Select Page

Civil Procedure I
University of Dayton School of Law
Seielstad, Andrea m.

Jurisdiction: The power to render a judgment against a D
In personam jurisdiction: jurisdiction over the person
In rem jurisdiction: jurisdiction over the property/things
Quasi in rem jurisdiction: using property to obtain in personam jurisdiction
Affirmative defense- The that may be true but it doesn’t matter defense
Personal jurisdiction
Foundational position
CASE: Pennoyer v. Neff – When does a state have appropriate jurisdiction over an out-of-state D?
Pennoyer introduces three basic concepts that are still important today:
(1) Power – jurisdiction is power, and the power of states or federal courts to make you do what you might otherwise not do; plus limits to that power imposed by the Constitution itself.
(2) Consent – If you consent to jurisdiction, these black and white rules go out the window.
(3) Notice – the “concealed” strand of Pennoyer. At the time of Pennoyer, we have sort of a duality of notice. For in personam jurisdiction, you need personal service of process within the state. For in rem or quasi in rem actions, you can be served by publication.
IN PERSONAM DEFINING CASE: International Shoe Co. v. Washington – Shoe introduced our modern concept of personal jurisdiction, the tests of “minimum contacts” and “traditional notions of substantive justice and fair play”.
The Court interprets the due process clause and the Fourteenth Amendment to mean that if a company has “minimum contacts” in a state, they may be subject to being sued in that state. Latter cases result in the expansion of minimum contacts to individuals as well.
Minimum contacts test: If the D is out of state, yet has certain minimum contacts within a jurisdiction, we will determine whether that court has personal jurisdiction. This test is subject to “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice”.
Shoe applies to personal jurisdiction,Shoe-makes minimum contacts the standard for judging in personam cases replaying the Pennoyer test. Shoe establishes two types of personal jurisdiction definitions SPECIFIC JURISDICTION + GENERAL JURISDICTION.
IN REM DEFINING CASE: Shaffer v. Heitner – Shaffer seeks to make Shoe the standard for more or less all jurisdictional questions. In a quasi in rem action, specific jurisdiction depends on how closely related the D’s contact to the forum is to the claim itself. Does the Delaware court have jurisdiction over the Ds or their property or both? Court says that the Shoe model should be applied to jurisdiction in rem as well as in personam. The present case is about in rem jurisdiction, therefore, on its face, Shoe doesn’t seem to apply to Shaffer. The court says that jurisdiction “over a thing” is sort of a euphemism for jurisdiction “over the interests of a person in a thing”. Everything is owned by somebody, so whatever or wherever the property is, we’re really trying to get power over the person through their stuff.
Shaffer- extends shoe’s framework of decision making to in rem cases, getting to the person through the stuff. Previously in rem gave property a special status;  Shoe+Shaffer says that property is just another contact. All assertions of jurisdiction must be made in accordance with Shoe. Shoe encompasses in personam, in rem, and quasi in rem.
Specific Jurisdiction
Specific jurisdiction- is jurisdiction over a specific claim in question, though not necessarily other claims.
The constitution sets the limits for jurisdiction, statutes (such as state long arms) authorize the court to hear cases
CASE: McGee v. International Life Insurance Co. – If the contacts between the D and the forum state is minimal, such contact must be closely related to the claim in order for the courts of a forum  state to have jurisdiction.
A state may exercise jurisdiction over a D whose contacts with that state consist of only a single act, provided that that act is what gave rise to the claim for which jurisdiction is being sought and was deliberately directed toward the state
“[W]e think it apparent that the Due Process Clause did not preclude the California court from entering a judgment binding on respondent.”
 CASE: Hanson v. Denckla – Are there sufficient contacts between the D and the forum for the state to have specific jurisdiction? If there are only minimal contacts between a state and a D, then the contacts must be closely related to the claim. Mere contracting is not enough to establish personal jurisdiction. There must be more in the way of contacts.
Not all contacts are minimum contacts this case requires purposeful availment
Hanson: “[U]nilateral activity of those who claim some relationship with nonresident D can-not satisfy requirement of contact. . . . It is essential . . . That there be some act by which the D purposefully avails itself of the privilege of [forum state].”
CASE: World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson – Can a state court exercise in personam jurisdiction over a nonresident corporation when the only connection between the Ds and the forum is that one of their products ended up in the forum state?In order for a state court to exercise in personam jurisdiction over a D, there must exist minimum contacts between the D, forum, and claim. The key to the case: Does the test of minimum contacts a one-part test or a two-part test?
Rule: In order to be subject to a state’s jurisdiction, a D must have chosen to have some contact with that state – they must have purposefully availed themselves of the privileges offered by the state.
Forseeability is not enough, there must be purposeful availment for an entity to be brought into court in a state.
“[T]he foresee ability that is critical to due process analysis is not the mere likelihood that a product will find its way into the forum State. Rather, it is that the D’s conduct and c

ncrete Placing Co. – The D corporation is based in Idaho. To do business in Washington, it had to obtain a certificate of authority and register an authorized agent. Did the D consent to general personal jurisdiction when it got the certificate and registered an agent?
Rule: A foreign corporation does not consent to general personal jurisdiction just because they complied with the state’s mandatory requirements for doing business there (activities in the state must be substantial and continuous)
 Helicopteros v. Hall – Is it consistent with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment for Texas to assert personal jurisdiction over Helicol? Blackmun looks at the contacts individually and determines that each one in isolation is not continuous and systematic, thus there is not general jurisdiction.
You can look at the contacts apart or together, and depending on how you do it, you’ll get to a different result.
Transient Jurisdiction
 Burnham v. Superior Court – The rule is: if a D is temporarily in the forum, and you serve them then jurisdiction over the D is established.,
 Consent – forum selection clauses
 Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute – The Shutes went on a cruise. On the ticket, there was a forum selection clause that said any litigation related to the cruise must be tried in Florida. Is the forum selection clause enforceable? Courts have the responsibility to determine whether forum selection clauses in form passage contracts are fair. Forum selection clauses are considered permissible in this context for several policy reasons. The ultimate question is one of “fundamental fairness”. We won’t allow the cruise line to select a forum with the purpose of discouraging legitimate lawsuits. “Basically, forum selection clauses are good law.”
Rule: Reasonable forum selection clauses are effective in establishing jurisdiction by consent
Notice – service of process FCRP 12 and FRCP 4(d)
Service of process is the method by which you notify someone about a lawsuit. Process is the papers themselves. By FRCP Rule 12, you can get cases dismissed by invalid service of process or invalid process.
Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co. – May a state constitutionally dispense with personal service of process even if it knows how to contact a D? A method of service of process must be