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Civil Procedure I
Villanova University School of Law
Ravenell, Teressa E.



Definition of personal jurisdiction: the circumstances under which a court has authority to make decisions binding on these parties
Requirements – Jurisdiction only proper if:

The case falls within terms of the state statute (if no à NO ANALYSIS NECESSARY)
Jurisdiction is constitutional (comports with 14A DPC)

14 Amendment: Section 1. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”
Full Faith and Credit Clause: Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. . . .

Types of Jurisdiction

In personam – court imposes liability on D
In rem – claims taken directly against a property.
Quasi in rem – judgments affecting interests of parties over a thing.

Type I – claims arising from the property. It is about who owns the property.
Type II – property owned by D is attached at the outset of the suit to get power over the defendant, but the property is not related to the suit. Way of forcing the defendant to come into court (Pennoyer).


STEP 1: determine whether the state statute allows its courts to exercise jurisdiction over the D and/or his property?

State Statutory Limits on Jurisdiction

For jurisdiction to be proper

Case must fall within the terms of the state statute AND
Jurisdiction must be constitutional under federal DPC

State long arm statutes

Dependent on US constitution

Jurisdiction will be based entirely on DPC analysis
If it meets constitutional standards, it meets state standards

Independent of the constitution-go through the terms of when you can exercise jurisdiction under the statute – going beyond borders to make the D answer

Cause of action has to arise from behavior explained in the statute
If you engage in those behaviors you have to answer in the state


State Statute Analysis

“Each state must enact legislation allowing it to exercise personal jurisdiction”
Whether state has jurisdiction over a defendant depends upon the language of the state’s jurisdictional statute and state courts’ interpretation of that language. State long arm statutes, which usually give the state specific jurisdiction.

“Transacts any business within this state”
“Commits a tortious act or omission within this state” (Gray v. American Radiator)

Flint Case

NY Ruleà tort is deemed to have been committed within the state only if the tortious act or omission itself and not merely the resulting injury occurred in the state.
IL Ruleà a tort resulting in damage inside the state is deemed to have occurred inside the state regardless of where the tortious act or omission took place if the injury occurred in that state.

1. Determine whether the state long arm statute allows for jurisdiction, if YES

Whether the state’s jurisdiction comports with DPC?

Identify the Ds contact with the forum state

If the contact is the presence of the D or his property in the forum state, you apply Pennoyer’s territorial approach BUT ALSO contact analysis

Whether the Ps claim arises from the Ds contact with the forum state (but/for proximate cause test)

If yesà apply minimum contact analysis

Whether D has purposefully availed himself

If no à it is general jurisdiction and apply contentious and systematic contact analysis

STEP 2: determine whether jurisdiction comports with 14th amendment due process requirements?

Court considers the relationship between D, the forum, and the litigation:

1. Determine the type of Contact

Residency in the forum
Transient Presence
Presence of Property
Particular Conduct (contacts analysis)

I. Residency (domicile)

Milliken v. Meyer (1940):

Holding: domicile alone is sufficient to bring an absent Δ within the reach of a state’s jurisdiction.

BUT, SHAFFER v. HEITNER [IN REM] says: “all assertions of state court jurisdiction must be evaluated according to the standards set forth in ISC and its progeny”

: suing officers and directors of corporations who violated anti trust laws and paid significant damages, which could affect shareholders. Filed suit in DE—jurisdiction in DE was based upon the stock certificates being located there. Greyhound is incorporated in D

ervice of process and notice in legal proceedings instituted with respect to such partnership, association, or contracts.”
A state may also “designate a place where such service may be made and notice given, and provide, upon their failure, to make such appointment or to designate such place.”

Harris v. Balk (1905) – QRT II

: Harris made a verbal promise to balk to pay money. Balk in NC owes Epstein in MD money.
: Under Pennoyer, Epstein can sue Balk 1) if Balk went to MD under in personam jurisdiction, 2) balk has property in MD under in rem jurisdiction, 3) Epstein can sue in NC because Balk is a resident and has property there.
Cites Pennoyer: “The process of a court of one state cannot run into another and summon a party there domiciled to respond to proceedings against him. Notice sent outside the state to a nonresident is unavailing to give jurisdiction in an action against him personally for money recovery.”

Hess v. Palowski (1927) –

: both parties were injured in an accident on a public road in MA. P was from MA. D was not a resident of MA but was sued in MA when they were in PA.
: whether the MA statute breaches the DPC, does MA have jurisdiction?
: Court held that MA does have jurisdiction. If you use se the highway, you have made this implicit appointment of an agent for service of process, therefore giving the state jurisdiction. The cause of action has the relate to using the car. This expands Pennoyer from consent, to implied consent.
“[T]he use of the highway by the nonresident is the equivalent of the appointment of the registrar as agent on whom process may be served.”

“Under the statute the implied consent is limited to proceedings growing out of accidents or collisions on a highway in which the nonresident may be involved. . . .”
“The measure in question operates to require a nonresident to answer for his conduct in the state where arise causes of action alleged against him, as well as to provide for a claimant a convenient method by which he may sue to enforce his rights.”