion to dismiss citing lack of personal jurisdiction. That motion was denied and Attaway appealed.

Decision

Affirmed and remanded. The buyer of the car, Attaway, availed himself of the privilege of conducting business in Indiana so he should reasonably anticipate being haled into court in Indiana.  The exercise of personal jurisdiction over Idaho buyers of vehicles from Indiana by website auction comports with fair play and substantial justice. The county where the buyer’s representative (the transportation company) picked up the car is the appropriate venue for the matter.

Citation

Attaway v. Omega, ---N.E.2d--- (2009 WL 690296, Ct. App., Ind., 2009)

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