Select Page

Civil Procedure II
UMKC School of Law
Achtenberg, David Jacks

PERSONAL JURISDICTION
The basic person jurisdiction question: Can P force D to defend in a particular forum?
5 Keys to forcing the defendant into court:
·         Transient Jx – actually served there
·         Domicile Jx – live there
·         Consent Jx – agreed to be served there
·         Long-Arm Jx – purposeful availment (including stream of commerce), nexus, reasonable forum
·         General Jx – sufficient contacts, but no nexus
Factors that should be considered when determining PJ:
·         Voluntary acceptance of the laws.
·         Where the events occurred.
·         Justice.
·         Protect those in the boundaries (state’s interests). 
·         Place of manufacture.
International Shoe (State of Washington sues a DE corporation with its principle place of business in MO for failing to pay unemployment taxes. PJ is established).
·         Trying to determine whether the forum in appropriate:
o       Insufficient contacts + Nexus = no PJ; Insufficient contacts + no nexus = no PJ
o       Sufficient contacts + Nexus = PJ; Sufficient contacts + no nexus = no PJ
o       Systematic & Continuous Contacts = PJ (with or without nexus)
·         D may be sued in the forum state if:
o       D has contacts with forum state.
o       Those contacts are significant enough that
§         Subjecting D to forum’s j does not offend “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
§         You will have to argue whether it is fair.
World Wide (Plaintiffs from NY sued World Wide, a corporation from NY, who distributes to NY, NY, and CT, in OK where crash occurred. PJ was not found). 
·         What are the contacts? 
o       Sold the car that was taken to OK. Foreseeable that some cars they sold would be taken there. No business, no sales, no agents or offices, no ads. 
·         Is it fair to try the suit in OK?
·         Purposeful Availment – will be required even if forum is the most reasonable, D is not inconvenienced, form state has strong interest
o       Contacts that are the proximate result of the D’s own conduct or contacts that are the unilateral acts of 3rd parties or plaintiffs. 
·         Should D reasonably anticipate being haled into court in the forum? 
·         Interests of the forum state. 
·         The question World-Wide addresses is What is the line between sufficient and insufficient contacts? World-Wide shifts focus from plaintiff’s conduct to defendant’s. 
·         World-Wide tells us that the contacts here were not enough, it doesn’t say what would be enough.
Burger King (franchisor from MI tried to sue BK there, even though BK’s headquarters are in FL). 
·         Where a defendant himself creates substantial contacts with the forum or continuing obligations with residents of the forum, he has established minimum contacts necessary for PJ. 
·         Reaching out – to a national company, which makes it presumptively reasonable that he would be haled into court there. 
·         Two requirements for long-arm jx:
o       (1) Purposeful availment – did contacts “proximately result from D’s own actions”? 
o       (2) Reasonable forum (i.e., one that does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice). 
§         Are those two requirements independent? No! 
ú         A strong showing of one may lead to a smaller requirement for the other. 
ú         Purposeful availment, once established, creates a strong presumption that it will be fair. 
ú         If you have found purposeful availment, it will take a “compelling case” to find the forum unreasonable. 
Asahi (Japanese company sued in California. No PJ).
·         (1) Purposeful availment – Stream of Commerce – split
o       O’Connor’s view – stream of commerce plus something is required. 
o       Brennan’s view – stream of commerce is enough. It’s not the unpredictable currents or eddies, but the regular and anticipated flow of products. 
·         (2) Fairness – both viewed this suit as unfair.
Nexus
·         It only matters for long-arm jx. When you have sufficient contacts, you

particular jx, you can be sued there.
·         Consent in Litigation
o       Waiver
§         Intentional
§         Unintentional – by appearing without raising defense. Seeking affirmative relief (filing a cross-claim) because you are saying court has authority to decide.
o       Filing suit – consents to pj for counterclaims.
o       Litigating personal jx and losing.
·         Advance Contractual Consent – Forum selection clause – consent to PJ in forum. 
o       Different from:
§         Exclusive forum (ouster) clauses – not all suits have to be brought there, but they can be.
§         Choice of law clauses – governed by the laws of the state, but it does not create pj by itself.
·         Consent by Appointing Registered Agent
o       Corporations must consent to state’s PJ if they want to do business there. 
o       Types:
§         General statute – If you do business in this state, you must appoint a registered agent and consent to PJ for all purposes, any cause of action.
§         Specific consent statute – If you do business in this state, you must appoint a registered agent and must consent to PJ for any cause of action arising out of the business in this state.
·         Implied Consent – deemed to have consented and appoint a state officer as agent. Usually isn’t used.
Insurance – By submitting to the jurisdiction of the court for the limited purpose of challenging jurisdiction, the defendant agrees to abide by that court’s determination on the issue of jurisdiction. 
Harris v. Balk – Jurisdiction is proper if consented to and defendant should not have to pay debts more than once.