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eBay suit presents issue of first impression

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In an issue of first impression in Indiana - and possibly in the United States - the Indiana Court of Appeals addressed specific jurisdiction questions in a suit filed by sellers on the online auction site, eBay.

In Richard and Marlene Attaway v. Llexcyiss Omega and D. Dale York, No. 11A01-0712-CV-608, the Attaways brought an interlocutory appeal of the trial court's denial of their motion to dismiss a suit filed by Llexcyiss Omega and Dale York. They claimed the trial court erred in denying the motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, that Clay County wasn't a proper venue, and eBay and PayPal user agreements prohibited the parties from litigating the dispute.

The Attaways, who live in Idaho, purchased a Porsche on eBay using PayPal from Llexcyiss Omega and York, who are in Indiana. The Attaways arranged for a transportation company to deliver the car to Iowa. Once they received it, they filed a claim with PayPal for a refund because they said the car wasn't as described on eBay. PayPal denied the refund, but the Attaways managed to have their credit card company remove the charges and rescind payment.

Llexcyiss Omega and York filed suit in small claims court in Clay County, demanding $5,900 in damages.

The Court of Appeals determined the Attaways weren't subject to general jurisdiction in Indiana and had to decide whether they were subject to specific jurisdiction. This brings up the issue of first impression because the appellate court couldn't find any cases in which an eBay seller had sued a buyer for rescission of payment after the buyer picked up the item in the seller's state.

The Court of Appeals looked to similar cases involving buyers filing suits in U.S. District Courts in Michigan, California, and New Jersey, and a case out of New York state courts to rule the Attaways' actions surrounding the purchase tip the scale in favor of personal jurisdiction.

The Indiana sellers filed suit against the Attaways after they took delivery of the car and rescinded payment. The Attaways were able to see the car was in Indiana before buying it and agreed to pick up the vehicle. During the course of the transaction, there was more than just a single online purchase to satisfy the personal jurisdiction requirements of the federal due process clause, wrote Judge Terry Crone. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal of the Attaways' motion to dismiss.

"In weighing the interests of the states, it is certainly within the bounds of fair play and substantial justice to allow Indiana to exercise personal jurisdiction over individuals who have entered into a contract with an Indiana resident for the purchase of property located in Indiana, have removed that property from the state of Indiana, and then rescinded payment," he wrote.

The Court of Appeals also affirmed Clay County was a proper venue and that there was no language in the PayPal user agreement and eBay dispute resolution procedures posted online to suggest the online dispute resolution process is a buyer or seller's sole recourse in the event of a dispute.

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  • follow up to Attaway vs Omega article
    Just a quick follow up to this article which I just recently stumbled upon. I reside in Idaho, not Iowa (which may or may not make any difference as to access to visibility to car prior to purchase, apparently did not).My husband Richard was not part of the lawsuit. It was all on me so his name should be taken off of all documentation entirely. Also, whereabouts of the vehicle after returning to Indiana is undetermined as well as my attorney did a "no show" at a final hearing leaving me with a FTA warrant against me. A Complaint is to be filed with the Indiana State Bar and possibly legal recourse for malpractice. The last time we spoke, his license was suspended and I've not been able to make further contact with him.

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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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