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Civil Procedure I
University of Oregon School of Law
Moffitt, Michael L.

CIVIL PROCEDURE OUTLINE
 
         I.     Personal Jurisdiction (PJ)—In what states can the π sue the Δ?
A.      In personam—power over the Δ herself
                                                               i.      General: Δ can be sued in that forum on a claim that arose anywhere in the world
1.        If the Δ has continuous and systematic or substantial ties with the forum that Δ is subject to general jurisdiction
a.        Domicile in the forum
b.       Corporation is incorporated in the forum
                                                              ii.      Specific: the Δ is being sued on a claim that arises from activities in the forum
1.        discreet and insular contact (car accident)—claim arises out of and related to the contact with the forum
 
Coastal Video Communications v. Starwell(1999): copyright infringement; Δ based in CA but sold videos and advertised in VA; copyright violation did not arise out of contact with VA—is there specific or general jurisdiction in VA? Court says it needs more information about the extent of the Δ’s contact with the forum state in order to determine whether they are subject to general or specific jurisdiction.
 
                                                            iii.      Constitutional test:
 
Pennoyer v. Neff (1877): the state has power over people and property inside its boundaries; very physical determination; gives us the traditional basis of in personam jurisdiction
 
1.        Traditional bases of in personam PJ:
a.        Presence: If the Δ is served with process in the forum it gives the forum general in personam jurisdiction
b.       Agent: Service of process on the Δ’s agent in the forum creates general jurisdiction
c.        Domicile: Δ is domiciled in the forum gives general jursidiction
d.       Consent: Δ consents to specific jurisdiction
 
Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute (1991): adhesion contract term requiring passengers to consent to suit in FL; court held that you can waive your constitutional protections and that minimum contacts are not necessary when there is consent; efficiency argument to prevent cruise line from defending in whatever state passengers are from (cost passed on to consumer)
POLICY ISSUES:
                                                               i.      In terms of fairness the cruise line is better able to afford distant defense
                                                              ii.      Purposeful availment—did the cruise line advertise in the Δ’s home state?
                                                            iii.      Unconscionability—unequal bargaining power in adhesion contracts
 
2.        “Minimum Contacts” and “Traditional Notions of Fair Play”
 
International Shoe Co. v. Washington (1945): company based in St. Louis had salesmen in Washington and Washington wanted a contribution from corporation to state unemployment fund; company claimed no personal jurisdiction; SC found personal jurisdiction over non-resident corporate Δ where the Δ has “such minimum contacts with the forum so that exercise of jurisdiction does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice”. Factors in assessing minimum contacts:
presence in the state
systematic and continuous activities within the state
enjoys the benefits and protections of state laws
whether it is reasonable to expect the Δ to defend itself in that state
 
 
a.        More flexible than Pennoyer
b.       It is

Asahi Metal Industry v. Superior Court(1987): victim of motorcycle accident brought suit in CA court against Taiwanese tire-tube maker who cross-claimed against a Japanese manufacturer of the tube valve assembly. When a company puts a product into the stream of commerce with the expectation that it will reach the forum state are minimum contacts satisfied? no majority opinion so two theories emerge
O’Connor approach (decision): We need more than just a reasonable anticipation that a product will reach the forum state; we need that plus the intent to serve the forum state (advertise, customer phone line, distributors)
Brennan approach: It is a contact if you put the product in the stream and could reasonably anticipate that it would get to a state
 
5.        The “effect” test: 
a.        Jones v. Calder (1984): you don’t have to actually step into the forum if you can reasonably expect to have an effect in the forum which would expose you to lawsuit (defamation in newspaper)
 
Pavlovich v. Superior Court(2002): website gave info to decrypt data stored on DVDs to permit copying copyrighted materials; (limiting Calder) a passive website that only makes information available is not grounds for personal jurisdiction even if harm in the forum is foreseeable; exercise of jurisdiction is determined by examining the level of interactivity and commercial nature of the exchange of information.