LAW 521-002 – Civil Procedure I
There are five ways to get personal jurisdiction:
Personal jurisdiction is further divided into general and specific jurisdiction:
General jurisdiction allows one to be sued there for any matter.
Specific jurisdiction allows one to be sued there for actions specific to that suit.
- Specific to the case that was filed and served in the state.
- Specific to only the case consented to.
- Specific to the case concerning the property in that state.
- International Shoe set rule for defendant specific to the case for actions occurring in the forum state.
Domicile has two requirements:
- Physical presence
- Intent to remain indefinitely
- A combined objective and subjective test
Principal place of business refers to where the corporation's high level officers direct, control, and coordinate the corporation's activities.
It is referred to as the "nerve center."
It is usually the corporation's headquarters.
Unincorporated associations or partnerships are domiciled where each member is domiciled.
- Cannot use served in forum state on a company, as they can only be served in their domicile.
- Can't serve someone who's tricked into the state
- Judicial Process Exemption – Can't serve someone who's travelling to state just to attend court
Other controls or limits:
- You must serve them within 90 days of filing the complaint in that state.
Class 13 allows:
- Federal court to transfer case to another state
- State courts have authority to dismiss a case that is too inconvenient; thus, rare for a case to be heard in a state where it is unfair.
Can be gained:
- Forum-selection clause
Choice of Law provision applies unless:
- The choice has been obtained by unfair means, such as misrepresentation, duress, undue influence, or mistake.
- The contract does not have a "reasonable relation" to the state chosen and the parties do not have a reasonable basis for the choice. Hooper v. Musolino.
- The law of the state chosen is contrary to the public policy of the state whose law otherwise would govern.
Hesch's: Courts will refuse to enforce a choice of law provision unless the contract has a "reasonable relation" to the state chosen. Hooper v. Musolino
By Appointing an Agent
- Appointment of an in-state agent to accept service
- Only applies to state where the claim arose
- By Appearing in Court
Can also be implied:
Minimum contacts rule:
- Due process requires that if a defendant is not physically present in a forum state that they have certain "minimum contacts" with the state such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions of "fair play and substantial justice." International Shoe.
- Contacts must be continuous and systematic, not irregular or casual. International Shoe.
- Sliding scale test of relatedness of contacts within the forum state to the action. International Shoe.
- "Benefits and Burdens" – If they enjoyed benefits of state, they must accept the burdens. International Shoe.
- It is essential that the defendant "purposefully avails" himself of the privilege of conducting activities in the forum state, thus invoking the benefits and protections of the forum state. Denckla.
- Is the conduct of the defendant and his connection to state such that the defendant reasonably anticipates being haled into forum court? World-Wide Volkswagen.
- Contacts must be be the result of defendant's purposeful availment. Others' like unilateral contacts of the plaintiff do not count as contacts for the defendant. World-Wide Volkswagen.
Some intentional act by a party directed toward the forum state by which the party takes advantage of the benefits and privileges of the laws of the state, which justifies the exercise of personal jurisdiction by the forum state's courts over that party.
Alternatives ways of getting purposeful availment exist:
Stream of commerce theory permits jurisdiction when the defendant delivers his product into the stream of commerce through a distributor with the expectation that it will be purchased by consumers in the forum state such that he should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there.
There are two rules on the sufficiency of stream of commerce:
In Asahi Metal Industry Co. v. Superior Court, the Supreme Court had a 4/4 split on stream of commerce.
McIntyre disagreed with this, but there was also no majority, so Asahi was not overruled.
Courts will likely begin to lean toward McIntyre rule.
One must check which rule his jurisdiction is following.
Fourth Circuit follows McIntyre. However, it accepts that sufficient contacts exist if a defendant "targeted the forum" with it goods.
There are three types of Internet activity:
- Only provides information
- Rarely gives jurisdiction unless the site is specifically directed at another state, i.e. defame person in another state (pretty much the only time it will)
Music Makers held the standard that it must:
- Direct electronic activity into state
- Have manifest intent of engaging in business
- Be that activity that creates a cause of action
The 4th Circuit (and this class) has three elements to the effects test:
- Intentional tort
- i.e. slander
- Plaintiff felt brunt of harm in forum, such that it is the focal point of harm
- Defendant expressly aim tortuous conduct at forum such that it is the focal point of tort activity
If the minimum contacts test is met, the result is evaluated for fairness by balancing the following factors:
- The burden of the defendant
- Forum state's interest in adjudicating case
- Plaintiff's interest in obtaining convenient and effective relief
These factors do not create personal jurisdiction but can revoke it
Reference: World-Wide Volkswagen
Virginia's long arm statute has
a lot (four for this class) conditions to which it applies. Those are causes of action arising from the person's:
- Transacting any business in this Commonwealth;
- Contracting to supply services or things in this Commonwealth;
- Causing tortious injury by an act or omission in this Commonwealth;
- Causing tortious injury in this Commonwealth by an act or omission outside this Commonwealth if he regularly does or solicits business, or engages in any other persistent course of conduct, or derives substantial revenue from goods used or consumed or services rendered, in this Commonwealth;