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01 PersonalJurisdiction

Personal Jurisdiction
What to Look For When Starting a Case
(1) Cause of action
(2) P, D
(3) Personal Jurisdiction – Where can I file?
(4) Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Where do I want to file: state or federal?
(5) Venue
(6) Proper notice
If a case is dismissed in fed ct for lack of PJ, P may not re-file suit in that state
Authority of a state to exercise power over a D or D's property – P not free to bring suit
wherever he chooses
Based on 14th Amendment – no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property,
without due process of law
State cannot exercise its adjudicatory authority over a person/property unless it has both
statutory authority and the constitutionally recognized power to do so w/ three
(1) Consent
ü Express
ü Implied
(2) Waiver
(3) Transient visitors
Due Process
(1) Requires long-arm statute and
(2) Exercise of PJ must be constitutional
ü General Jurisdiction
ü Specific Jurisdiction
If consent, waiver or transient visitor,
then Due Process analysis not
PJ obtained – move to SMJ analysis
Requires court to establish:
• Purposeful availment and
• Jurisdiction is fair & reasonable
Long-arm statutes allow state to obtain jurisdiction over persons not physically present
w/in state at time of service.
Such statutes allow PJ on the basis of certain links b/t D and the forum state – e.g.
domicile, ownership of property, commission of tortious act inside state, etc.
Civil Procedure I (1)
Personal Jurisdiction
Consent as a Basis for PJ
• Express – D submits to jurisdiction of court in advance of litigation.
ü Often done as part of a commercial contract. Examples:
ð D agrees to arbitration
ð Forum Selection Clause – Parties agree to litigate in a particular court; limits forum
to single location
ð Jurisdiction clause – Parties agree to litigate in a particular jurisdiction
• Implied
ü Non-Resident Motorist Statute
Waiver as Basis for PJ
• D waives defense of lack of PJ if not raised as pre-answer motion or not raised as an
Transient Jurisdiction as Basis for PJ
• PJ premised solely on person being served w/ process while physically present in forum
state (no contacts w/ state)
ü D must voluntarily be in state (e.g. flying over state and FAA orders emergency landing
– no PJ over D)
ü Presence by coercion/force doesn't count
ü Doesn't apply to corporations (have to use minimum contacts analysis)
Civil Procedure I (1)
Personal Jurisdiction
Due Process as Basis for PJ
Two pronged analysis:
(1) Long-arm statute authorizing exercise of PJ?
• State Long-Arm Statutes – Three types: Those that:
ü Authorize the court to exercise jurisdiction to the limits of due process; (e.g.
ü Are specific in language but have been interpreted to extend the court’s personal
jurisdiction over defendants to the limits of due process; and
ü Are specific and limited and do not authorize the courts of that state to have PJ to
the extent permitted by due process
• Federal Long-Arm Statutes – Rule 4(k) (2 pages down)
Note: Statutory analysis only determines whether legislature has granted PJ – not whether
it would be constitutional to exercise it.
(2) If yes, is it constitutional under due process clause to exercise PJ? Satisfied in two ways:
General Jurisdiction – D may be sued in forum state for any claim – even one
completely unrelated to its in-state activities. (e.g. Claim arises in Kula Lumpur but D
forced to defend in CA). D may be subject to general in personam jurisdiction if:
o Citizen of forum state
o B/c activities so substantial/continuous in forum state:
ð D should foresee being haled into court (for any claim) and
ð It isn't a burden on D to defend in forum state
Ä Exxon subject to PJ in all states regardless of whether claim arose in state
where suit brought
Specific Jurisdiction – Jurisdiction over claims arising
forum state. Test to determine satisfaction of DP:
(i) Minimum contacts test – courts look at:
ð Quantity and nature of D's contacts w/ forum
ð Connection of contacts w/ cause of action
from D’s minimum contacts w/
D only subject to specific in
personam jurisdiction for
claims related to the in-state
If minimum contacts test satisfied, then in appropriate cases, court applies:
(ii) Reasonableness test
ð Maintaining claim does not offend "traditional notions of fair play and
substantial justice" (not common concern – typically when foreigner involved)
Civil Procedure I (1)
Personal Jurisdiction
Purposeful Availment (PA): Quality and Nature of D's contact w/ State
• PA satisfied if D directed activity toward forum state (unilateral contacts by P not PA by D
– i.e. P contacting D for goods)
• D received benefits from contacts such that it should expect being haled into state to
defend lawsuit
• PA satisfied by deliberately entering contract
ü Contract alone not sufficient – Must consider: (Burger King)
ð Prior negotiations
ð Future consequences
ð Terms of the contract
ð Parties' actual course of dealing
• Ad in national magazine – intended to be read by many persons and desire to make sales
wherever ad circulates
• Shipping product to a state
• 1-800# - shows desire to make sales from where magazine circulates
• Goods placed in stream of commerce – two views:
ü PA satisfied if D has directed product toward forum state (O'Conner)
ð Advertising
ð Designing products specifically for that state's market
ð Marketing product via distributor
ü PA satisfied by mere placement of product in stream of commerce (Brennan)
D may be sued in the state on a claim under minimum contacts test b/c D has
purposely conducted activities there and the claim arises out of this
purposeful contact.
Reasonableness Test
• Based on existence of minimum contacts, court must then evaluate the reasonableness of
exercising PJ.
• Specifically asking if exercise of jurisdiction comports w/ fair play and substantial justice
• Courts weigh the burden on the defendant to defend himself against:
ü P's interest in obtaining relief
ü Interest of forum state in enforcing its laws – e.g. control of defective products sent into
ü Interstate/international judicial system’s interest in obtaining the most efficient resolution
of controversies
ü Shared interest of several States in furthering fundamental social policies
NC Personal Jurisdiction (NCCRP 4)
• Person present within the State (transitory jurisdiction)
• Person domiciled in the state
• Domestic corporation
• Engaged in substantial activity within the State, whether or not interstate or intrastate
Civil Procedure I (1)
Personal Jurisdiction
Note: Most of Rule 4 deals w/ mechanics of service – how D is actually informed that a lawsuit
has been filed against him.
Federal Long-Arm Statute – Rule 4(k)
• Federal court may assert PJ over a D in four circumstances:
ü Borrow long-arm statute from state in which it sits
o e.g. NC federal court will exercise PJ to same extent as NC state
ü D is joined party and is served w/in 100 miles from where summons issued
o Caveat: Not applicable to original defendant – only to 3rd party D
ü Ds subject to Federal Interpleader jurisdiction
ü Authorized by U.S. statute
• If Rule 4(k) authorizes assertion of jurisdiction, this doesn't necessarily imply that it is
constitutional to exercise it.
Jurisdiction over Property
• Jurisdiction based on the presence of property
• Quasi in rem no longer applies
• Notice is fulfilled because it is assumed that one keeps an eye on one’s property
• Not important any longer because personal jurisdiction analysis with minimum contacts gets
to the same point
(1) In Rem
ü Title of property is the subject of dispute
(2) Quasi in Rem
ü Lawsuit has nothing to do w/ property
ü PJ over D obtained by attaching D's property located w/ in forum state
ü Judgment limited to worth of in-state property
Civil Procedure I (1)
Personal Jurisdiction
Austin is traveling salesman who lives in ND and sells paint brushes in parts of ND, SD and
While en route to deliver brushes to a MN customer, he is involved in an auto accident in
MN w/ Healy, a MN resident.
He brings suit agst Healy in ND for his injuries in the accident.
(1) Does the court have PJ over Healy?
ü Given no info in regard to Healy’s relationships w/ or acts w/in ND, she lacks
minimum contacts w/ ND. Court doesn’t have PJ over Healy.
(2) As result of same accident, Healy brings suit against Austin for her injuries. She sues in
SD. Does the court have jurisdiction over Austin based on minimum contacts?
ü No. A has some contacts w/ SD. However, minimum contacts means the
defendant, by committing limited acts w/in the state, submits himself to
jurisdiction for claims arising out of the in-state acts themselves.
ü H’s claims is unrelated to A’s brush sales in ND
ü A had no reason to believe that he was submitting himself to jurisdiction of the SD
courts for auto accidents in MN by selling brushes in SD.
An Aside
If H wishes to sue A in SD for the auto claim, it is permissible to obtain PJ over a
defendant by serving him w/ summons in the state where the suit is brought.
(transient jurisdiction)
Given A visits SD in regard to his brush sales, H can bring suit in SD and have the
process server await A’s next sales trip into the state.
(3) To be on the safe side, H also files suit against A in MN. Does that court have PJ over
ü A’s act of driving in MN provides a minimum contact basis for suit against A for
injuries suffered by H in the accident. A has purposefully availed himself of benefits
of state (i.e. their roads) – specific in personam jurisdiction exists.
Civil Procedure I (1)