The Montana Supreme Court ruled that their courts have personal jurisdiction over a New York resident who disparaged a Montana game farm on Facebook. Groo, a New York resident, made two Facebook posts against Triple D Game Farm. The first post shared a disparaging article about Triple D from and encouraged others to share the post. The second post tagged individuals and companies in business with Triple D and encouraged them to cancel any events or future business plans. Groo was not in Montana shortly prior to making the posts or when she made these Facebook posts.  

Triple D sued Groo for tortious interference with contractual relations and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage. Groo then filed a motion to dismiss based on lack of personal jurisdiction. The motion failed and Groo subsequently filed a Petition for Writ of Supervisory Control with the Montana Supreme Court.

The Court found that the second Facebook post by Groo gave rise to personal jurisdiction, but the first Facebook post did not. The court reasoned that since Groo tagged specific accounts in her second post she had created a social media campaign that solely target “Montana residents and business with contractual relations in Montana.” The court emphasized that the correct test for personal jurisdiction is not whether the individual was in Montana at the time the tort occurred, but instead “what the defendant’s actions were, and whether those acts led to events that gave rise to tort claims in Montana.”

Groo v. Mont. Eleventh Judicial Dist., OP 22-0587 (Mont. Oct. 11, 2023).