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Civil Procedure I
University of Illinois School of Law
Sharpe, Jamelle C.

Civil Procedure


Fall 2012

I. Personal Jurisdiction

a. Which state you can sue in

i. Application of State long-arm statute

ii. FRCP 4(k)

iii. Personal jurisdiction analysis

b. Three types of jurisdiction

i. In personam—Lawsuit brought to determine the defendant’s personal liability to the plaintiff.

ii. In rem—lawsuit brought to determine all rights to and interests in a piece of property

iii. Quasi in Rem—lawsuit brought to determine a particular defendant’s interest in property.

1. Property need not be related to the underlying cause of action

c. Pennyoyer v. Neff (1877)

i. Before Pennoyer:

1. Judgments made without jurisdiction invalid in foreign states.

a. Not entitled to enforcement

2. Such judgments still good law in rendering state.

3. Could only be challenged I a new lawsuit collaterally attacking the first judgment.

ii. Doctrinal Impact of Pennoyer

1. Personal jurisdiction protected under Due Process Clause of Fourteenth Amendment.

a. Judgments without jurisdiction invalid both inside and outside of rendering state.

b. Direct appear now available in rendering state

2. Full Faith & Credit need not be given to out-of-state judgments issued without personal jurisdiction.

a. Due process now limits Full Faith & Credit.

iii. Getting Personal Jurisdiction under Pennoyer—“presence theory”

1. Defendant is served with process while present in state

a. A person out of state cannot be served in personam

b. HOWEVER jurisdiction was not based on any relationship b/w the claim and the state—

i. E.g. a suit is filed in UT and the D is served in UT whether the subject matter has to do with UT is irrelevant, the court will have PJ over D

c. Suit adjudicates “status” of a state resident (e.g., divorce actions).

d. A valid statute requires submission to jurisdiction condition of doing business in the state.

e. Defendant otherwise consents to jurisdiction.

iv. PROBLEMS with Pennoyer presence test

1. How to think about corporations and other entities that might do business in the state but not be present.

2. What if person is kidnapped and served process—would have jurisdiction; person is involved in car accident and leaves the state—would not have jurisdiction under Pennoyer; also states can have jurisdiction over events that didn’t happen in the state simply b/c the suit was brought there and the person served there)

d. SOLUTION: International Shoe v. Washington

i. International Shoe “minimum contacts” test replaces Pennoyer’s “physical presence” test

1. Minimum Contacts: Due process requires that state may exercise personal jurisdiction over the corporation if the corporation has “minimum contacts” with the forum state “such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. “

2. SCOTUS concludes: Contacts are systematic, revenue substantial, company received benefits and protection from the state. Based on the following contacts

a. 11 to 13 salesmen operating in Washington and supervised by St. Louis office

b. Salesmen compensated based on Washington commissions, which totaled $31,000

c. Int’l shoe paid for showrooms to display merchandise

ii. FOUR GUIDELINES for applying minimum contacts test:

1. Continuous and systemic presence where activities give rise to lawsuitàPJ

2. casual presence or isolated activity, where activity is unrelated to lawsuitàno PJ

3. (general jurisdiction) very substantial, continuous in-state corporation activity, but activity unrelated to lawsuit.–>PJ

4. Single or occasional act of a particular (unspecified) nature may render him subject to jurisdiction upon claims arising out of that activity.

a. Personal jurisdiction now depends on:

i. How much contact the defendant had with the forum state

ii. How closely related those contacts are with the facts underlying the lawsuit

1. The more contacts, or the more closely related the contacts and the legal claims, the more likely forum state has jurisdiction.

iii. Int’l Shoe Implements major doctrinal renovations

1. Abandons Pennoyer’s territorialism

2. Creates flexible relationship approach to personal jurisdiction

3. Provides state courts with new way to hold out-of-state defendants to account

iv. International Shoe created sliding scale

1. Light contact support jurisdiction only over defendant if claims related to those contacts(“specific Jurisdiction”)

2. Heavy contacts support jurisdiction over defendants whether claims related or unrelated (“general jurisdiction”)

e. Specific Jurisdiction

i. The result of Shoe’s sliding scale was to extend jurisdiction in a number of “thin contacts” cases


1. McGee v. International Life Insurance: (minimum contacts found) Int’l life bought out the original insurer, then mailed a reinsurance certificate to McGee offering to insure him; McGee mailed the premiums from home to the Texas insurance company. (1957)

a. It was sufficient for purposes of due process that the suit was based on a contract which had substantial connection with Cal. The Contract was delivered in Cal, the premiums were mailed from there, the P a resident there. Cal has a manifest interest in providing means of redress.

b. Dicta: There is a “clearly discernible” trend toward expanding state jurisdiction over non-residents and foreign corporations.


1. Def: when D purposefully avail itself to of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum state, he may be subject to lawsuit there.

a. Rationale: if purposeful availment, he can act to alleviate the risk of litigation by procuring insurance, passing the expected costs on to customers, or even severing its connection with the state.

2. Hanson v. Denckla: J. Warren suggest a limiting principle of “purposeful availment of protection, laws, and economy of the forum state.

a. Mere unilateral activity of those who claim some relationship with a nonresident defendant cannot satisfy minimum contact. D did not purposefully avail themselves to the Florida laws, economy and protection etc. She just happened to live there(trustee did not cause move and could not stop acting as trustee just b/c she moved)

b. Distinguished from McGee: whether D has

urposes be deprive of his day in court”.

1. Other factors: D a sophisticated businessman, presumably will have no trouble travelling to Florida; initiated the contacts. Not unfair to make him to FL.

v. INTERNET (Pavlovich v. Superior Court (2002)

1. Main Issue: Intend to Target residents of the Forum state? If yes, minimum contacts, if not, probably aren’t.

2. A passive website that just posts information: analogous to putting sth into the stream of commerce, you need stream of commerce plus. If an out-of-state local business doesn’t especially ant to reach in-staters or conduct transactions with them, this probably won’t amount to minimum contacts. Even if in-staters accidentally access the website.

3. Conducting transactions with in-staters: if D runs an “e-commerce” that actively tries to get in-staters to buy stuff and so do, that probably will be enough to constitute minimum contacts. The Calder Effect test, requires:

a. The tortious act was expressly aimed at the forum state

b. He was aware that his intentional conduct would cause harm to the forum state

c. Does not necessarily have to enter the forum state

4. Pavlovich wins b/c

a. A computer science engineer does NOT know where Silican Valley and Hollywood are?

b. Pavlovich had NO DIRECT CONTACTS with CA

c. Only contacts were through passive website

d. If website caused damage, it was to entities not parties to the suit.

vi. Asahi Metal Industry Co. v. Superior Court (1987) (NOT REASONABLENESS)

1. Facts: Asahi tire valves reached CA through its Taiwanese distributor. It did not sell or market products directly to CA market. Asahi’s tire valve sales through Taiwanese distributor accounted for 1% of its total revenue.

2. Two Views of “Stream of Commerce”

a. Justice Brennan: Stream of Commerce. Entering product into stream of commerce is sufficient for purposeful availment.

i. FORESEEABILITY is a key ingredient.

ii. Four justices agree.

b. Justice O’Connor: Stream of Commerce PLUS. Entering into a stream of commerce is NEVER sufficient for purposeful availment. A plus factor is needed, and none is present here. (selling sth to another company and not controlling where the other would redistribute it is not purposeful availment.)

i. Defendant must take some action. If they advertised there, had dealerships there or marketed goods itself in CA then it would have purposefully availed itself.

1. No consensus on stream of commerce cases, however, if sth passes the O’Connor stream of commerce plus test, likely sufficient to establish minimum contacts.