I. Personal Jurisdiction
A. The Early Evolution of Personal Jurisdiction
U.S. Constitution, Amendment XIV, Section 1, 2nd sentence
All persons born or naturalized in the US and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are the citizens of the US and the state in which they reside
U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 1, 1st sentence
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each state to the public acts records and judicial proceedings of every other state.
1. Power theory of JurisdictionPennoyer v. Neff (690-701)
Rule (s) of Law
When the court is attempting to determine the personal rights and obligations of parties, it is not proper for the court to give service by publication against a nonresident to establish jurisdiction.
The authority of every tribunal is restricted by the territorial limits of the state in which it is established, any attempt to go beyond those limits is an illegitimate assumption of power.
The state may subject property located in its limits owned by non residents against them and exercise jurisdiction that does not infringe on the sovereignty of the state where the non resident landowners are domiciled.
The 14th amendment allows that validity of people who have been personally summoned or had notice of the proceeding to be questioned and the enforcement in a state resisted on the grounds that a court of justice determines the personal rights and obligations of parties who the court does not have jurisdiction is not due process of law.
In personam, not in rem, requires personal jurisdiction, e.g. person be within borders of state.
Nature of Case: to get possession of land, P (Neff) argues that D (Pennoyer) deed which he received from a sheriff’s sale was not valid because the court that ordered the sale did not have personal jurisdiction against P. Both P and D are asserting title to the land.
Facts: Neff (P) is a real property owner in Oregon but is not a resident of Oregon was a resident of california. P was served by publication by Mitchell who received a default judgment against Neff whom he alleged owed him legal fees. The default judgment required the land of P to be sold at a sheriff’s sale where D Pennoyer purchased it. P brought suit in Oregon when he learned of this claiming that that court never had in personem jurisdiction over him. Therefore the judge had no right to issue a decision determining the rights of the parties P and Mitchell and the default judgment was wrong.
Lower court ruled invalid because of problems with the affidavit court of appeals found invalid because of different reasoning and found it invalid because P was a nonresident and therefore could not personally be served with process.
Whether service by publication is sufficient to grant jurisdiction against a nonresident when the court it decides the adjudication of the rights and obligations of the parties?
No, because Neff was not properly served he never appeared in court and therefore the personal jurisdiction was not valid and the court could therefore not sell the property. If the court does not have jurisdiction then there is a violation of the 14th amendment because the states are sovereign and have exclusive jurisdiction over the people and property no other state can exercise direct jurisdiction and sovereignty over people and property outside its territory. Because the jurisdiction of one state over the people and property in it may affect people and property outside the state may claim land located elsewhere owned b
and provide the claimant a convenient way to sue and enforce their rights. It is not a hostile attempt against non residents it puts them on equal grounds.
Facts: Hess, who is a MA resident, sues Pawloski, a PA resident for injuries sustained in a car accident in MA. MA statute claims that acceptance of a non-resident of the ‘privilege’ of operating a motor vehicle in MA “shall be deemed equivalent to an appointment by such non-resident of the registrar or his successor in office, to be his true & lawful attorney upon whom may be served all lawful processes in any action/proceedings against him, growing out of any accident/collision in which said non-resident may be involved while operating a motor vehicle [in MA].” Pawloski objected to MA jurisdiction.
(1) Is a non-resident req. to answer for his conduct in another state for an alleged action against him?
Yes, provided that proper notice has been served to the non-resident. There was “implied consent” when Pawloski entered MA.
(2) How can a non-resident be served?
Proper notice may be obtained by either serving the person w/in the state; serving someone else authorized to accept services w/in the state; or sending notice of the service & copy of process to the person by registered mail & obtaining a signed return receipt. According to MA statute, an agent can be appointed to serve for a non-resident & whom process may be served in proceedings.