Civil Procedure (Stensvaag, Spring 2009)
PERSONAL JURISDICTION: Jurisdiction over the Parties or their Property
1) Court must have power to decide a case between the particular parties or concerning the property before it. (Specifically the D)
a) Court can only do so if its power is authorized by statute and doesn’t break Due Process Clause
2) Due Process: (14th Amendment) two forms must be met before a court can have jurisdiction over the parties
a) Substantive due process: when the court has the power to act so as to subject him to personal liability
b) Procedural due process: the court must give the D adequate notice and opportunity to be heard.
3) Three (3) Types of Jurisdiction
a) In personam: jurisdiction over the D, allows for all of his assets to be seized to satisfy a judgment
b) In Rem: jurisdiction over a thing, gives court power to adjudicate over a piece of property or about a status. (Quiet title to real-estate)
c) Quasi In Rem: action is begun by seizing property owned by (attachment), or a debt owed to (garnishment) the D. Here, as opposed to in rem, the action is not about the “thing” seized. It is merely a pretext for the court to create jurisdiction, and any judgment only affects the property seized.
4) Long-Arm Statutes: a D may not be served outside of the forum state unless the forum state has enacted a statute authorizing out-of-state service under certain circumstances.
5) PennoyerWays for Ascertaining In personamJurisdiction:
a) Presence: proved through the ‘service of process’ to the D in the state
i) Transient presence: process served within a particular state, even if D is there for limited time, that forum state has jurisdiction
b) Domicile: if the D was domiciled in the forum state, permanence
c) Voluntary General Appearance: if the D comes to court and fights the case based on its merits, D has submitted to its jurisdiction
i) Special Appearance: D does have the right to go to court and say “this court has no jurisdiction” which would not subject D to the courts rule
d) Actual Consent: signed into a written declaration that D consents to the forum state court’s jurisdiction. May include an appointment of a resident to act as an agent to receive notice and service of process
e) Implied Consent: can arise in various ways; ex: P goes to different state to pursue a claim, and the D counterclaims, P has impliedly consented to that jurisdiction
6) PennoyerMethods for Ascertaining In RemJurisdiction:
a) True In Rem: has 2 attributes
i) Single issue: Who owns the property in the forum state?
ii) Resulting judgement will bind the whole world. Speak now or forever hold your peace
b) Quasi In Rem “Ownership”: gives the court jurisdiction to decide the interests of all parties involved in the action (but not the whole world) in the in-state property in the action.
c) Quasi In Rem “Gimmick”: gives the court jurisdiction over the interest of a D’s in-state property, even though the dispute has nothing to do with the property.
i) Typical Situation: Usually, a quasi in rem action begins with the attachment of the property not as the object of the litigation, but merely as a means of satisfying a judgment against the D
ii) Judgment Limited to In-State Property: the judgment in these cases is limited to the value of the property
iii) Binding Only on Parties: In these actions: the judgment has no res judicata effect, and it is only binding on the parties themselves, and only to the extent of D’s attached in-state property.
iv) Rule of Quasi in Rem after Shaffer: the exercise of quasi in rem jurisdiction requires that the D, have minimum contacts with the forum.
7) You must have…to assert personal jurisdiction:
a) Long arm statute: permits the courts of a state to obtain jurisdiction over persons not physically present within the state at the time of service. (breaks the “Guard-all invisible shield)
b) Long arm statute must be constitutional
i) Due Process and 14th Amd. Requires minimum contacts b/t D and forum state (Shaffer)
(1) D must have take actions that were purposefully directed towards the forum state
ii) Additionally, must not disobey notions of ‘fair play and substantial justice’
c) Must give adequate notice and service of process
Jurisdiction over Individuals
1) Presence: It is constitutionally valid so long as service is made on D while he’s in forum state.
a) Transitory Presence: Even if the person is an out-of-state resident who comes into the forum briefly, process served on him will likely be valid.
b) Burnham v. Superior Court: man and wife separated, wife moved to CA, man in NJ, his only contact with CA was short business trips and to see his kids, wife served him with divorce. HOLD that CA could constitutionally assert jurisdiction.
i) “Voluntary presence in a state in which you are served process with avails you to the jurisdiction of that state court, whether your presence in that state is related to the suit is of no concern.”
ii) SUMMARY: if D is served while present in forum state, forum state will have jurisdiction even though D may have no other contacts with that state apart from the visit on which he was served.
c) Fraudulent Inducement: if D is personally served in the forum state, the court will not exercise jurisdiction on that ground if the D was lured into the jurisdiction by the P’s false statements (Wyman v. Newhouse)
i) BUT: using trickery in order to affect service on a D who is already in the forum state generally does NOT interfere with the effectiveness of service. (crazy dude throwing notice in potatoes)
d) Service on an airplane flying over the forum state was held valid. Grace v. MacArthur
2) Domicile: asserted over a person domiciled in a state, even if he’s temporarily absent. (Synonymous with citizenship)
a) Formula: a person is considered to be domiciled where he has a current dwelling-place, if he also has an intention to remain in that place for an indefinite period.
i) Domicile = Current dwelling + intent to remain indefinitely
b) Rationale: “a state which accords privileges and affords protection to a person and his property by virtue of his domicile may also exact reciprocal duties”
c) Must have Statutory Authorization: most courts hold that they only have jurisdiction if they’ve been given so by statute. Also, statute may be enacted retroactively, so as to apply to a cause of action arising before the statutes enactment. (McGee v. Int’l Life Insurance)
d) Domicile is more limited than residence b/c people can have several residences at once
e) Absent Domiciliary: if the dwelling meets the domicile test, service may be made on the absent D by personal service, or by any other method that is reasonably calculated to give him actual notice.
3) Consent: asserted over a person b/c of his consent, no minimum contacts necessary with the forum state.
a) A Plaintiff is considered to have consented to a courts jurisdiction by filing an action in that court. SO, a counterclaim by the D may be filed against P and he will not be able to escape jurisdiction by dismissing or failing to prosecute his action.
b) Before the Claim Arises: a party may agree to submit to jurisdiction even before a cause of action arises. Can be done in the form of a contract b/t parties.
i) Generally a 3rd party will be assigned as an agent with whom service may be served upon.
4) General Appearance: if a suit is brought seeking personal liability over D, his appearance in court to contest the case on its merits equals consent to that courts jurisdiction. (even if it wouldn’t be valid otherwise)
a) Waiver: effects as a waiver to any objection the D may have to the assertion of personal jurisdiction.
b) Alternative of Default: A D who believes that jurisdiction of the forum is improper may disregard the suit and permit a default judgment to be taken against him. When the P later attempts to enforce the default judgment in another jurisdiction under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, the D can then challenge on the ground that the rendering court lacked jurisdiction.
i) If the enforcement court finds original jurisdiction was proper, however, there will be no further opportunity to defend on the merits.
5) Non-Resident Motorist Statutes: many states have enacted laws which allow their courts to exercise jurisdiction over nonresident motorists who have crashed in the state
a) Implied Consent: courts used to make up fictions à anyone who operated a vehicle in the state was to have impliedly consented to jurisdiction. (Hess v. Pawloski: old Mass. Statute held that they had jurisdiction over non-resident driver who had hit a resident while driving, and that the registrar was a valid agent to serve notice of process on.)
b) Rejection: this theory of consent has been rejected by modern courts in favor of the idea that states have the right to use their police power to protect their own citizens from cars.
c) Service on State Official: most of the statutes provide for in-state service of process on a designated state-official, such as DMV, and for registered mail service on the D personally.
6) Long-Arm Statutes: Statutory Authorization for Jurisdiction
a) General Rule: for a court to assert jurisdiction over a non-resident D, there must be a statute or rule that gives the court authority to exercise jurisdiction.
i) Courts do not have the inherent power to assert personal jurisdiction over D’s the minimum contacts test would reach; they must be statutorily provided with such power,
ii) First Step in jurisdictional analysis is to examine the statute and determine whether it covers the case presented.
b) Long-Arm Statutes: A statute that gives the state courts in personam jurisdiction over persons who are served while outside the boundaries of the state. Normally consist of a listing of the types of contacts that are sufficient for the court to exercise jurisdiction over the D.
c) Types of Long Arm Statutes
i) Full Power Statutes: Authorize the exercise of jurisdiction when it would not violate the Constitution. (RI)
(1) RI Statute (291): essentially says that courts have the power to reach all D’s reached under minimum contacts test, which is the same as those reached by Due Process Clause.
ii) Specific Acts: those that designate specific acts as warranting the exercise of jurisdiction, thus covering a more narrow (possibly broader) range of cases than could be reached by pure Due Process Clause.
(1) Common Examples:
(a) The transaction of any business within a state;
(b) The commission of a tortious act within the state;
(c) Ownership, use, or possession of real property within the state;
(d) Contracting to insure any person, property, or risk located in the state at the time of contracting; and
(e) The maintenance of marital domicile in the state in an action for divorce.
(2) One must consider:
(a) Whether D’s activities fall under the statute, AND THEN
(b) Whether the exercise of jurisdiction under the statute is Constitutional
d) Federal Court Jurisdiction
i) In personam
(1) Federal Question: the federal court has personal jurisdiction to the limits of the Constitution; even if the state courts of the state where the federal court is sitting would not have persona
ral act of P in bringing a product to the forum or relocating in forum is insufficient to establish the requisite connection. (WW Volkswagen)
(6) Seeking to serve another market: the court indicated in WW VW that exercising jurisdiction would be proper over a D that regularly sells to customers of a different jurisdiction, or that indirectly, through others, serves or seeks to serve customers of a different jurisdiction.
(a) Seeking to serve forum market: a single act seeking to serve the forum market suffices to support jurisdiction in an action asserting a claim growing out of the act in the forum state. (McGee v. Int’l Life Insurance)
(7) Solicitation of order in state by agents: the solicitation of orders by agents in state is generally deemed a sufficient contact to justify in personam jurisdiction, even where the company is out of state. But, this is not necessarily the case. Other factors to consider include:
(a) Does the agent conduct a substantial amount of business in the forum state for the D?
(b) Does the D have some degree of control over how the agent performs that work?
(c) Is the agent authorized to contract for D?
ii) Reasonableness is insufficient to satisfy the purposeful availment requirement: the court has rejected the idea that other factors can outweigh the importance of the purposeful availment requirement:
(1) Even if the D would suffer minimal or no inconvenience from being forced to litigate before the tribunals of another state;
(2) Even if the forum state has a strong interest in applying its law to the controversy;
(3) Even if the forum state is the most convenient location for litigation. (WW Volkswagen v. Woodson)
d) 2. Fair Play and Substantial Justice (Reasonableness): besides focusing on the D’s contacts with the forum, the jurisdictional inquiry takes account other factors that bear on whether the exercise of jurisdiction is reasonable.
i) Significant factors: whether burdening the D with personal jurisdiction is fair and reasonable (Asahi Metals)
(1) The forum state’s interest in providing a forum to the P;
(2) The interest of the state in regulating the activity involved;
(3) The burden on the D of defense in the forum;
(4) The relative burden on the P of prosecution elsewhere;
(5) Whether the D’s activity in the forum is systematic and continuous;
(6) The effect on interstate commerce (Conn v. Whitmore, horses sold)
(7) The extent to which the claim is related to the D’s local activities; and
(8) Avoidance of multiplicity of suit and conflicting adjudications.
ii) None of these factors are considered critical: the fact that certain factors do not point toward forum jurisdiction is not fatal to jurisdiction.
(1) Thus, the P need not be local for jurisdiction to be valid. (Keeton v. Hustler Mag, where NH was the only state where statute of limitations had not yet run)
iii) Easy requirement to satisfy: where a D who purposefully has directed his activities at forum residents seeks to defeat jurisdiction, he must present a compelling case that the presence of some other considerations would render jurisdiction unreasonable. (Burger King v. Ruzewicz)
iv) There may be greater concern over foreign D’s: it is unclear, but Asahi seems to stand for the proposition that the unique burdens placed upon one who must defend himself in a foreign legal system must be taken into account.
e) Specific Examples:
i) Note on Tort claims: jurisdiction exists for tort claims if either:
(1) The D commits tortious acts inside the forum, and the cause of action arises from that act, or
(2) The D’s conduct out-of-state caused foreseeable injurious consequences in the forum.
(a) The commission of a single tort in IL held to be sufficient to sustain personal jurisdiction for suit based on that tort (Nelson v. Miller)
ii) Product Liability Claims: the D must have made an effort to reach the forum state’s market, not merely by injecting the product into the stream of commerce, but by some act purposefully directed toward the forum state.
8) Simplified Minimum Contacts Test
a) General: while no one factor automatically determines whether the assertion of personal jurisdiction is constitutional under this test, the likely determinants are:
i) Purposeful Availment standards:
(1) Whether the D contacts with the forum state are isolated OR constant (Int’l Shoe);
(2) Whether the D could reasonably foresee the injury based on his contacts (though quasi-rejected in Volkswagen)
ii) Reasonableness standards: (fair play and substantial justice)