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PERSONAL JURISDICTION

Statutory limits on Personal Jurisdiction
Due process clause of 14th Amendment imposes fundamental limitations on power of state courts to exercise jurisdiction over defendants
Only defines outer bounds: state legislatures must grant power to their courts to exercise personal jurisdiction
Long arm statutes authorize courts to exercise jurisdiction over defendants based on specific types of contacts with the forum state
Cannot exceed constitutional limits; instead define state court’s power as reaching as far as the constitutional limit or being more restrictive
Full faith and credit clause of Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution
Requires courts of each state to honor the judgments of other states by entering judgments upon them and allowing out of state creditors to use court process to collect
Collateral attacks take place when defendant challenges original court’s jurisdiction in the enforcement action rather than the original suit; though collateral estoppel prevents defendants from challenging personal jurisdiction again if they already challenged it in the original action
Jurisdiction = power to hear a case
SMJ
Personal Jurisdiction (general or specific)
Notice
FRCP 4k: uses ordinary mail for the waiver of process, not for actual process (even though waiver accomplishes same function as service of process)
Opportunity to be heard
Due process requires that service of process “be reasonably calculated, under all circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them the opportunity to present their objections” (Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank and Trust Co.)

Torres v. Scavenger
Issue: does federal court have jurisdiction over an unnamed party?
Facts: 16 plaintiffs filed a claim against a corporation for employment discrimination which was dismissed for failure to file a claim; case was remanded to district court after Court of Appeals reversed; defendants asked for summary judgment against Torres because he was unnamed in the appeal
Rule: Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 3c – specificity requirement
Holding: this constitutes a failure to file and so the court has no jurisdiction
Scalia argues to interpret this case according to the intent of the rules, and cites FRCP 1 – just, speedy, and inexpensive; all rules are “technicalities” (formalism)
Marshall argues that this is more than a real technicality because notice is essential
Brennan, dissenting, says that this is a mere technicality and is not in accordance with fair play and substantial justice (realism)

Specific Personal Jurisdiction
Pennoyer v. Neff
Issue: Is there personal jurisdiction when only constructive notice is given
Procedural history: Neff hired Mitchell for a case and never paid him, Mitchell sued Neff, Neff never appeared so offered summary judgment against him; in order to pay Neff’s land was seized and bought by Pennoyer; Neff failed a claim against Pennoyer
Lower court ruled that there was no notice given; Supreme Court says that there was notice because the land was attached – instead, jurisdiction was the issue
If you are in the state, they can serve you there for personal jurisdiction
If you are not there, but your land is there, if the land is attached before the suit begins then it is a quasi in rem case and there is constructive notice
Holding: presence is required for jurisdiction; jurisdiction is based on the power of a state within its territory over things that are present there
Advantages: easy to apply (formalistic), easy to predict outcomes
Disadvantages: unfair (D served while flying over a state, etc.), doesn’t work well with corporations, we live in a world where people can be much more mobile, state biases

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