Justice Carol Robinson Edmead
Clothing designer Fuzzi moved to dismiss agent M.B.S. Moda’s complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction and on inconvenient forum grounds. Moda alleged Fuzzi failed to pay invoices for commissions allegedly due. It attempted service on Fuzzi in Italy by regular mail and Federal Express. The court found that as an Italian resident, Fuzzi was not amenable to service in the United States and was not properly served in Italy in accordance with the Hague Convention. It stated Moda’s attempted service by registered mail and/or Federal Express did not comply with any of the Hague Convention requirements. It noted while there was a division of authority in the Appellate Division, the First Department held that Article 10(a) pertained to forwarding informational material, not the “service” of documents for jurisdictional purposes. The court also noted the agency agreement contained an express forum selection clause requiring any disputes in connection with the agreement to be brought exclusively in the courts of Italy. In granting dismissal, the court concluded it lacked personal jurisdiction over Fuzzi.