N. Grain Mktg., LLC v. Greving, No. 12-2653 (7th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Greving has lived and farmed in southeastern Wisconsin since 1971. In 2003 he began contracting to sell his grain to Northern Grain, an Illinois-based grain buyer. Northern Grain claimed that Greving repudiated several contracts formed years after the parties first began contracting and sought almost $1 million in damages. When Greving refused to arbitrate, Northern Grain sought an order compelling arbitration. The Illinois district court dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Greving lacks minimum contacts with Illinois that would permit the district court, consistent with the due process clause, to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over him. Greving only set foot in Illinois once, to attend a seed-corn meeting in 2003, months before the parties entered into the first of their contracts, where he met Wilson, who became his contact with Northern Grain. Even assuming that his attendance at the meeting would enter the “personal-jurisdiction calculus for the later-formed contracts at issue,” there is no indication that Greving attended the meeting in an effort to find grain buyers. Virtually everything else about Greving’s contractual relationship with Northern Grain was based in Wisconsin.