CIVIL PROCEDURE FALL 2007 – Prof. Stravitz
I. Introduction to Jurisdiction
Q Every court must have Personal Jurisdiction and Subject Matter Jurisdiction to hear a case
Q Due process of 14th amendment means that you can only assert personal jurisdiction over ∆ who has established a substantial connection to the forum state. Defines outer bounds of personal jurisdiction.
Q Plaintiff has burden to show jurisdiction but then ∆ has burden to challenge it.
II. Personal Jurisdiction → A court’s power to bring a person into its adjudicative process; jurisdiction over a defendant’s personal rights, rather than merely over property interests.
N Pennoyer v. Neff (1877) → The issue at hand in Pennoyer is whether, in the original Mitchell v. Neff lawsuit, the state of Oregon had valid in personam jurisdiction over Neff. The court held that the state did not, establishing the ground rules for a constitutionally based argument for the workings of personal jurisdiction.
° The CL rule for personal jurisdiction has two requirements:
(1) All Δ’s, whether residents or nonresidents, must be served with process personally; and
(2) All nonresident Δ’s must be physically present w/in the forum state when service is made.
Q The purpose of the first requirement is to give defendants an opportunity to respond. The purpose of the second requirement is to respect the borders of sister states – a state has power over persons or things within its territory and no power over persons or things outside its territory.
° Dicta – The problem with Mitchell’s use of quasi in rem jurisdiction is that the property was not attached at the time of the first suit when Neff was hit with the default judgment. The property was attached afterward when Mitchell was attempting to collect on the judgment. Because of this it was not lawful to use constructive service (Mitchell’s service of Neff by publication). If he had already owned the property then it would have been acceptable.
° Holding: Since the Oregon court in Mitchell v. Neff did not have in personam jurisdiction over Pennoyer the judgment was void and Pennoyer was entitled to his property.
° So, a state has personal jurisdiction over a nonresident if he can be found and served w/in the state or if that person owns prop in the state @ the time of the suit and it is attached (quasi in rem).
° It is ok to have a judgment against a Δ if he has prop in the state at the time of the proceedings b/c it is assumed he is either in residence or has a caretaker that will notify him of the action.
û International Shoe Co. v. Washington– Establishment of fairness test and minimum contacts
° The State of Washington (Π) sued International Shoe Co.(Δ), an out-of-state corporation with its principal place of business in Missouri, before a Washington state agency to recover unpaid contributions to the state unemployment compensation fund. Δ employed about a dozen salespersons in the state of Washington to solicit orders within the state. The sales staff had no authority to enter into K’s or to make collections. Orders were transmitted to the home office where they were accepted or rejected. Δ had no office and no merchandise in Washington.
° Trial Court: The Washingtonct ruled that regular and systematic solicitation of orders in the state constituted as “doing business” within the State. Δ appeals to US Supreme Ct.
° Δ has organized its operations in Washington State so as to avoid having a presence there under the previous jurisdictional law (Pennoyer). The employees are paid so as to be legally categorized as independent contractors (according to international shoe), no K’s were made in Wash, and all spaces were rented for the purposes of displaying shoes.
° How does Judge Stone treat the argument that Δ was not present in Washington? Since the corporate personality is a fiction, although a fiction intended to be acted on as if it were a fact, it is clear that unlike an individual its ‘presence’ without, as well as within, the state of its origin can be manifested only by activities carried on in its behalf by those who are authorized to act for it.
° Minimum Contacts Test: A state may exercise personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state Δ, so long as that cd has “sufficient minimum contacts” with the forum state, such that the exercise of jurisdiction “will not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice
Q In this case Δ’s contacts were systematic and continuous and accorded the corp the benefits and protection of the laws of the state, including the right to resort to the courts for the enforcement of its rights.
° So how is its presence manifested in another state? – if one of its activities is carried out in that state on its behalf by those who are authorized to act for it.
Q The more activity that a corp has in a state the more possible International Shoe makes it for the company to get sued in that state for something unrelated to their business.
Q A Corp which exercises the privilege of conducting activities w/in a state enjoys the benefits and protection of the laws of that state, which gives rise to obligations; a procedure which requires the corp to respond to a suit brought to enforce those obligations is not undue
û The necessary contacts that a party must have for a state to assert personal jurisdiction may vary depending on the relationship between the contacts and the claim brought against that party.
° If the state is alleged to have jurisdiction over a Δ irrespective of the nature of the claim, this would be General Jurisdiction; / But if the state is alleged to have jurisdiction over a Δ because the Δ’s activities in that state gave rise to the claim itself, this would be Specific Jurisdiction.
Π’s COA Arises Out of Δ’s Activity in the Forum State
Π’s COA Does Not Arise Out of Δ’s Activity in the Forum State
Δ’s Activity in the Forum State is Continuous and Systematic
° State has Personal Jurisdiction under the Minimum Contacts Test
° In this type of case, state will always have personal juris.
° To satisfy MC, there needs to be more than just systematic activity. i.e., Substantially Systematic Activity
Δ’s Activity in the Forum State is Casual and Occasional
° May be sufficient to satisfy MC Test when Δ is a corporation.
° Ct will usu. only have jurisdiction where the Δ has engaged in dangerous/hazardous activity.
° This will never meet the requirements of the Minimum Contacts Test.
û Notes on the Minimum Contacts Test:
(1) Minimum Contacts Test applies to individual, as well as corporate Δ’s.
(2) The limitations on personal jurisdiction found in long-arm statutes are distinct from the constitutional limit imposed by the minimum contacts test.
(3) It is clear that a Δ may have sufficient contacts with a state to support minimum contacts jurisdiction there even though he did not act within the state.
Q If a Δ commits an act outside the state that he knows will cause harmful effects within the state, he will be subject to MC jurisdiction there for claims arising out of that act.
(4) Minimum Contacts analysis focuses on the time when the Δ acted, not the time of the lawsuit.
Q MC Jurisdiction is based on the premise that parties who conduct activities in a state accept the risk that those activities will give rise to suits and understand that they may have to return to the state where the activity was conducted to defend such suits.
§ How to get Personal jurisdiction over ∆:
û Can forum assert general jurisdiction? (does not matter if π’s cause of action arises from or relates to ∆’s activity in forum) → Yes, if:
1. Individual-over domiciliaries (or resident/citizens?)
§ Website available in state is not enough
§ Substantial or pervasive activity in forum (nonresident) → does all of its business in state (Benguet)
§ Principle place of business (resident)
û If no, can state assert specific jurisdiction? (If only specific can be asserted then plaintiff’s cause of action must arise from or relate to defendant’s activity in the state)
1. Use internet to target someone in state
2. ∆ served with process in state (personally or agent-may be a state official)
merce knowing it could end up in forum state is good enough to establish minimum contacts
4. Worldwide Volkswagon Corp v. Woodson → Π’s bought a car from Δ in NY, and had an accident in Oklahoma while passing through on their way to Arizona → a rear end collision caused a fire burning the wife and 2 children.
û Δ does not do business in Oklahoma / ship or sell products there / have agents to receive process there / or advertise there, and there was no showing that any auto sold by Δs had ever entered Okalahoma before this one
û Rule: Even if the Δ would suffer minimal or no inconvenience from being forced to litigate in another state, even if the forum state has a strong interest in applying its law to the controversy, even if the forum state is the most convenient location for litigation, the due process clause denies jurisdiction to a state over a Δ with which the state has no contacts, ties or relations
û Foreseeability: Foreseeability is a relevant factor if the Δ’s conduct and connection with the forum state are such that he should reasonably anticipate being brought into court there;
° The fact that it was foreseeable that the car, being mobile, would cause injury in Oklahoma is not sufficient (by itself) for personal jurisdiction under the due process clause
° This would appoint any chattel the agent for service of process – amenability to suit would travel with the chattel wherever it goes
û Collateral Relation: there are VW service centers in Oklahoma, but financial benefits to Δs from a collateral relation to the forum state do not support jurisdiction if they do not stem from a constitutionally cognizable contact with the state
û Stream of Commerce: (Gray v. American Radiator Co.)the forum state does not exceed the due process clause if it asserts personal jurisdiction over a corporation that delivers its products into the stream of commerce with the expectation that they will be purchased by consumers in the forum state.
° In World-Wide the product had already been purchased, and the act of driving through the state was the unilateral activity of one who had a relationship with the nonresident Δ;
Q The consumer’s (Πs) unilateral activity of bringing the Δ’s product into the forum state is not a sufficient basis for Oklahoma to assert personal jurisdiction.
5. Keaton v. Hustler: Π’s minimum contacts
û Facts: Π was a NY resident, Δ (Hustler Magazine) was an Ohio corporation; Π sued Δ in New Hampshire, the only state in which the statute of limitations had not run on his Libel claim.
û Rule: a Π is not required to have minimum contacts with a state before permitting the state to assert personal jurisdiction over a nonresident Δ. A Π voluntarily submits to the jurisdiction of the state by filing a lawsuit therein.
° The fact the New Hampshire was the only state in which the action was not time barred is not relevant – the issue of statutes of limitations is only relevant after jurisdiction has been established
° Court determined that Δ’s distribution of roughly 15,000 magazines to New Hampshire each month was sufficient to warrant personal jurisdiction over Δ.
6. Effects test: applies when a wrongful activity outside of a state causing injury within it, or to commercial activity affecting state residents, when that application would not be unreasonable