“They shall be construed and administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.”
Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Choosing the Proper Court
Personal Jurisdiction and Related Matters
Personal Jurisdiction and Due Process
A. Types of Personal Jurisdiction: Personal jurisdiction refers to a states power to hear a case and enforce its judgment over the particular parties of property involved
1. In personam jurisdiction permits a court to enter a judgment that is personally binding on the defendant.
2. In rem jurisdiction permits a court to adjudicate the rights of all possible claimants to a specific piece of property.
3. Quasi in rem jurisdiction (dead … Shaffer v. Heitner – New rule for quasi in rem – “ [A]ll assertions of State court jurisdictions must be evaluated according to the standards set forth in Shoe and its progeny.” )
B. In Pennoyer v. Neff the court stated, “[I]n an action for money or damages where the defendant does not appear in the court, and is not found within the state, and is not a resident thereof, but has property therein, the jurisdiction of the court extends only over such property….”
1. The court found that the state’s jurisdiction was generally limited to persons served with valid process (tagged within the state) or property seized in the state prior to judgment.
2. Definite categories to work with (1) appear (consent), (2) presence (be found; tag your “it”), (3) property, and (4) residence (domicile; incorporated).
C. In Hess v. Pawloski, the court found that a nonresident driving a motor vehicle on a highway requires him to answer for his conduct in the forum. This satisfies Pennoyer by finding that his “consent” is implied by his activities, but his consent is limited to proceedings growing out of accidents or collisions on a highway in which the nonresident is involved.
D. Shift to Shoe: In International Shoe v. Washington, the court used minimum contacts to get over the presence hurdle. The court stated that “due process requires only that in order to subject a defendant to a judgment in personam, if he be not present within the forum, he have certain minimum contacts with [the forum] such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend ‘traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.’”
1. In Shoe, the court upheld in personam jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant based on systematic and continuous contacts with the state.
E. The Shoe Court looks to see if the defendant has such minimum contacts with the state it would be fair to require her to return and defend her lawsuit. Whether jurisdiction exists depends on the “quality and nature” of the contacts. Contacts that are “casual” or “isolated” will not suffice.
1. a This suggests an important limitation of minimum contact jurisdiction. Minimum contact jurisdiction is limited to claims arising from (or related to) the defendants contacts with the forum state.
F. Shoe’s Theory of Fairness – “…[T]o the extent that a corporation exercises the privilege of conducting activities within a state, it enjoys the benefits and protection of the laws of that state. The exercise of that privilege may give rise to obligations; and, so far as those obligations arise out of or are connected with the activities within the state, a procedure which requires the corporation to respond to a suit brought to enforce them can, in most instances, hardly be said to be undue.”
G. The Minimum Contacts Test (This only concerns the defendant): The Shoe Court suggested that a corporation
Ins. Co. – (the court upheld jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant based on a single contact with the forum – sending a contract for reinsurance to an insured in forum.) (Under “fairness as reciprocity,” the result is fair)
b. Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz – (continuous but limited activity in the forum state, such as an ongoing business relationship supports “specific jurisdiction”)
BK gives us a few tests. Of course, the first test remains whether the defendant purposefully established “minimum contacts” in the forum. Second, foreseeability of causing injury does not establish such contacts, but “the foreseeability that is critical to due process analysis is that the defendant’s conduct and connection with the forum are such that he should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there. . . . This purposeful availment requirement ensures that a defendant will not be haled into jurisdiction solely as a result of ‘random,’ ‘fortuitous,’ or ‘attenuated’ contacts, or of the ‘unilateral activity of another party or third person. . . . Thus where the defendant ‘deliberately’ has engaged in significant activities with a forum, or has created ‘continuous obligations’ between himself and residents of the forum, he manifestly has availed himself of the privilege of conducting business there, and because his activities are shielded by ‘the benefits and protections’ of the forum’s laws it is presumptively not unreasonable to require hi to submit to the burdens of litigation in that forum as