Civil Procedure Class Notes
“Ready to spend some more time with Pennoyer? I can see the eagerness!”
Pennoyer is helping to sort out categories of jurisdiction in the 19th century world. At that point, you just had in personam and in rem. Today, we recognize the situation in Pennoyer as “Type II” quasi in rem jurisdiction.
We’re mixing how Justice Field would describe the situation with today’s analysis. For Field, the world was kind of black and white.
Field said that for in rem jurisdiction, you need to attach the property first, before the suit is started. Or if you can personally serve the defendant within the state, you can get in personam jurisdiction.
One exception: the idea of consent. There are situations where an individual can consent in advance to be brought under the jurisdiction of a court. That’s sort of a third variety that’s implicit in Field’s contents.
Here come some hypotheticals! Page 86, note 7.
A lives in
A is going to sue B over a
piece of land in
Let’s say we serve B in
How about the same thing,
except instead of filing the motion to dismiss, B just does nothing? A will get a default judgment in
What if A serves B while B is
on business in
How about the same thing,
where B is personally served in
This time, A attaches B’s
land first and obtains a judgment against B.
B challenges the sale of the land on jurisdictional grounds. But B would lose, because once the land is
Next up, A serves process by
publication and doesn’t attach B’s land.
B doesn’t respond and A gets a default judgment. A then sues B in
How about a marriage
suit? Say you serve the spouse
“Marriage vitiates all procedure.”
What about a suit for alimony
and child support? We personally serve B
Conceptually, think of in rem as land. If you stop thinking about in rem as land, you’ll get in trouble.
Don’t forget, we’re talking about the historical rules in the 19th century.
What about the fishing trip
on the border between
Were there “special appearances” in the time of Pennoyer? Yes, and that’s what we assume B does.
If B wanted some other forum
to decide the issue of personal jurisdiction, he should have argued jurisdiction
A court has the responsibility to raise subject matter jurisdiction at any point, even on appeal. In general, though, litigants have to bring issues to courts’ jurisdiction. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12 set up the circumstances under which someone can bring up these issues.
Quasi in rem jurisdiction wasn’t properly obtained in Pennoyer. Why did Field go on to talk about personal jurisdiction when there wasn’t proper in rem jurisdiction in the first place? Field wants to give us his view of jurisdiction. He wants to ground it in the Constitution. Field makes Pennoyer an issue of constitutional law. This becomes the foundation of personal jurisdiction for some time to come.
Dicta are not law, but if it is followed by other courts, it can become law.
Why did the federal court not have to give full faith and credit to the state court in Pennoyer? Full Faith and Credit only applies between states, not between a state and federal government. Today, there is a statute that says the federal government must give full faith and credit to state rulings.
Furthermore, we only give full faith and credit to judgments where there is due process.
What does due process mean in the context of procedure? It is necessary to establish jurisdiction. What does due process mean to Neff? What is due process? You need service of process in order to have due process.
You need a court that has subject matter jurisdiction and you need the defendant to be served process within that state, or else they must voluntarily appear.
Next time – more on Pennoyer and Rule 12