Procedure Class Notes
Shaffer seeks to make Shoe the standard for more or less all jurisdictional questions.
In a quasi in rem action, specific jurisdiction depends on how closely related the defendant’s contact to the forum is to the claim itself.
One more hypothetical
are my contacts with the forum? I have a
house there. The contact has not
changed. What obligations go along with
my contact? How related is my claim to
my contact with the forum? Is this more like a suit for specific performance on the land,
or is it more like an auto accident in
I’m getting sued for something that I didn’t do.
The court would probably find jurisdiction here, but we’re on a spectrum; it’s sort of a grey area.
A review of two types of quasi in rem
1. An action to secure a preexisting claim in the property or extinguish someone else’s. This is like the specific performance example.
2. An action
where you try to substitute for personal jurisdiction, in that you apply the defendant’s
property to satisfy a claim that is unrelated to the property. This is more like both the auto accident in
The grey area is in Type 2.
On the other hand, in a true in rem action, the local court will always have personal jurisdiction because the contact is 100% related to the claim.
go back to
Justice Marshall says that if the state had such a pressing interest, they should have included it in the statute.
the aftermath of this case, the state of
We have traditionally considered the rules of jurisdiction based on fairness to the defendant. But the dissenters in Shaffer suggest that the state has an interest in protecting its citizens and that if it articulates that interest, we ought to give some credence to it.
The court teases out some elements that go into the “minimum contacts” test that are easily stated but hard to define.
Notice and foreseeability
to the statute, you might assume, but would not know, that you might be
subject to jurisdiction in
Concurring opinions in Shaffer
Justice Powell would reserve judgment on the broad statement that all in rem actions will have sufficiently related contacts. He wants to leave that open.
Justice Stevens agrees with the judgment but not the reasoning. He thinks this case is all about notice (the hidden strand of Pennoyer).
Justice Brennan agrees that Shoe controls here, but he fears that the state ignores the State’s interests.
Justice Rehnquist recused himself, possibly because he owned stock in Greyhound or had some other kind of personal connection to the case.
Cases on specific jurisdiction
We’re going back in time to 1957 and 1958. They are decided at about the same time by the same judges with pretty similar facts…yet, the Court comes to two rather different results. What’s the difference?
going on in McGee? A guy buys
life insurance from a company that was based in
gets to make these front line decisions about jurisdiction? The
If you have a defense on the merits of the case, collateral attack is very risky.
is the result of the case? There are
sufficient contacts for
Black says that there was a substantial connection between the forum and the defendant.
contacts are there? The insured mails
his premiums to
Is there anything troubling about being able to sue an out-of-state insurance company in your home state when you’ve been paying premiums for years and years and they refuse to pay your claim?
It’s very hard to divorce these cases from the circumstances of the parties in each case. There are poor dead folks in both.
Could the Court be pushing it to get the result they want?
the state of
In other cases, we’ve heard a lot about the defendant’s interest, but in this case we hear a lot more about the plaintiff’s interest and the state’s interest.
about notice? Is there notice or foreseeability in this case? Did the insurance company have an idea that
they might be sued in
Wasn’t Black the guy who had trouble with the wishy-washy standard of Shoe?
Stevie Y. describes McGee as the “outer extreme” of jurisdictional aggressiveness. He speculates that if this case were to come up today, the modern Court would not come to the same conclusion. The contacts are weak…but there’s something about this. There seem to be contacts that warrant jurisdiction. It doesn’t seem to be unfair.
What are the facts of this case?
woman has a trust established in
a probate court in
Tomorrow, we’ll start asking why, through applying contacts analysis, this one comes out that way.