Civil Procedure II (Wagstaffe, Fall 2010)
I Triangle: Venue; Personal Jurisdiction; and Subject Matter Jurisdiction
A. What is Jurisdiction?
1. The power of the court to issue a coercive judgment
(a) Without jurisdiction the judgment is void
· You have no power over me thus the judgment= unenforceable
2. Collateral Attacks
(a) A Void judgment that is not attacked directly can be collaterally attacked
· Go to another court and attack validity of suit decided in diff court
(b) Big Risk to Collateral Attacks
· once collaterally attacked- only thing one can attack is the jurisdiction
(i) doesn’t have a chance to attack on the merits?
B. Test Jurisdiction First/ Merits Second
1. Personal Jurisdiction CAN be waived
2. Subject Matter Jurisdiction CAN’T be waived
(a) If court has no S-M-J than press delete key
C. How to determine whether it is Jurisdictional or just a threshold element?
1. Read Statute
(a) when Congress does not rank a statutory limitation on coverage as jurisdictional, courts should treat the restriction as nonjurisdictional in character
· EX: Copyright Act requires registration before suing but Congress didn’t list registration as a JX issue thus issue is on the merits.
· EX: Less than 15 employees under Title VII is a numerical pre-requisite and thus a threshold element not jurisdiction because doesn’t go to the power of the court!
· EX: SOL = JX because goes to the power of the proceeding
II Due Process- 14th Amendment
A. What does it do?
1. Limits the power of a state court to render a valid personal judgment against a nonresident defendant
2. by ensuring the orderly administration of the laws- gives a degree of predictability to the legal system that allows potential defendant to structure their primary conduct with some minimum assurance as to where that conduct will and will not render them liable to the suit
B. What does it require?
1. requires defendant be given adequate notice of the suit AND be subject to the personal jurisdiction of the court
(a) state court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant so long as there exist minimum contacts btwn the defendant and the forum state
C. Due Process Analysis: 3 Factors into consideration (p. 733)
1. Degree of inconvenience that a defendant would suffer in being forced to litigate in a distant forum
2. Degree of inconvenience a plaintiff would suffer in being forced to proceed in a different forum
3. state’s interest in having its own law resolve the controversy
III Specific JX v. General JX
A. General JX
1. Systematic and continuous in nature
(a) Must be such a high level of contact it is silly to think that JX wouldn’t apply
· Probably limited to entities and not people
2. If have so many connections to the state then it doesn’t matter that the cause of action arose elsewhere
(a) Only will need to look to ∆’s connection to the forum- that should be enough
(a) Facts: 4 Americans working on a pipeline in Peru were killed in Helicopter crash. Pipeline was being constructed by employer (TX) and they were hired in TX. Helicol (Columbian corporation) purchases helicopters and equipment from TX.
(b) Analysis: Since claims against Helicol didn’t arise out of and are not related to Helicol’s activities within TX- must explore Helicol’s contacts with TX to determine whether they constitute the kind of continuous and systematic general business contacts
· Minimal connections to Tx even though Peru Corp.
· Cause of action is not forum based or forum connected
(c) Holding: No General JX- mere purchases, even occurring at regular intervals are not enough to warrant a State’s assertion of in personam JX over a nonresident corp in a cause of action not related those purchase transactions
B. Specific JX
1. Must look to where Claim arises out of or how it is related to D’s Forum Activities (purposeful availment and reasonableness)
(a) Claim bears substantial connection to D’s Forum Contacts
· Substantial connection btwn the ∆ and the forum state necessary for a finding of minimum contacts must come about by an action of the ∆ purposefully directed toward the forum state
(b) “But for” test
IV Personal Jurisdiction: Presence of Person or Property in the State
A. Relationship between forum, defendant and the cause of action
B. 2 elements
1. Basis- for exerting power over the individual/Entities
(a) Are there enough connections btwn the defendant and the forum of the litigation that it makes the assertion over them fair?
· ∆ physically present in the forum
i. Domiciled in Forum
ii. Served w/in state boundaries
iii. Consent by appearance or otherwise
i. Present via continuous acts
ii. Domiciled in Forum (principal place of business)
iii. Consent by registration or otherwise
· Property in the Forum
i. Real Estate
i. Bank Account
ii. Insurance Policy
C. Limiting principle
1. 4(K)(1)(a)- Borrowing provisio
a) “Situs of the debt” goes w/ the debtor
K. Hess v. Pawloski
1. States power to regulate the use of its highways extend to their use by nonresidents as well as by residents
2. Implied “consent”= driving on highway
(a) car accident in MA and ∆ is from PA. ∆ never signed anything but the MA statute says that by operating a motor vehicle in that state it will be deemed equivalent to an appointment of registrar.
V Personal Jurisdiction: The Shift to Minimum Contacts
A. International Shoe
1. Due process requires only that in order to subject a defendant to a judgment in personam, if he be not present within the territory of the forum, he have certain minimum contacts with it such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice
2. What does minimum contacts mean?
(a) Intl shoe- a casual presence of a corporation or its agent in a state in single or isolated incidents is not enough to establish jurisdiction
· Acts of agents of the corporation, because of the nature, quality, and circumstances of their commission, may be deemed sufficient.
(i) 11-13 employees is enough
(b) The activities carried on in behalf of appellant in the state of WA were not irregular or casual, but systematic and continous
(c) There was a large amount of interstate business in which appellant received the benefits and protection of the laws of the state
3. How can we tell if due process is met?
(a) Depends on the quality and nature of the activity in relation to the fair and orderly administration of the laws
B. McGee v. Intl Life Ins. CO.
1. Facts: Does CA have jurisdiction over a Texas Insurance company that mailed Franklin in CA a reinsurance certificate and received premium payments from Franklin in CA and mailed to texas even though Intl life has never done or solicited any insurance business in CA apart from the policy involved here?-
2. YES- Most liberal Decision in the entirety of the S.C.- single contact!!!
(a) Policy Delivered to CA
(b) Premiums sent from CA
(c) Insured Located in CA
(d) Beneficiary Located in CA
C. Hanson v. Denckla