Gibbons v. Brown

716 So. 2d 868 (Fl. Dist. Ct. App. 1998)


In her complaint in Duval County Circuit Court Case No. 97-5904, Mrs. Brown (P) alleged 1) that she is a resident of Florida; 2) that Ms. Gibbons (D) has subjected herself to the personal jurisdiction of the Florida court by bringing a prior lawsuit in Circuit Court Case No. 95-6244 against Clarence Brown (Mrs. Brown's husband) in Duval County 'involving the same subject matter'; 3) that on August 24, 1994, P and D were passengers in a motor vehicle driven by Mr. Brown near Montreal, Quebec, in Canada, when D negligently directed Mr. Brown to turn onto and proceed in the wrong direction on a one-way road; 4) that D owed P a duty to exercise reasonable care for her safety while giving traffic directions to the driver of the vehicle; 5) that as a direct and proximate result of D’s negligence, Mr. Brown headed the wrong way on the road and crashed head-on into another vehicle on a hilly curve; and 6) that as a result of D’s negligence, P suffered injury. P, demanded judgment against D for damages, post-judgment interest and costs, and a jury trial. In her motion to quash service of process and, alternatively, motion to dismiss, D stated that she is a resident of Texas. Noting that her 1995 civil action 'arising out of the same subject matter' was brought against Mr. Brown, and not against P, D challenged the allegations in the 1997 complaint as insufficient to establish proper service on her, and inadequate to satisfy the strict requirements of the Florida long-arm statute. Citizens State Bank v. Winters Gov't Securities Corp., 361 So. 2d 760 (Fla. 4th DCA 1978) (in light of strict construction to be accorded long-arm statutes, person seeking to invoke jurisdiction under such statute has burden of proving facts that clearly justify use of this method of service).