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Civil Procedure I
West Virginia University School of Law
Bowman, Gregory W.

Bowman: Jurisdiction: Spring 2010
Types of Jurisdiction
•       Prescriptive Jurisdiction—Authority of a government to legislate on a subject
•       Enforcement Jurisdiction—Authority of a government to sanction (e.g., by arrest and incarceration) a person for noncompliance with lawfully prescribed laws
•       *Adjudicatory Jurisdiction—Authority of a government court to hear a case
o   Personal Jurisdiction (AKA in personam jurisdiction):  Court’s power to bring the parties to court or exercise jurisdiction over property
§  General jurisdiction
–      Substantial Continuous & Systematic Contacts
                                                              i.      Court can hear a wide range of cases that arise in its geographic area.
                                                            ii.      *Court can hear all claims against a D where he is domiciled w/o showing any connection exists b/n the claims and the form state.
§  Specific personal jurisdiction
–      Jurisdiction stems from D’s minimum contacts w/ the forum state. Court can only hear cases that arise from these minimum contacts.
–      Continuous & Systematic
–      Isolated Contacts
o   Subject Matter Jurisdiction:  Power over the legal issues involved in a case
§  Courts of limited [subject-specific] §  Courts of general [geographic] subject matter jurisdiction
The right of Due Process applies to federal and state court.
•       Federally: 5th amendment—“nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law AND
•       States: 14th amendment—no state shall deprive a person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law
I. State Boundaries & Jurisdiction
In Pennoyer v. Neff (1987) p. 105, Neff tried to obtain land in Oregon under the Donation Act. He hired Mitchell to help obtain the land patent.
4 lawsuits
1)      Mitchell sues Neff for legal fees and costs. Default judgment for Mitchell
He served him in a newspaper knowing that Neff had left the state, so when he didn’t get paid, he waited to sue.
2)      Mitchell sues Neff to seize the property. Mitchell wins.
He assigns the property to Pennoyer. 8 years later, Neff shows up for his land.
3)      Neff sues Pennoyer. Neff wins
4)      Pennoyer sues Neff. Neff wins
ELEMENTS (formalistic)
1.      Presence                      (Neff was not present in Oregon)
2.      *Property/Domicile    (The property in question was not attached by Mitchell at the beginning of
his suit #2)
3.      Consent                       (Neff did not consent to jurisdiction in Oregon court)
Made personal jurisdiction a matter of due process
•       Turned territorial conceptions of jurisdiction into constitutional requirements of due process limits on state power. DUE PROCESS OF LAW IS THE MEASURE OF JURISDICITON.
Pennoyer tried to create a clear, predictable rule for jurisdiction based on geography and respect for states’ sovereignty
•       Jurisdiction boundaries = the state boundaries
But Pennoyer very quickly broke down
•       Big changes to an economy transitioning from regional to national, agricultural to industrial
•       Rise of the big corporations—spanned multiple states
II. Minimum Contacts and Substantial Justice
In International Shoe Co. (D) v. Washington (P) (1945) p. 110, WA served P’s salesman in WA and mailed service to Missouri address. D claimed that the court had no jurisdiction over it. The court addressed whether WA could exercise jurisdiction over D under the DP clause. Yes.
•       Delaware corporation
•       Principal business done in Missouri
•       Salesmen lived in Washington ($31,000)
•       Permanent display rooms
•       Exhibited samples and sent the order to Missouri
US Supreme Court: Jurisdiction
•       Washington had jurisdiction over IS because activities were systematic and continuous that resulted in a large volume of interstate business that reeked benefits and protection from the state of Washington.
ELEMENTS (functionalist)
1)      Assess Minimum Contacts
•       A business must have minimum contacts with a state for that state to have jurisdiction.
•       Due process requires only that in order to subject a defendant to a judgment in personam, if he is not present within the territory of the forum, he has certain minimum contacts with it such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
2)      Ask Whether Suit Arises from Those Minimum Contacts—see chart
Type/ Relatedness
Suit Arises from Contacts
Suit does NOT Arise from Contacts
*Substantial, Continuous, and Systematic Contacts (RARE)
General Jurisdiction
General Jurisdiction p. 113
*Systematic and Continuous Contacts (Int’l Shoe)
Specific Jurisdiction
Isolated and Irregular Minor Contacts (directly related, travel) à do you satisfy minimum contacts?
Sometimes Specific Jurisdiction
No Contacts
3)      Ask about Fairness
•       Fair Notice (i.e., foreseeability or warning)
•       Fair Hearing (i.e., homecooking)
•       Ease of Access (i.e., convenience)
Test: Whether due process is satisfied depends on the activity’s
1)      Quality and
2)      Nature
III. Minimum Contacts & Foreseeability
Long Arm Jurisdiction: state statutory basis for personal jurisdiction over person’s outside the state
2 Prong Analysis
1)      Does the state’s statute permit jurisdiction?
2)      If so, is constitutional due process satisfied?
Doctrine of Constitutional Avoidance—Decide the 1st question 1st because courts will not make a constitutional call unless absolutely necessary.
3 Categories of State Statutes
1)      Coextensive: Exercise jurisdiction to the extent permitted by the US constitution
2)      Quasi 2 step-Analyze state DP, then Constl DP. In practice is just like 1.
3)      True 2 step process.
In World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson (1978) p. 118, the owner of a Audi was rear ended and the gas tank exploded. She sued the 1. the manufacturer in Germany, 2. the NY importer, *3. the distributor, and 4. the retail dealer. Defendant only distributes Audis in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. P drove the car to Oklahoma.
District Court: Oklahoma has jurisdiction over D because D’s goods were used in Oklahoma and D derived substantial income from the car being used in Oklahoma, (fitted

ell, Scalia: should be a substantial connection test—stream of commerce + additions. Merely placing a product in the stream of commerce is insufficient—need additional conduct. The substantial connection between the D and the forum state necessary for a finding of minimum contacts must come about by an action of the D purposefully directed toward the forum state. Ex/ designing the product for the forum state market, advertising in the forum state, distributing to the forum state, establishing media services for consumers in forum state.
–Brennan, White, Marshall, Blackmun: Stream of commerce theory doesn’t work! Minimum requirements inherent in the concept of fair play and substantial justice defeat the reasonableness of jurisdiction even though the D has purposely engaged in forum activities. D will benefit from putting product in stream of commerce regardless of whether it purposely directed it to the forum state.
–Stevens, White, Blackmun: Don’t need a bright line rule! Should be a case-by-case analysis. Consider the volume, value, hazardous character of the components.
Geography makes a difference:
·         P’s leverage in settlement is minimized because he has not yet established his wiliness to bring suit in the contractual forum
·         Wind up with 2 attorneys, 1 local and 1 in the contractual forum
·         Local attorney has a strong incentive to settle
·         Can’t monitor distant attorney’s performance
·         Need to travel and communicate of long distances
·         Witnesses
·         Distance is likely to complicate the process and cause delays
·         Other side has home field advantage
·         P psychologically feels more cut off, more vulnerable, and more anxious than he otherwise would.
2 Methods of Attack for Personal Jurisdiction
1)      Collateral
·         Don’t respond to summons. Take a default judgment.
·         When P tries to collect, claim it’s void because court did not have personal jurisdiction
2)      Direct
·         Object to jurisdiction in the 1st response to the complaint. (otherwise you waive it)
·         If you lose, you appeal and say the lower court erred in its ruling on personal jurisdiction.
IV. Contacts & Contracts
In Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, (1985), p. 145, Guy asks D if he wants to apply for a franchise for a Michigan BK. Got it. Have probs. Big BK shut them down, but D refused to close up shop. Governing ks say the franchise relationship is governed by FL law. All payments are to be made to FL headquarters.