Select Page

Civil Procedure I
St. Johns University School of Law
Cavanagh, Edward D.

Civil Procedure – Fall 2005
Prof. Cavanagh
I. Personal Jurisdiction
– Basic question – In what states can P sue D?
A. In Personam Jurisdiction
1. Either general or specific:
a. General jurisdiction – defendant can be sued for a claim arising anywhere
b. Specific jurisdiction – defendant being sued on claim that has a connection with the forum
2. Constitutional analysis:
a. Traditional basis for Personal Jurisdiction:
i. Defendant is served with process while in the forum (a.k.a. Presence jurisdiction)
– Exceptions to presence
A.) Defendant was induced into the
forum by fraud
B.) Defendant was only present in the
forum to participate in a different lawsuit
C.) Appearing to challenge jurisdiction
will not make you subject to jurisdiction
ii. Defendants agent was served within the forum
iii. Defendant’s domiciled within the jurisdiction (creates general jurisdiction)
iv. Defendant consents to jurisdiction
– Express consent
– Implied consent (i.e. Non-Resident motorist
statute – Hess v. Poloski)
b. International Shoe – (2 part test)
i. Minimum contacts with the forum
– Must be relevant contact between the
defendant and the forum
– Relevant contact – purposeful availment
– Foreseeablilty – must be foreseeable that defendant will get sued within the forum
ii. Exercise of jurisdiction does not offend traditional
notions of fair play and substantial justice (Fairness)
– Very flexible – leads to expansion of jurisdiction
– It is clear that we can get in personam jurisdiction if defendant is served outside the forum
– Does not over rule Pennoyer v. Neff
– Relatedness – does the plaintiff’s claim arise due to the defendant’s contact with the forum?
– makes up for very small contact (McGhee)
– If there is general jurisdiction
relatedness is not necessary
– If there are continuous and
systematic contacts relatedness is not necessary
5 factors for fairness:
1) Inconvenience for witnesses and the
defendant
2) State’s interest (McGhee)
3) Plaintiff’s interest
4) Legal systems interest in efficiency
5) Interstate interests
Cases that follow Int’l Shoe:
McGhee v. Int’l Life
– Defendant solicited the contract from the forum state (California)
– Plaintiff’s claim arose from the defendant’s contact with the forum state – Relatedness
– State’s interest – California has a statute
Hanson v. Denkla
– Pennsylvania woman sets up Delaware trust and then moves to Florida
– Court says that Delaware defendant has no relevant contacts with Florida – “No purposeful availment of the forum”
Worldwide Volkswagen
– Robinsons are moving from N.Y. to A.Z. when their Audi is rear-ended & explodes in O.K.
– Does O.K. court have jurisdiction over Worldwide V.W. & car dealership (N.Y. defendants) – NO.
– No purposeful availment of the forum
– Foreseeability is relevant
– Is it foreseeable that the defendant
would get sued in that forum?
Calder v. Jones
– You can have contact with a forum even
though you don’t enter the forum
Burger King – (Franchise case)
– Reaffirms 2 part test of Int’l Shoe
– Minimum contacts
– Fairness
– Must have relevant contacts before
considering fairness
– Fairness – burden is on the defendant to
show that the forum is unconstitutional
– Defendant has to show that the forum is so inconvenient as to be unconstitution

ts with the forum
NEED TO CLEAR UP IN REM & QUASI IN REM and LOOK AT LONG ARM STATUTES
II. Notice
– Due process requires notice and a chance to be heard
A. Service of process (FRCP 4)
1. Service of process consists of the summons & copy of the
Complaint
– Summons is official notice from court – Rule 4(a) & 4(b)
2. Service can be made by any nonparty that is at least 18 years old
– Rule 4 (c)(2)
3. How to serve process:
a. Rule 4 (c)(2) – 3 Alternatives:
i. Personal service
– Anywhere in the state
ii. Substituted service
– Serve a substitute not the defendant
– has to be done at the defendants usual abode
– must serve someone of suitable age and
discretion who resides there
iii. Serve the defendant by agent
– Suhzkent v. National Equipment Rental
b. Rule 4 (e)(1) – any method for serving process that is allowed by state law
– State where federal court sits
– State where service is served
c. Service of process on a corporation – Rule 4(h) (also consider rule 4 (e)(1))
– Have to serve an officer or managing or general agent of corporation
– Someone with sufficient responsibility that we would expect them to get important documents
d. Rule 4(d) – allows waiver of service of process by mail
– Defendant can waive formal service
– If no waiver, defendant may have to
pay the cost of service