Civil Procedure I, Pages 176–178

Gibbons v. Brown

Second District Court of Appeal of Florida, 1998

Facts:

Defendant sued plaintiff's husband in Florida for an auto accident in Montreal two years prior. Plaintiff now sues defendant in Florida concerning the same accident.

Issue:

Does bringing a suit in a court allow one to be sued there?

Plaintiff's Argument:

Defendant has subjected herself to the personal jurisdiction of the Florida court by her prior lawsuit.

Rule:

A defendant must have substantial and not isolated activity within Florida to be subject to its courts' jurisdiction.

Reasoning:

Defendant sued years ago, but plaintiff was not a party to that lawsuit. That doesn't make defendant liable here to lawsuits from anyone forever. Defendant no longer substantial and not isolated activity within the state.

Holding:

No, one must have additional recent activity as well.

Takeaway:

States' long-arm statutes can impose further restrictions than just meeting due process.

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