I. Personal Jurisdiction – courts authority over a particular person. State Courts cannot bring someone into their jurisdiction if they do not have the authority to do so.
a. State Courts have general jurisdiction – they can hear basically anything unless it is stated that it can only be brought in a Federal Court
b. When a case is brought in federal court – generally use the laws of the state the case was brought in. Two exceptions:
a.Conflict of Laws Rule – if the accident was in New Jersey, the defendant is served in NY – the case can be brought in NY but they will not apply New York law because the accident occurred in New Jersey
b. Procedural Rules – generally look at the FRCP
Ways you can apply jurisdiction over someone:
Personal Jurisdiction – person is within the borders of the state
In Rem (Quasi in Rem 1) Jurisdiction – property within the borders of the state connected to the claim
Quasi in rem (2) Jurisdiction – the case is not about the particular property – the plaintiff attaches the property and the court uses this as a reason to adjudicate any claim to the owner of the property to the extent of the value of the property.
Appear in Court
Resident thereof – domiciled in the state
Pennoyer v. Neff – Property must be attached at the onset or the procedure is a nullity because the courts cannot rule over someone if they do not know for sure that they have jurisdiction over them.
Three traditional bases for personal jurisdiction:
The jurisdictional predicate is the property – once you exhaust that amount, you cannot receive anymore from the defendant. The court does not extend beyond the property itself. When you get jurisdiction by attaching the property – the judgment is only valid to the extent of the property itself. If the Plaintiff is in State X and attaches the Defendants property within that state –If there is a judgment for $5000 and the land sells for $4000.
The property does not necessarily have to be land – it can be anything
Due Process Clause: “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law….” – Because the failure of a defendant to appear in court results in a default judgment against him, such measures must be sufficiently calculated to give actual notice to the defendant to satisfy due process.
usinesses are held and where the business has their contacts.
The court still looks at consent, presence and domicile – but it is now a two step process:
International Shoe looks at (1) minimal contacts and (2) fairness
Related To Action
McGee – CA citizen buys life insurance from an AZ company, Texas company took over and sent certificates – sue in CA – there was no soliciting or business done in CA.
· Reaching out to a citizen of another state and making the first move was sufficient for the courts
· Purposeful availment satisfies minimum contacts even though it was one, isolated contact
Hanson – woman lives in PA – sets up a trust in Delaware, then moves to Florida – sues in Florida- sending checks was not equivalent enough to show sufficient contacts – unilateral contact – no purposeful availment, no soliciting in Florida