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Civil Procedure II
UMKC School of Law
Achtenberg, David Jacks

Civil Procedure II Outline
Professor Achtenberg

Personal Jurisdiction

Where can you force someone to defend a case even though they don’t want to defend a case?

In what states can the plaintiff sue the defendant?

Two things a court can have power over to give it personal jurisdiction?

The defendant herself
The defendant’s property

Three types of personal jurisdiction:

In personam

i. Court has power over D herself b/c D has some connection with the forum;

In rem

i. The court has power over D’s property, not D herself

Quasi in rem

i. The court had power over D’s property, not D herself

When does Court have jurisdictional power?

Due process clause sets the outer limit (cannot go outside the circle; if fall out of the circle, it is unconstitutional). Even if case falls within the due process circle, this still does not mean that the state has personal jurisdiction. A state must pass a statute granting jurisdiction to its court. All states have these statutes. The state may decide to use all, or only some of the reach that the constitution allows us to use. Personal jurisdiction is always a two-step process:

i. Is there a statutory basis?
1. If not, there is no personal jurisdiction even if it otherwise would have been constitutional; if so…
2. Is there a constitutional basis?

Factors for why you may want a case in a particular place

Convenience for the plaintiff
**Where the law is in your favor- single most important factor= substantive law
If you know the judge/jury- where you can get a favorable jury = preferred decision maker
May be cheaper to get evidence and witnesses to the local jurisdiction
Procedural differences that may help or hurt you

*These are very important factors to consider. However, most of the time it isn’t important and doesn’t come up very often.

4 Requirements for forcing D to defend in the forum

Proper Notice
Constitutional Basis
Statutory Basis
Proper Venue (No forum non-conveniens)

Constitutional Basis- 5 alternative key to get in the courthouse door

Transient Jurisdiction

If D can be served in the forum state, D can be sued in the forum state

i. Fraudulent Inducement
ii. Presence for litigation (limited)


Court doesn’t think it’s right to go into another jurisdiction, believes in hostile nation approach. Can’t expect cooperation. States have no power outside their boundaries.
**It wasn’t in rem jurisdiction, meaning- Court didn’t have power over the land at first b/c they didn’t seize it, at time brought the case, they didn’t have in power. They hadn’t seized power yet. They don’t get the power subsequently.
Can’t get power to enforce make a judgment valid by later discovering property, if void when rendered, it always remains void.
This case is not good law anymore.
Four traditional basis of in personam jurisdiction:

D was served with process in the forum
D’s agent was served while in the forum
D is domiciled in the forum (general jurisdiction)
D consents to jurisdiction

-Case shows power is still in important factor
-This case spurred all sorts of weird responses
-Every case after this was a response to Pennoyer