Personal Jurisdiction 

A. Personal Jurisdiction

  1. In order to exercise PJ over an out of state D, there must be a statutory and constitutional basis for the exertion of that jurisdiction. The statutory basis is satisfied by the state’s long arm statute. All states have long arm statutes which are designed to reach the constitutional limit. In order to meet the constitutional basis, the D must have such minimum contacts with the forum state that exercise of jurisdiction does not offend the traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.

    a. Exception to minimum contacts – 100 mile rule

        1) A federal court may exercise jurisdiction over a defendant outside the state in which the court is located if the defendant is joined under Rule 14 or Rule 19 and is served within a judicial district of the U.S. less than 100 miles from where the summons was issued.

  2. Any objection to PJ must be raised in the first pre-answer motion or in the first responsive pleading if there’s no pre-answer motion. If it’s not raised in the first
response, it’s forever waived.

  3. A federal jurisdiction can assert jurisdiction over a defendant who could be
subject to jurisdiction in the state courts of that state. If a state has a long-arm
statute then the inquiry goes to whether or not the defendant maintains
substantial, continuous, and systematic minimum contacts with the forum state. A
state may also exercise jurisdiction over a defendant who has purposely availed
himself of the benefits and protections of the forum state through minimum
contacts, the claim arises out of or relates to those contacts, and the exercise of
jurisdiction does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
Even if the defendant does not have physical conduct in the forum state, targeting
the forum state and deriving monetary and commercial benefits from the forum
state all lend for a strong case for personal jurisdiction.

    a. In order to exert jurisdiction over a foreign D (either out of state or
international), the claim must arise out of the minimum contacts or must
arise out of the purposeful availment of the foreign state. An out of state D
cannot be expected to anticipate being hauled into court in a state for
activities which are not conducted in that state.

4. Internet Based Contacts

  a. Since websites on the Internet can be viewed everywhere, most courts
have been reluctant to hold that the maintenance of a website alone is
sufficient to subject the owner of the site to jurisdiction. However, the
more interactive a website the more likely courts will be to uphold
personal jurisdiction whereas a purely passive website would not be
sufficient to establish jurisdiction.

    i. Ex. A defendant’s website largely devoted to commentary and
reporting on events and people in the forum state where Defendant
knows and profits from the fact that its readers come from the
forum state are examples of where a court could assert personal
jurisdiction over the defendant. A defendant can reasonably
anticipate being hailed into court in that forum state since it has
targeted readers in that forum state.

5. Purposeful Availment

a. Where a foreign (non-U.S.) company sells its products by distributors
throughout the U.S., it will not be subject to PJ unless its conduct is
purposefully directed toward the state seeking to exercise jurisdiction.

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