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Texas court Jurisdiction over non-residents: phone calls and money transfers

Jun 25, 2018

I live in California, and I have a friend who lives in Texas that wired a large amount of money to me. Someone sued my friend in Texas claiming that the money did not belong to her. Recently, I learned that I too have been sued by this same person in Texas. I have never traveled to Texas, nor have I lived or worked in Texas. I do not own property in Texas. I did, however, have numerous phone calls with my Texas friend. Can I get out of this Texas lawsuit?

Maybe, but you should hire a Texas attorney to help you, and the outcome will necessarily depend upon the facts of your particular case. Your Texas attorney may find some support in Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. v. Bell, 2018 WL 2449390 (Tex. June 1, 2018), an opinion recently handed down by the Texas Supreme Court. In Old Republic, the Court found that personal jurisdiction was lacking over the non-resident defendant even though there were allegedly hundreds of phone calls between the Texas resident and the non-Texas resident. Additionally, the Court noted that a non-resident defendant’s acceptance of money – a fungible asset – from someone in Texas is generally of negligible significance for purposes of deciding whether a Texas court can exercise jurisdiction over the non-resident defendant.

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