Nordness v. FaucheuxAnnotate this Case
Phillip and Paige Faucheux were a military couple who moved frequently during the early years of their marriage. In early 2002, Phillip got a job as a pilot with FedEx in Memphis, so the couple moved to Southaven, Mississippi (a suburb of Memphis just south of the Tennessee border). Phillip also served as a naval reserve pilot, often training at the Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. Because of his frequent trips to Louisiana, he kept a Louisiana-registered pick-up truck parked at the New Orleans airport. On a trip to Louisiana during Carnival Season in January 2004, that Phillip met and began an extramarital affair with Francesca Munne Nordness. In June 2004, Paige discovered the affair. Eventually the couple reconciled their marriage, yet Phillip secretly continued his relationship with Francesca in New Orleans. In October 2004, Francesca moved from New Orleans to Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Phillip stopped seeing her. But several months later in early 2005, Phillip hopped a FedEx flight to North Carolina and showed up unannounced at the hospital where Francesca worked, professing his love for her and begging her to see him again. From 2005 to 2009, Francesca and Phillip continued to rendezvous at locations across the country, including Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, and Colorado (but never Mississippi). And although the two exchanged e-mails, phone calls, and text messages, Francesca never knowingly communicated with Phillip while he was in Mississippi. Phillip also sent Francesca several FedEx packages during this time, but according to Phillip’s uncontroverted testimony, he always used a Memphis return address. Phillip’s continued infidelity proved too much for Paige and, in August 2010, she was granted an irreconcilable-differences divorce from Phillip. Following the couple’s divorce, Paige (now a resident of Texas) sued Francesca in Mississippi for alienation of affections, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and punitive damages. Francesca immediately challenged the suit by moving the court to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction over her. Francesca ultimately lost at the trial court level, and she appealed. The Mississippi Supreme Court reversed, finding she did not have enough minimum contacts with Mississippi for a Mississippi court to have jurisdiction over her.