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Civil Procedure II
University of California, Hastings School of Law
Levine, David I.


Civil Procedure II

Spring 2011

PERSONAL JURISDICTION – Choosing the Forum: Geographical Location

I. Statutory authorization: Long-Arm Statute (grants of jx, triggered after I-Shoe)

1st question – is there a statutory or rule authorization for the basis of personal jx?

– CA section 410.10 – In CA, state courts can exercise jurisdiction on any ground supported by the Constitution. So CA can skip question 1 b/c CA state courts have full scope of personal jx as long as it’s permissible under due process

– Long-Arm Statutes of most other states – International Shoe set precedent so courts could take cases arising out of certain contacts (like committing tortious act w/in the state, doing biz in that state, or owning property in that state) that were sufficient for exercising personal jurisdiction over nonresidents.

o Hess v. Pawloski – implied consent to process of service. When Δ exercising privilege to drive in MA, he’s subject to obligations of MA law. Δ’s instate activities are sufficient to justify service for suits related to the activities. But court says can’t just imply consent to suit for all non-residents. This case is exception b/c car driving is dangerous, so court is going to allow regulation of cars.

– Rule 4k(1) – authorizes exercise of personal jurisdiction by federal court to the extent a state court, using state’s long-arm statute could exercise jurisdiction à So basically, these statutes authorized jx in which the Δ acts outside the state but causes an effect within the state.

o Exceptions to Rule 4k

§ Rule 4k(1)(b) – in some instances, Congress authorized nationwide service of process in specific statutes.

§ Rule 4k(1)(b) “bulge jurisdiction” – authorizes service w/I 100 miles of federal courthouse even if in a different state.

§ Rule 4k(2) – if contacts are sufficient to permit jx constitutionally, but Δ not subject to jx of any state court, then federal court can have jx.

– Full faith and credit – if it’s a valid in personam judgment in one state then it’s enforceable in other states and other states are required to give it as much credit.

II. Due Process – Purposeful Availment + Reasonableness. Specific jurisdiction analysis (to satisfy minimum contacts, must prove both purposeful availment and reasonableness for jx to be constitutional).

2nd question – if there is basis for jx, then is it constitutional to do so under due process?

o Int’l Shoe – minimum contacts required for jx so that “notions of fair play and substantial justice” are upheld.

o WWV – policy justification – one of the things we want to protect is the ability of Δs to say they don’t want to serve or seek to serve in CA b/c they don’t want to be subject to potential suit there.

– MINIMUM CONTACTS– focuses solely on the Δ’s actions and purposeful availment—was there some voluntary action by the Δ establishing an affiliation w/ a forum, in which the Δ seeks benefit from the forum state? (Any activities that warrant conclusion that case be brought in this forum). This is a policy judgment, the Δ should be able to limit the places in which he is subject to suit by choosing not to direct their activities toward those places. Foreseeability – Δ’s conduct and connection w/ the forum are such that he should reasonably anticipate being haled into court à NOT SUFFICIENT BY ITSELF.

o Cognizable Contacts that the court will recognize as sufficient – Unless you are trying to show that the court can take general jx over the defendant, you must show that specific jurisdiction is proper. This requires showing claim being sued upon somehow arises out of the defendants contacts with the state.

o Purposely Directed/Seeks to Serve (more direct than SOC) – O’Connor’s decision in Asahi. WWVolkswagen v. Woodsen – Seaway and WW object to jx. Πs in transit to AZ and car exploded in OK. Using common sense, Δs did not reasonably anticipate being haled into court in OK so purposeful availment prong is not satisfied, although they satisfied the reasonableness prong. Π’s unilateral acts of bringing car from NY to OK is not sufficient. Δ did not seek to serve OK b/c although Seaway could have foreseen people driving their cars to OK, Seaway did not focus on OK as a market. Seaway didn’t derive any direct benefit from OK activities sufficient to allow jx there.

o Stream of commerce – Δ delivers its products into the stream of commerce w/ the expectation that they will be purchased by consumers in the forum.

§ Asahi Metal Industry v. Superior Court – Asahi’s valve in a motorcycle crash in CA. Court said sending product in at least substantial quantities constitutes purposeful availment, whether or not Asahi knows that goods will be sold in CA. Rationale is that Asahi benefits and foresees sales in CA whether it benefits directly or indirectly from selling their product there. Unanimous in reasonableness prong à UNREASONABLE for suit to be in CA since Δ is a Japanese company and dispute is b/w Japanese and Taiwanese co.

· O’Connor: Stream of commerce PLUS, so there must be a substantial connection AND Δ must have purposefully directed toward the forum (“seeks to serve” idea).

o Marketing products to distributor who agreed to serve as a sales agent in the forum state

o Designing product for market

o Advertising in forum

o Establishing channels to provide regular advice to customers

· Brennan: JUST stream of commerce

o Still have foreseeability element that Δ has to foresee reasonably that product will end up in forum.

o The question is whether WE regard Δ’s sales activities sufficient to have given constructive notice of possibility of being haled into court in that forum (doesn’t matter what the Δ thinks!)

· Stevens: disagrees w/ both of them, saying that selling 100-500K valves is regarded as “Plus.” He seems to be saying it’s case-by-case basis.

o Targeted Conduct – for intentional (or negligent) torts, jx is allowed for nonresident Δ in a forum where Δ has expressly aimed/targeted its action, even if Δ was not physically in forum state.

§ Calder v. Jones – slandering story about Jones. Court required more than mere distribution of papers here. Generally, should not be able to sue employees b/c the employer distributes the products, but what Δs did

Compuserve hypo (pg. 790) – Δ made online interaction to sell their software to Compuserve (HQ in TX). Compuserve is supposed to pay royalties but Δ sues in OH, claiming that Compuserve is not paying enough. Jx upheld b/c allegations had been breached—breach of K on internet.

· What if program was defective and destroyed computer systems in CA? Here we can use Asahi stream of commerce to say that Δ should have foreseen wide distribution of program via Compuserve. By making his deal w/ Compuserve, he was arranging to have his product distributed in CA, and thus he can be subject to suit by Πs there.

§ Online biz hypo – Δ only sells things via online interaction, how do we settle jx here? There’s a stronger argument to jx w/ regard to a breach of K case than w/ a slip and fall case.

· Shute v. Carnival Cruise Line – broad advertising coast to coast so WA residents can sue in WA although cruise ship went from LA to Mexico. SC here uses “but for” analysis, but for the advertisement, Πs wouldn’t have bought the tix.

· Nowak v. Tak How – Slip and fall case in HK. Biz man got special offer through his company for a HK hotel. Court here uses proximate cause analysis to find advertising here was not sufficient for jx.

– SECOND STAGE BALANCING – BK: is there a “compelling interest” std. “Fair play and substantial justice.” In any challenge to jx, Δ can argue that jx is not reasonable even if purposeful availment is not satisfied. Some criteria listed in WWV and Asahi:

o 1. Burden on Δ – court usually recognizes if a Δ is a foreigner.

§ Asahi – Π settled his claim so Δs had to have an indemnification claim be settled, would be equally convenient in either Japan or Taiwan.

o 2. Forum state interest – can be interest in granting relief to its citizens or regulatory interest for products and services as a deterrent effect.

o 3. Π’s interest in relief and how much of a burden it will be impeded if sued elsewhere.

o 4. Δ’s interest in adjudication

o 5. Interstate Interest/ interest of states in furthering fundamental social policies – focuses on forum non conveniens to see if court’s interest is elsewhere.

§ Piper Aircraft v. Reyno – main interest is in Scotland since all the witnesses, Πs, evidence is all located there, and since the crash happened there!

§ Asahi – sufficient showing was made for the indemnity claim for Cheng Shin for purposeful availment, but jx was not upheld b/c would be unreasonable to do so.