venue/personal jxdn ... wtf

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
screwsandboalts
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:26 am

venue/personal jxdn ... wtf

Postby screwsandboalts » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:27 pm

so we're learning about venue, and we've already done territorial/subject matter jxdn and i think im getting 1391(a)(2) and (b)(2)'s "substantial factor" of the events/omm :cry: ission confused with "sufficient contacts"... can anybody explain to me really quickly what DOES and DOES NOT constitute a substantial factor?

we had this one hypo in class where a guy from florida was visiting some girl in CA and assembled her new bike for her (nice guy). a few weeks later, she got tore up on her bike and she thought maybe the florida guy was liable, or maybe it was the corporation that mail-ordered her bike to her (principle place of business and incorporated in Utah).

Our prof said that venue was proper in the CA court for the nice guy and for the corporation, since thats where the accident happened... but this doesn't necessarily mean the nice guy has sufficient contacts there right? so if she wanted to sue both of them - WHERE could she actually go?
:roll:

WhatToDo21
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:59 pm

Re: venue/personal jxdn ... wtf

Postby WhatToDo21 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:48 pm

screwsandboalts wrote:so we're learning about venue, and we've already done territorial/subject matter jxdn and i think im getting 1391(a)(2) and (b)(2)'s "substantial factor" of the events/omm :cry: ission confused with "sufficient contacts"... can anybody explain to me really quickly what DOES and DOES NOT constitute a substantial factor?

we had this one hypo in class where a guy from florida was visiting some girl in CA and assembled her new bike for her (nice guy). a few weeks later, she got tore up on her bike and she thought maybe the florida guy was liable, or maybe it was the corporation that mail-ordered her bike to her (principle place of business and incorporated in Utah).

Our prof said that venue was proper in the CA court for the nice guy and for the corporation, since thats where the accident happened... but this doesn't necessarily mean the nice guy has sufficient contacts there right? so if she wanted to sue both of them - WHERE could she actually go?
:roll:


- Ehhhhhhhhhhh.... For the corporation I would say Cali, assuming they purposefully availed themselves (sell bikes in cali, or online to people in cali, etc.), the guy is a little tougher. I still would say Cali for him too, he was there visiting someone, so he obviously had contacts with the state for a while. I would try rocking out Cali here, if not Florida would also do the trick, but that would be a bit of a trip.

User avatar
goosey
Posts: 1543
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:48 pm

Re: venue/personal jxdn ... wtf

Postby goosey » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:37 pm

screwsandboalts wrote:so we're learning about venue, and we've already done territorial/subject matter jxdn and i think im getting 1391(a)(2) and (b)(2)'s "substantial factor" of the events/omm :cry: ission confused with "sufficient contacts"... can anybody explain to me really quickly what DOES and DOES NOT constitute a substantial factor?

we had this one hypo in class where a guy from florida was visiting some girl in CA and assembled her new bike for her (nice guy). a few weeks later, she got tore up on her bike and she thought maybe the florida guy was liable, or maybe it was the corporation that mail-ordered her bike to her (principle place of business and incorporated in Utah).

Our prof said that venue was proper in the CA court for the nice guy and for the corporation, since thats where the accident happened... but this doesn't necessarily mean the nice guy has sufficient contacts there right? so if she wanted to sue both of them - WHERE could she actually go?
:roll:


well, the guy assembled the bike in CA and so the CA crt would have specific jurisdiction over him for any claim arising out of that contact. Substantial and continuous contacts are only for general jurisdiction. Here, she is suing him for (i think?) assembling the bike wrong/negligence I guess. he has minimum contacts with the state, and the suit is arising out of that contact, so there is jurisdiction over him.

for substantial and cont contacts you look at the quality AND quantity of contact. so basically, somebody has to have contact with the state over the course of time. in helicop case, for ex, the court found that mere purchases even if done over the course of many years, do not constitute subst and cont contact. I think it would need to be somebody that say has a vacation home there and spends 6 months out of the year...or for a corp, hilton or coke or magazines that are distributed every month to residences within that state.

User avatar
GeePee
Posts: 1273
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:35 pm

Re: venue/personal jxdn ... wtf

Postby GeePee » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:02 pm

screwsandboalts wrote:so we're learning about venue, and we've already done territorial/subject matter jxdn and i think im getting 1391(a)(2) and (b)(2)'s "substantial factor" of the events/omm :cry: ission confused with "sufficient contacts"... can anybody explain to me really quickly what DOES and DOES NOT constitute a substantial factor?

we had this one hypo in class where a guy from florida was visiting some girl in CA and assembled her new bike for her (nice guy). a few weeks later, she got tore up on her bike and she thought maybe the florida guy was liable, or maybe it was the corporation that mail-ordered her bike to her (principle place of business and incorporated in Utah).

Our prof said that venue was proper in the CA court for the nice guy and for the corporation, since thats where the accident happened... but this doesn't necessarily mean the nice guy has sufficient contacts there right? so if she wanted to sue both of them - WHERE could she actually go?
:roll:

You're getting "minimum" and "sufficient" contacts confused. Minimum contacts are the standard for specific jurisdiction (International Shoe), and the general standard is the relationship between "the defendant, the forum, and the litigation" (Shaffer v. Heitner). Here, the defendant is likely being sued on grounds of negligence, a tortious action. This type of action is covered under every state's long-arm statute. Therefore, we turn to minimum contacts.

(This is a bit more informal than I might be on an assignment/exam, but it's close)

In this case, there are 2 good avenues to evaluating specific jurisdiction: the Calder/Worldwide Volkswagen "Effects" Test, and the Hanson v. Denckla/Burger King "purposeful availment" test. We'll use the effects test for the guy's tortious conduct. Under the effects test, we look at the effect generated on the forum state resident in that state. The defendant certainly aimed his behavior at the forum state by traveling to that state to see the plaintiff, and then assembling her bike for her. Furthermore, the plaintiff was then riding that bike in California, when a bicycle malfunction caused her injury. Therefore, the defendant should "reasonably expect to be haled into court" there (WW Volkswagen).

As for the bicycle manufacturer, under "purposeful availment" we would need to ascertain whether the bicycle was sold to the plaintiff within the state of California. If, in fact, it had, the company had purposefully availed itself of being subject to CA law by choosing to do business there, and would be subject to personal jurisdiction (Burger King). Otherwise, we must analyze competing views of minimum contacts. If we decide that "Stream of Commerce" is sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction, the bike company could have sold the bike through intermediaries to the plaintiff and still be subject to personal jurisdiction (Asahi Metal). Otherwise, we must again turn to see if the defendant would "reasonably expect to be haled into court" in CA. If it were foreseeable that the plaintiff would be riding its bicycle in CA, then the defendant would likely be subject to personal jurisdiction (WW Volkswagen).

On the whole, both the bike builder and manufacturer are more likely than not to be subject to personal jx in California.

Personal Jx is one area where it's a good idea to know a lot of actual law, because there are several different tests which are applicable at different times and can yield slightly different analysis. Obviously, don't go beyond the scope of your class, but the idea is to understand the important concepts, and I didn't even start to talk about other factors like "fair play and substantial justice."

Just remember to consider:
Actions directed at the forum state
Foreseeability of being sued in that state
Actions with effects in forum state that defendant should know would have those effects
Contracts with a particular state
Products sold in a state, directed or otherwise

That's generally a good start for considering avenues for specific personal jurisdiction. General jurisdiction is usually the easier case, reserved for sufficient (think extensive) contacts with a forum.

neilu789
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:39 pm

Re: venue/personal jxdn ... wtf

Postby neilu789 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:47 pm

GeePee is right, you are getting general jurisdiction and specific jurisdiction confused here. General jurisdiction means that there is good jurisdiction for all claims irregardless if they have anything to do with the party's contacts there. The standard to find general jurisdiction is "substantial and continuous" contacts. (see perkins v benguet and/or colombian helicopters case for more on this).
Most of the time, you are suing for a specific claim that will relate to the Defendant's contacts with the state, which is why specific contacts is much more important to understand. The test here is minimum contacts (international shoe). International shoe used the term minimum contacts, but didn't do a good job of explaining what it was, so that is why there are several subsequent cases that tried to interpret it (and many placed their own standards). I think GeePee is confused on Shaffer v Heitner, which dealt with type 2 in rem jurisdiction (can no longer use property to hook a D into your jurisdiction) only and didn't really change anything for in personum jurisdiction. So I don't think it has anything to do with your hypo.
Also, I'm not quite sure that the effects test from Calder applies here. The effects test is for intentional torts only. This is a negligence case, so it won't apply.
The analysis i think you need to focus on here would be on International Shoe/minimum contacts. The important thing about Ishoe is that it moved the approach for determining personal jurisdiction from mechanical (pennyoer) to functional (minimum contacts test). Hanson v. Denckla further limits the miminum contacts standard by saying there must be purposeful availment (ie you must inject yourself into the forum state). The VW case then laid out five factors to determine pursposeful availment (1. burden on the D, 2. Interest of the forum state, 3. P's interest in obtaining relief, 4. interstate judicial system's interest in efficiency, 5. shared interest of all states in social policy). Mostly the first 3 are the most important. The VW case also introduces the foreseeability test (would D foresee getting haled into court in forum state). The BK case kinda set up the test in a two step process, first you look to see if there is purposeful availment, THEN you look at the 5 factors to see if jurisdiction still makes sense. The asahi test is more for stream of commerce. In the hypo you gave above, it is pretty clear the the D was in Cali when he assembled the bike (the action that the claim arises from), so he purposefully availed himself to the state. The company sold the bike directly to the girl in cali, so there is good jurisdiction for them also. If the company sold the bike to someone in nevada, and the girl bought it from the third party, then I would talk abotu Asahi (and maybe buckeye boiler).

To your original question about Venue: I think that Venue presupposes jurisdiction. Venue is more a convenience thing for the P and is limited always by jurisdiction. If the dude was in San Francisco assembling the bike for the girl who lived in San Francisco, the Jurisdiction is good in California, but she couldn't file suit in LA or something.

CivPro is a big maze of rules and cases. This is my best understanding. If someone thinks I am wrong on any of this, please correct me.

User avatar
GeePee
Posts: 1273
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:35 pm

Re: venue/personal jxdn ... wtf

Postby GeePee » Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:19 pm

neilu789 wrote:I think GeePee is confused on Shaffer v Heitner, which dealt with type 2 in rem jurisdiction (can no longer use property to hook a D into your jurisdiction) only and didn't really change anything for in personum jurisdiction. So I don't think it has anything to do with your hypo.

No. Shaffer v. Heitner broke down the illusory type 2 in rem (aka "quasi-in-rem")/in personam boundary. It expressly sought to apply minimum contacts analysis to the owner of the property, rather than the property itself. Think about what quasi-in-rem suits are: you're basically suing someone else and using their property in satisfaction of such a suit, in the event that the plaintiff wins.

Also, I'm not quite sure that the effects test from Calder applies here. The effects test is for intentional torts only. This is a negligence case, so it won't apply.

You're right. I think I realized this afterward, and then promptly forgot what I wanted to change. The purported analysis would still work under purposeful availment test, but don't cite Calder, and don't call it "effects" test.

Anonymous Loser
Posts: 568
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:17 am

Re: venue/personal jxdn ... wtf

Postby Anonymous Loser » Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:22 am

Why are you guys making this so complicated?

OP, sometimes the plaintiff is unable to bring suit in the forum of his choosing, because of either a lack of personal jurisdiction or because venue does not lie. Personal jurisdiction and venue and entirely separate inquiries: PJ is a constitutional issue, whereas venue is merely a statutory issue. Just because you have one doesn't mean you have the other. In your hypo, if the nice guy is found to have insufficient contacts with CA to support the exercise of PJ, well, too bad: the girl can't sue him there.

User avatar
ChattTNdt
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:02 pm

Re: venue/personal jxdn ... wtf

Postby ChattTNdt » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:30 am

1. burden on the D, 2. Interest of the forum state, 3. P's interest in obtaining relief, 4.location of witnesses/evidence, 5. shared interest of all states in social policy


I think these five factors are the "reasonableness" standards, the "traditional notions of fair play & substantial justice", not purposeful availment.

Purposeful availment suggests the benefits D receives from conducting/directing activities in/toward the forum state. For example, in Kulko v Superior Court, the dad sending his kids to live in CA with his ex-wife does not give a CA court jurisdiction over the dad for an action for increased child support. The reasoning is that it was a unilateral act of the ex-wife that caused the kids to be in CA. Also, the dad is not purposefully availing himself to the priviliges of CA and is not gaining direct financial benefit from his kids being in CA; only the kids are benefiting from CA law, and any financial benefit he receives is a result of his kids being anywhere other than his state.

Jurisdiction in the problem you gave is just based on "stream of commerce" (Gray, Volkswagen, Asahi)

neilu789
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:39 pm

Re: venue/personal jxdn ... wtf

Postby neilu789 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:06 pm

GeePee wrote:No. Shaffer v. Heitner broke down the illusory type 2 in rem (aka "quasi-in-rem")/in personam boundary. It expressly sought to apply minimum contacts analysis to the owner of the property, rather than the property itself. Think about what quasi-in-rem suits are: you're basically suing someone else and using their property in satisfaction of such a suit, in the event that the plaintiff wins.


Yeah Shaffer v Harris dealt with type 2 quasi in rem and applied the already established in personam standard (minimum contacts) to suits where you are using the property in place of the person for jurisdiction. But how does that apply to the hypo. The minimum contacts standard is well established for in personam cases (like the hypo) by Ishoe.

and yes, anonymous loser, we are beyond the OP, but just want to clear this up for my own knowledge.

User avatar
GeePee
Posts: 1273
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:35 pm

Re: venue/personal jxdn ... wtf

Postby GeePee » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:04 am

neilu789 wrote:
GeePee wrote:No. Shaffer v. Heitner broke down the illusory type 2 in rem (aka "quasi-in-rem")/in personam boundary. It expressly sought to apply minimum contacts analysis to the owner of the property, rather than the property itself. Think about what quasi-in-rem suits are: you're basically suing someone else and using their property in satisfaction of such a suit, in the event that the plaintiff wins.


Yeah Shaffer v Harris dealt with type 2 quasi in rem and applied the already established in personam standard (minimum contacts) to suits where you are using the property in place of the person for jurisdiction. But how does that apply to the hypo. The minimum contacts standard is well established for in personam cases (like the hypo) by Ishoe.

and yes, anonymous loser, we are beyond the OP, but just want to clear this up for my own knowledge.

Because that phrasing of what minimum contacts is often applied in cases of in personam jurisdiction, because it is one of the first clarifications by the Court of what minimum contacts actually is. It articulates that those contacts need to be relevant to the litigation at hand for minimum contacts to be satisfied. At the time of Int'l Shoe, a concept similar to the eventual standard of minimum concepts was beginning to phase out Pennoyer precedent. By the time the case came around, the court had finally articulated "minimum contacts," but no one knew what it actually was. Finally, about 10 years later, SCOTUS decided a couple cases that helped define what minimum contacts actually were. One was Shaffer v. Heitner, and the other was Hanson v. Denckla.

So while breaking the barrier between in personam and quasi in rem is an important aspect of Shaffer, clarifying what minimum contacts are is equally important from a historical point of view. It's sort of the gateway between the vague Int'l Shoe standard and the later, more dispositive tests.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 6 guests