What is Personal Jurisdiction?
A Court's Ability to Exercise Authority Over an Individual
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Table of ContentsWhat is Personal Jurisdiction?Personal Jurisdiction over Criminal Cases? Personal Jurisdiction in Civil Cases? Discussion QuestionPractice QuestionAcademic Research
What is Personal Jurisdiction?
How to establish personal jurisdiction is discussed below.
Next Article: Federal Personal Jurisdiction Back to: US COURT SYSTEM
Why is Personal Jurisdiction Required?
Personal Jurisdiction over Criminal Cases?
- Relevant Law: Strassheim v Daily, 221 US 280, 285; (1911), Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes wrote, that a state properly may punish a defendant for acts committed outside the state if those acts were intended to, and actually did, produce detrimental effects within the state.
Personal Jurisdiction in Civil Cases?
- Relevant Law: International Shoe v Washington, 326 US 310 (1945), requiring minimum contacts with a state, sufficient not to offend notions of fair play and substantial justice.
- A state has police power to protect the health, welfare, and morality of its people. Protecting its citizens from criminal conduct occurring within the state is paramount. However, the state has little ability to protect its citizens from criminal conduct occurring outside of its borders. To exercise personal jurisdiction over an individual with minimum contacts with the state must be balanced against the Due Process rights of the individuals. Exercising criminal jurisdiction over a defendant puts in jeopardy their liberty and fundamental constitutional rights. There is an argument that these rights are too strong and fundamental to infringe upon if the individual did not commit the criminal conduct within the state.
Practice QuestionClarence lives in California. While he was visiting South Carolina, he was driving while intoxicated and crashed his vehicle. The wreck injured a bystander, Devon. Clarence, afraid that he would be arrested, quickly fled the scene of the accident. The next day he returned to California. What are the personal jurisdiction issues if the prosecutor's office in South Carolina seeks to bring criminal charges against Clarence for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident? What are the personal jurisdiction issues if Devon wishes to sue Clarence?
- The SC prosecutor would need to seek an indictment and secure an arrest warrant before subjecting Clarence to prosecution within the state. To secure the arrest warrant, she would need to show the court that the criminal conduct occurred within the state, thus giving the state personal jurisdiction over Clarence for purposes of prosecution. The warrant would then be sent to California for the purpose of arresting and extraditing Clarence back to SC. For civil purposes, Deven could file a complaint against Devon in SC. He would need to demonstrate the Devon had minimum contacts with the state sufficient to satisfy the SC long-arm statute.
- Dodson, Scott, Plaintiff Personal Jurisdiction and Venue Transfer (August 7, 2018). Michigan Law Review, Vol. 117, No. 6, 2019; UC Hastings Research Paper No. 300. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3228023
- Sterk, Stewart E., Personal Jurisdiction and Choice of Law (January 23, 2013). Iowa Law Review, Vol. 98, No. 3, 2013; Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 382. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2194111
- Solimine, Michael, The Quiet Revolution in Personal Jurisdiction (January 1998). Tulane Law Review, Vol. 83, No. 2, 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=140313
- Robertson, Cassandra Burke and Rhodes, Charles W. (Rocky), The Business of Personal Jurisdiction (May 26, 2017). 68 Case Western Reserve Law Review 775 (2017); Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2975517
- Steinman, Adam, Access to Justice, Rationality, and Personal Jurisdiction (October 19, 2018). Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 71, No. 1401, 2018; U of Alabama Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3270046. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3270046
- Nash, Jonathan, National Personal Jurisdiction (February 6, 2018). Emory Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3119383 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3119383
- Dodson, Scott, Personal Jurisdiction and Aggregation (February 23, 2018). 113 Northwestern University Law Review 1 (2018); UC Hastings Research Paper No. 273. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3129100
- Florey, Katherine, What Personal Jurisdiction Doctrine Does - And What it Should Do (July 10, 2017). UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper; Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2999998
- Dodge, William S. and Dodson, Scott, Personal Jurisdiction and Aliens (August 22, 2017). 116 Michigan Law Review 1205 (2018); UC Hastings Research Paper No. 249. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3024207