Gibbons v. Brown
716 So.2d 868 (Fl. Dist. Ct. App. 1998)
Yeazell, pp. 192-193
Facts: Brown and her husband got
into an accident with Gibbons. Brown’s
husband was driving, and Gibbons allegedly gave him bad directions, causing the
accident. Gibbons, a
Issue: Does the
Analysis: The court assumes that the
first lawsuit is over, and thus finds that Gibbons is not currently
engaged in any activities in
Conclusion: The court dismisses Mrs. Brown’s lawsuit.
Notes and Problems
1. The court
doesn’t address the constitutional test, but rather just the
a. Ms. Gibbons’s
activity doesn’t satisfy the
a. Assuming that
purposeful availment doesn’t have a time limit,
b. Gibbons is distinguishable from
this case based on the
a. In order to make the statute the same as the due process clause, you would get rid of the words “tortious act”, because presumably you can get jurisdiction over a contract breaker as well. You would get rid of “injury” and “within the state”, as well as “regularly” and “in the state”…well, basically, you would have to change the whole thing.
b. If you
interpret the words “person or property within the state” to include persons domiciled
in the state of
a. The state test is always a threshold test that you do before you even look at the Constitution.
b. It could be good for business for a state to restrict its jurisdiction. Companies might like doing business there better if they know they are less likely to have to defend themselves in that forum.
c. Even if the statute is written one way, it may be interpreted more broadly.
a. Since notice is a necessary but not sufficient condition for personal jurisdiction, there’s no problem constitutionally, unless I misunderstand and Steve Y. is telling me that notice has been construed to be sufficient for personal jurisdiction. In either case, federal courts might sometimes serve notice but subsequently find that there is no personal jurisdiction.
b. The problem here is that there’s a lack of notice to the defendant that he could be subject to personal jurisdiction on a state claim, contrary to the clear language of the statute. It is the right result as far as efficiency goes, I suppose.