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Civil Procedure I
University of Connecticut School of Law
Berman, Paul Schiff

Civil Procedure Outline

·       Personal Jurisdiction: How do you determine where a case can be brought? What court has the proper adjudicatory authority over the parties to the action?
-Personal jurisdiction is waivable.
-ability of a court to exercise power over a particular D or item of property. Primary limitations are found in the U.S. Constitution and state statutes

-Traditional Basis of Personal Jurisdiction: Presence, Residence, or Consent
-Pennoyer v. Neff (pg. 23): SCt upheld exercises of jurisdiction whenever D was served with process within the forum state. (Court later expanded states’ physical power to extend not only to Ds who were served within the state, but also those Ds who consented to the state’s power or who were domiciled in the state, regardless of where they were served)
-The Pennoyer Court was interested in the idea of jurisdiction and what gives a court the power to adjudicate something. Said can’t adjudicate a case unless there’s something in your territory.
-States have absolute jurisdiction power within their boarders and no jurisdictional power beyond their boarders.

-Courts begin to expand the Pennoyer territorial rule by recognizing implied consent and expanded notions of corporate presence

-Early 20th Century Personal Jurisdiction
-Hess v. Pawloski (pg. 33): MA driver suing a PA driver in MA, PA driver says no jurisdiction there. SCt has upheld statutes that use implied consent to subject a nonresident motorist to jurisdiction in any state in which he has an accident.
-Special Appearance: provision that allows defendants to contest jurisdiction

-Modern Personal Jurisdiction: Contact and Fairness
-International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington (pg. 37): Look to see if sufficient minimum contacts exist between D and the forum so that the maintenance of the suit against D doesn’t offend “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.” Requires D have “such minimum contacts” with the forum that the exercise of jurisdiction would be fair and reasonable. The 2 factors a court will look at are purposeful availment and foreseeability. Also, the assertion of jurisdiction may not be unreasonable.
-Int’l Shoe has continuous and systematic contact with the state, SCt says that’s good enough for jurisdiction
-Look at:
-Number of Contacts
-Frequency of the Contacts
-Relatedness of the Contacts to the Suit
-Burden on Parties
-Where Witnesses and Evidence are Likely to Be
-Justice Black’s Dissent: think it’s a problem to have vague rules and that Pennoyer’s rule was more straightforward and now the Int’l Shoe test is context-dependant and therefore unpredictable
-SLIDING-SCALE TEST between number of contacts and the relationship between the contacts and the lawsuit: the more contacts you have, the less related the lawsuit needs to be to those contacts. If only have 1 contact, need more relation to the suit.

·       Specific Jurisdiction

·      State Long-Arm Statutes: States have the power to decide over whom their courts may exercise jurisdiction. Most states grant their courts in personam jurisdiction over nonresidents who perform or cause to be performed certain acts within the state. If no state statute grants the court power over the parties before the court, then the court lacks personal jurisdiction. However, if an exercise of jurisdiction is within a state statute, it must also be within the limitations set by the Constitution, so need to test for Constitutionality.
·       Unlimited Long Arm Statute: some states give their courts power over any person or property over which the state can constitutionally exercise jurisdiction
·       Limited or Specific Long Arm Statutes: most states specify in detail the situations in which their courts can exercise jurisdiction

·      Minimum Contacts: Due Process Clause places 2 restrictions on the exercise of personal jurisdiction, 1st, D must have such contacts with the forum state that the exercise of jurisdiction would be fair and reasonable. 2nd D must be given appropriate notice of the action and an opportunity to b heard.
Forum State’s Interest
-McGee v. International Life Insurance Co. (pg. 49): Decedent, a CA resident purchased life insurance policy by mail from a Texas company. Decedent regularly mailed his premiums from CA to the Texas company, which had no other contacts with CA. In a suit brought by the beneficiary of the life insurance policy, the SCt held that CA had personal jurisdiction over the Texas company.The court noted that CA had a strong interest protecting its citizens from alleged misfeasance by insurance companies. (1 contact as long as related is sufficient.)

Purposeful Availment
-Hanson v. Denckla (pg. 51): trust set up in DE, people in FL fighting over it. Court must find that through the contacts D purposefully availed self “of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum state, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws.” However, Mrs. Donner moved to FL, the DE company did nothing to avail itself to FL’s rules (trust company didn’t solicit business in FL or sent renewal notices there like had been done in McGee). The unilateral activity of those who claim some relationship with a nonresident D can’t satisfy the requirement of contact with the forum state.

-World-Wide Volksw

ng that D took an additional step to avail itself of the forum.

-Brennan, White, Marshall, Blackmun: purposeful availment of CA market, that’d be enough for jurisdiction. Stream of commerce is enough if there’s a regular flow of commerce into the jurisdiction. Agrees with O’Connor that jurisdiction under fair play and substantial justice is inappropriate in this case.

-O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, Powell: awareness, flow, action directed at the forum state (advertising, designing product for that market, distribution network) Stream of commerce isn’t enough to establish minimum contacts, need to have additional purposeful contacts.

-Stevens: it’d be unreasonable and unfair to exercise jurisdiction over Asahi.
-2 Tests: Minimal Contacts, Substantial Justice and Fair Play
*Need to analyze stream of commerce under both Brennan and O’Connor


·       Alternatives to Specific Jurisdiction

·      General Jurisdiction: Jurisdiction over a lawsuit that’s unrelated to the contacts you have

-Perkins v. Benguet Consolidated Mining Co. (pg. 111): Perkins sues in Ohio about stock certificates, Benguet was a company in exile from the Philippines. The company is “operating” in Ohio, but not mining there. SCt says outer limits of what’s allowed under Due Process Clause would allow Ohio to assert jurisdiction in this case because the company had continuous and systematic contacts (quote from Int’l Shoe). Court permits jurisdiction over an unrelated suit because the corporation had all but moved to Ohio.

-Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall (pg. 114): Due process requirements for personal jurisdiction weren’t satisfied in Texas in a wrongful death case against a Colombian corporation whose contacts with the forum state consisted of only one trip to Texas by the corporation’s chief executive officer to negotiate a contract, acceptance of checks drawn on a Texas bank, and purchases of helicopters and equipment from a Texas manufacturer and related helicopter training trips. The claims weren’t related to D’s activities in Texas and D’s contacts with Texas weren’t continuous and systematic