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Ramsey v. New Times Moving, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Georgia

June 18, 2015

RAMSEY
v.
NEW TIMES MOVING, INC

Contract. Fulton State Court. Before Judge Morrison.

Lynn Akeley-Alderman, for appellant.

Eric Azulay, for appellee.

MILLER, Judge. Branch, J., concurs. Andrews, P. J., concurs in judgment only.

OPINION

Page 135

Miller, Judge.

Julie Ramsey sued New Times Moving, Inc. d/b/a State Wide Relocation (hereinafter " State Wide" ) for breach of contract, fraud and other claims arising from State Wide's actions during her move [332 Ga.App. 556] from Georgia to California.[1] The trial court granted State Wide's motion to dismiss Ramsey's complaint for lack of jurisdiction and improper venue. Ramsey appeals, contending, inter alia, that the trial court erred in granting State Wide's motion to dismiss. For the reasons that follow, we reverse.

We review a trial court's ruling on a motion to dismiss under the de novo standard of review. Houseboat Store v. Chris-Craft Corp., 302 Ga.App. 795 (692 S.E.2d 61) (2010); Sun v. Girardot, 302 Ga.App. 395 (691 S.E.2d 278) (2010).[2]

So viewed, the record shows that in September 2012, Ramsey entered into a contract with State Wide to move her household goods from Roswell, Georgia, to Oxnard, California.[3] The contract, which contained no forum selection provision, provided for a binding " not-to-exceed" price of $4,082.79 based on an estimated weight of 7,811 pounds for Ramsey's household goods. Ramsey paid a $200 deposit on the contract to have her household goods picked up in Roswell on September 28, 2012 and delivered to Oxnard on October 2, 2012.

On September 28, 2012, the movers arrived early in the morning and immediately began loading and packing the truck. After the truck was loaded, the foreman confronted Ramsey and told her that her household goods weighed 12,600 pounds, rather than the agreed-upon 7,811 pounds as set forth in the binding estimate.

The foreman then told Ramsey that the new charge for moving her household goods was $6,300. The foreman also produced documents prepared by State Wide, which Ramsey signed, after the foreman told her that the binding estimate was invalid and that weighing her household goods would incur thousands of dollars in additional charges and her shipment would be delayed. One of the documents signed by Ramsey -- a one-page preprinted General Agreement -- contains a forum selection clause stating that Ramsey consented to jurisdiction and venue in Miami, Florida for any legal proceedings arising out of that agreement. The record also includes [332 Ga.App. 557] an unsigned Revised Written Estimate which contains a similar forum selection clause.

Ramsey subsequently filed suit against State Wide for breach of contract, fraud and other claims. State Wide responded and moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction and improper venue based on the forum selection clause in the General Agreement and the Revised Written Estimate. The trial court granted State Wide's motion to dismiss, and this appeal ensued.

Ramsey contends that the trial court erred in granting State Wide's motion to dismiss. ...


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