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Civil Procedure I
St. Johns University School of Law
Alexander, Vincent C.

Plaintiffs Need: [personal jurisdiction + proper notice and service + subject matter jurisdiction] + proper venue

Personal Jurisdiction

In personam
**always need a long-arm statute OR traditional doctrine conferring upon courts authority over these defendants
1) In personam
a) Traditional Kinds
i) Presence (courts have always recognized presence as a sufficient basis for personal jurisdiction)
(1) Transient Presence
(2) Corporate Presence
(a) Standard “doing business” and “continuous, regular and systematic” [boots on the ground] business activities = General Jurisdiction
ii) Domicile
iii) Consent
(1) Express (incorporation)
(2) Implied (Powloski
(3) Agent
b) In-State Tortious Acts
2) Quasi-in-Rem I
3) Quasi-in-Rem II

Analysis for Personal Jurisdiction over Absent Defendants:
1) Apply Long-Arm statute
2) Ask if it is Constitutional
a) International Shoe Test: minimum contacts + comports with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
b) Spectrum of contacts from minimal to general: specific to general
c) Minimum Contacts: (contacts matter at the time of the lawsuit)
i) For specific jurisdiction:
(1) Action has to “arise out of” contacts OR be “related to”
ii) “purposeful availment”
iii) Expectation that D would be haled into court in that forum
d) Comports with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice
i) State interest:
ii) Convenience of the litigants – size, distance, whether it’s another country
iii) Consideration of allocation between the states

Where the long-arm does not permit personal jurisdiction:
Quasi-in-Rem II: Jurisdiction (Harris v Balk)

1) P must attach D’s property at the outset (to establish court’s jurisdiction)
2) Policy: D would receive notice of litigation by checking on property or through caretaker

1) Apply minimum contacts + comports with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice”
2) Action does not have to arise out of the property attached
3) Standard: Mere Presence of Property is not sufficient to support jurisdiction
4) Dissent in Shaffner v Heitner: property like real estate that has situs within a State presumptively supplies minimum contacts

Quasi-in-Rem I: Jurisdiction
1) Where P asserts interest in local real property
2) Presumptively satisfies due process because landowner has purposeful contacts with that forum
3) Examples: ejectment action, mortgage, foreclosure

Section II: Notice and Service of Process:

1) Is it permitted by state statutes OR [in federal cases] state s

f) Service in foreign places:
i) In a manner allowed by foreign and international law or as directed by the court (in a manner reasonable under the circumstances)
g) Service on incompetent persons
h) Service of process on corporations:
i) To a managing or general agent OR an agent authorized by law to receive process (plus you have to mail one). OR state laws, per 4(e)(1)
(1) Managing or general agent = someone high enough that he’d pass it up the chain of command

2) Constitutional Test:
a) Standard: “Reasonably calculated to reach the parties”
b) Personal Service always OK
c) Posting and publication can be adequate, depending on the circumstances
i) Availability of other options, readership, etc.
d) Mullane case – Where trust had last known addresses of beneficiaries, it had to mail them notice, not use a publication

Section III: Subject Matter Jurisdiction
***P must allege in his complaint what the federal subject matter is (not personal jurisdiction).

State Courts: have courts of general jurisdiction