United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Scott Rilley, Michelle Kunza, Linda Gonzales and Michael Gonzales, individually and on behalf of the putative class, Plaintiffs,
MoneyMutual, LLC, Selling Source, LLC, and PartnerWeekly, LLC, Defendants.
Michelle Drake, Esq., Jeffrey Laurence Osterwise, Esq., and
John G. Albanese, Esq., Berger & Montague, PC, and Mark
L. Heaney, Esq., Heaney Law Firm, LLC.
Christina Rieck Loukas, Esq., and Joseph M. Windler, Esq.,
Winthrop & Weinstine, PA, Donald J. Putterman, Esq.,
Michelle L. Landry, Esq., and Tobias G. Snyder, Esq.,
Putterman Landry & Yu LLP, counsel for Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
DONOVAN W. FRANK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiffs in this case filed a purported class action
against the defendants for their role in generating sales
leads in Minnesota for payday lenders. The defendants moved
to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, and the Court
denied that motion. One of the defendants now moves the Court
to certify the issue for interlocutory appeal. For the
reasons discussed below, the Court denies the defendant's
Court assumes the reader's familiarity with the facts of
the case, which are more fully set out in the Court's
August 30, 2017 Memorandum Opinion and Order (Doc. No. 62).
In short, Defendants collectively operate a lead-generating
business for various payday lenders. Consumers would go to
the Defendants' website to fill out an application, and
then Defendants would sell the application to lenders. The
lenders would independently decide whether to lend consumers
MoneyMutual, LLC maintained the website and advertised
nationally on television and the Internet, but had no
employees or officers. Defendant PartnerWeekly, LLC was
MoneyMutual's managing agent. PartnerWeekly would
purchase the advertising, operate the website, and contract
with lenders on behalf of MoneyMutual. Defendant Selling
Source, LLC is the sole parent of MoneyMutual and
PartnerWeekly. Selling Source provided common services to the
subsidiaries (like legal and accounting), but did not operate
the day-to-day business.
are consumer-borrowers and have filed a purported class
action against Defendants related to the payday loans.
Plaintiffs first filed their complaint in Minnesota state
court, naming only MoneyMutual as a defendant. MoneyMutual
moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. In
Rilley v. MoneyMutual, LLC (Rilley I), the
Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed the finding of personal
jurisdiction. 884 N.W.2d 321 (Minn. 2016). After the United
States Supreme Court denied MoneyMutual's petition for
certiorari, 137 S.Ct. 1331, Plaintiffs amended the complaint
to add Defendants PartnerWeekly and Selling Source and to add
a claim for violating 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) of the federal
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
Defendants then removed the case to federal court. (Doc. No.
issue here, the Court concluded that it had personal
jurisdiction over Defendants based on the nationwide service
of process allowed for under the RICO Act. The Court noted
that without the RICO Act, the Court would have dismissed
Selling Source, but would have stayed the dismissal pending
jurisdictional discovery. (Doc. No. 62 at 7 n.3.) The Court
then dismissed the RICO claim for failure to state a claim.
In dismissing the claim, the Court acknowledged the
incongruity between using the RICO claim to exercise
jurisdiction and then dismissing the claim as insufficiently
pleaded. Ultimately, the Court concluded that Plaintiffs
satisfied the lower standard (a colorable claim) needed for
jurisdiction. Selling Source now moves the Court to certify
for interlocutory appeal the following question:
Can a federal court assert personal jurisdiction over a
defendant pursuant to the RICO Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c),
despite simultaneously dismissing the RICO Act claim against
the defendant with prejudice under Rule 12(b)(6)?
of appeals have jurisdiction over “all final decisions
of the district courts.” 28 U.S.C. § 1291. A
district court may designate an otherwise non-final order as
certified for interlocutory appeal under ...