Civil Procedure-Prof. john leubsdorf rutgers newark spring 2013
PERSONAL JURISDICTION – refers to the court's power over a particular defendant to adjudicate an issue involving that defendant's rights in that forum.
Territorial Jurisdiction – The general rule is that the federal court may reach a defendant precisely to the same extent as a state court in that place could reach it.
100-Mile Bulge – Under some circumstances, federal courts may exercise jurisdiction over designated persons that may be served within 100 miles of the federal courthouse in any direction. This extends the court’s jurisdiction from the territorial boundaries of the states.
3 types of personal jurisdiction:
1. in personam jurisdiction over the parties;
2. in rem jurisdiction over the property that is the subject of the action; and
3. quasi in rem jurisdiction over property that is attached to satisfy judgment in the action.
IN PERSONAM JURISDICTION- Personal jurisdiction must satisfy not only constitutional requirements, but rule-based or statutory requirements.
1. D’s rel. with the state; a) Domicile, b) Being served in the state
A defendant who is served with process while in the forum state is likely to be subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction even if his presence in the state is temporary and even if his presence is entirely unrelated to the lawsuit. EXCEPTION: If the defendant’s presence in the forum state is solely due to force, fraud, or participation in another judicial proceeding, service may not establish personal jurisdiction.
2. Consent or waiver; express consent (contract), implied consent (driving & having an accident) & waiver (failing to raise defense)
3. Systematic and Continuous Contacts; General jurisdiction, Specific jurisdiction
General jurisdiction – Where the defendant is regularly engaged in business, has a facility, or is so frequently in a state that the number and quality of the defendant’s contacts with the state would be described as systematic and continuous, a court will be held to have general jurisdiction over the defendant.
Specific Jurisdiction – The state may exercise jurisdiction where the claim against the defendant arises out of or is related to the defendant’s presence in the forum state. The contact must also be purposeful. (McGee was purposeful, Volkswagen was not)
Long-Arm Statute – Rule 4(k)(1) A state statute must authorize the exercise of jurisdiction over the out-of-state defendant. State statutes place limitations on the state’s ability to establish personal jurisdiction over certain types of contacts. The types of contacts which are permitted by state long-arm statute include various business activities etc.
Rule 4(k)(2)-no contract or tort law
Minimum Contacts – Where a party is not a citizen of a state, the court may still establish personal jurisdiction over that person if he has a minimum number of contacts with the state. The minimum contacts must be enough that exercising personal jurisdiction over a party for an action would not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
Minimum contacts analysis looks at the nature of the defendant’s relationship with the forum state and whether the defendant would have reasonably expected to be hauled into the forum state court. If the defendant purposely involves himself in transactions within the state, then he receives the benefits and privileges of that state’s laws, so it is fair that he be exposed to the jurisdiction of that forum state as well.
Purposeful Availment – If a defendant purposefully availed itself of the benefits of the forum state, sufficient minimum contacts for personal jurisdiction will exist. EXAMPLE: The successful solicitation by a life insurance company of a single customer in the forum state and the receipt of premiums thereafter is sufficient to meet the minimum contacts test.
Activities Related Unrelated
Many Yes Sometimes
Few Yes/Sometimes No
Full Faith & Credit Clause (Art. IV, Sec 1) requires the court of one state to give a judgment in a court of a second state the same force it would have at home.
Pennoyer v. Neff- A court may enter a judgment against a non-resident only if the party 1) is personally served with process while within the state, or 2) has property within the state, and that property is attached before litigation begins (i.e. quasi in rem jurisdiction).
International Shoe v. Washington-Minimum contacts with the forum state can enable a court in that state to exert personal jurisdiction over a party consistent with the Due Process clause. The court focuses on the quality and nature of the activity. The continuous and systematic nature of the activity is also discussed, but this is less important. The defendant was getting benefits out of the activity.
McGee v. International Life Insurance Co.—Whether a non-resident corporation is subject to jurisdiction in a state in which it never had any agent or office, merely because it was a party to a contract with a resident of the state. It is sufficient for purposes of due process that the suit was based on a contract that had substantial connection with CA. CA residents would be at a severe disadvantage if they had to leave their own state to obtain payment from their insurance company.
Hanson v. Dencla—Unlike McGee, they didn’t solicit business in Florida. In McGee, the company wrote to the insured and inquired about extension. The court decided that Delaware should have jurisdiction. They couldn’t find “minimal contacts”—the trust company didn’t do or solicit any business in Florida. They had no offices there.
Worldwide Volkswagen v. Woodson-Oklahoma clearly has an interest in having jurisdiction—evidence and keeping roads & highways safe. The dealer & distributor have no ties to Oklahoma. They also don’t buy the “foreseeability” argument and don’t think that it is sufficient on its own to establish jurisdiction. The party’s contacts with the state must be such that maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. Similar to the Hanson case, the plaintiff moved & moved the car with them (just as the plaintiff in the other case changed residency)—it had nothing to do with the activities of the defendant.
Contacts-purposefully availed Convenience
Benefits/business (continuing/size) Comparative expense
Stream of commerce Evidence
Foreseeability/business planning Existence of alternative forum
Injury? State interest
[Claim must be related in all categories.] Burger King v. Rudzewicz—A choice of law clause, not forum selection clause. Jurisdiction is proper when the defendant’s contact proximately results from actions by the defendant such that they create a substantial connection with the forum state. The fact that Rudzewicz’s contacts were purposeful allowed the state to exercise personal jurisdiction despite that those contacts were minimal. Rudzewicz had not shown that he would be unfairly prejudiced or harmed by a trial in Florida and the purposeful involvement of Rudzewicz in the contract met the minimum contact requirements.
A plaintiff need not show that an out of state defendant has both minimum contacts with the forum state and that it is fair and equitable to require the defendant to defend a suit in the state. The factors the court must balance in addressing reasonableness in an analysis of personal jurisdiction are:
(1) the extent of a defendant’s purposeful interjection in the forum state;
(2) the burden on the defendant in defending in the forum;
(3) the extent of conflict with the sovereignty of the defendant’s state;
(4) the forum state’s interest in adjudicating the dispute;
(5) the most efficient judicial resolution of the controversy;
(6) the importance of the forum to the plaintiff’s interest in convenient and effective relief; and
(7) the existence of an alternative forum.
Establishing that the defendant has minimum contacts creates a rebuttable presumption that it is fair to require him to defend there. The burden shifts to the defendant to show that it would be unfair to defend in the state.
Pavlovich v. Superior Court—A state court may not exercise jurisdiction over a non-resident whose only connection to the state is an internet posting. Merely asserting that a defendant knew or should have known that his intentional acts would cause harm in the forum state is not enough to establish jurisdiction. Instead, the plaintiff must also point to contacts that demonstrate that the defendant expressly aimed its tortious conduct at the forum. Mentioned Calder, according to which intentionally causing harm in a state counts as minimal contact.
McIntyre v. Nicastro—The court overturned Asahi’s focus on foreseeability andsaid that the defendant (a British company) didn’t intend to target NJ specifically or subject itself to that jurisdiction,
onal jurisdiction at the time of suit;
(2) any judicial district in which there are sufficient minimum contacts to impose personal jurisdiction;
(3) the district in which the business has the most significant contacts, if the business has a sufficient amount of contacts throughout the state to satisfy personal jurisdiction in any district.
F. Transfer of Venue
1. Action Brought in Proper Venue
a. Although the plaintiff may have laid proper venue, a federal court may transfer the action to any other district in which it might have been brought, “for the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice.”
b. The venue can only be transferred to a district where the case might have been brought.
c. In an action transferred under § 1404, the substantive law applied should be the same law that would have been applied by the transferor court.
2. Action Brought in Improper Venue
a. Transfers due to improper venue are only appropriate if the action could have been brought in the transferee court.
b. Unlike a § 1404 transfer, in a § 1406 transfer, since the action never “belonged” in the transferor court, the transferee court will apply its own conflict of laws principles to determine the applicable substantive law.
G. Forum Non Conveniens – The doctrine of forum non conveniens allows a court to decline to exercise its jurisdiction and dismiss—not transfer—an action when the court where the action was brought would be a seriously inconvenient forum and an adequate alternative forum exists. Once the court has determined that an adequate alternative forum exists, it will weigh the public and private interests to determine whether to dismiss an action under the doctrine of forum non conveniens.
SERVICE OF PROCESS AND PLEADINGS- Rule 4-11
A. Commencement of Action – a party must file a complaint with the court. Service is generally not required for the action to be considered commenced, but service must occur within 120 days of the filing.
B. Service of Process
1. Form of Summons-Rule 4
a. The standard pre-printed forms used in litigation practice will contain all required elements of form of summons, and most bar exam fact patterns will move forward with the assumption that these requirements are met.
b. A summons must:
(1) be signed by the clerk;
(2) identify the court and the parties;
(3) be directed to the defendant;
(4) state the name and address of either the plaintiff’s attorney or the plaintiff itself, if unrepresented;
(5) notify the defendant of:
(a) the time period within which it must appear or file an answer; and
(b) the potential for a default judgment if the defendant fails to appear within the time specified; and
(6) contain the seal of the court.
a. Service may be properly effected by any person who is:
(1) Not a party
(2) Over 18 years of age
3. Form of Service-Rule 5
a. Service of process will be effective if it is done in accordance with:
(1) Under the rules of the state where the district court is, or
(2) Under the rules of the state where D resides.
b. The federal rules also specify the following methods of service against an individual:
(1) service directly to D
(2) service to an adult at D’s place of abode
(3) service on someone who is authorized to be served, either by the party or by law.
c. The federal rules specify the following methods of service against a corporation:
(1) service onto a registered agent, designated by the corporation;
(2) service onto an officer, managing agent, or general agent; or
(3) service onto someone authorized by law to receive service.