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A. Different categories:In most states, there are a number of different criteria which will enable the court to take personal jurisdiction over an individual. Some of the most common (each of which will be considered in detail below) are: [9]

1. Presence within the forum state;

2. Domicile or residence within the forum state;

3. Consent to be sued within the forum state;

4. Driving a car within the forum state;

5.Committing a tortious actwithin the state (or, perhaps, committing an out-of-state act with in-state tortious consequences);

6.Ownership of propertyin the forum state;

7.Conducting businessin the forum state;

8.Being married in, or living while married in, the forum state.

Note:Regardless of the criteria used by the state and its long-arm for establishing personal jurisdiction over the individual, due process requires that the individual have minimum contactswith the forum state before personal jurisdiction may be exercised over her. The meaning of "minimum contacts" is discussed further below in the treatment of jurisdiction over corporations.

B. Presence:Jurisdiction may be exercised over an individual by virtue of his presence within the forum state. That is, even if the individual is an out-of-state resident who comes into the forum state only briefly, personal jurisdiction over him may be gotten as long as service was made on him while he was in the forum state. [10]

Example: D and his wife, P, separate while residing in New Jersey. P moves to California with their children. D visits California on business, and stops briefly to visit the children.

While D is visiting, P serves him with process in a California suit for divorce. D never visits the state again.

Held, California can constitutionally assert personal jurisdiction over D based on his presence in the state at the time of service, even though that presence was brief, and even though D had virtually no other contacts with the state. [Burnham v. Superior Court].

C. Domicile:Jurisdiction may be exercised over a person who is domiciled within the forum state, even if the person is temporarily absent from the state. A person is considered to be domiciled in the place where he has his current dwelling place, if he also has the intention to remain in that place for an indefinite period. [11 - 13]

D. Residence:Some states allow jurisdiction to be exercised on the basis of D’s residence in the forum state, even though he is absent from the state. A person may have several residences simultaneously. (The Supreme Court has not yet passed on the due process validity of jurisdiction based solely on residence, so this remains presumptively a valid method of gaining jurisdiction.) [13]

E. Consent:Jurisdiction over a party can be exercised by virtue of her consent, even if she has no contacts whatsoever with the forum state. [14]

Example: P, who does not reside in Ohio or have any other contacts with Ohio, brings suit against D in Ohio. By filing the suit in Ohio, P will be deemed to have consented to Ohio’s jurisdiction.

D may then counterclaim against P. Even if P dismisses his own suit, his consent to the action will be binding, and the Ohio courts will have personal jurisdiction over him on the counterclaim.

F. Non-resident motorist:Most states have statutes allowing the courts to exercise jurisdiction over non-resident motorists who have been involved in accidents in the state. [15]

Example: P is a resident of the forum state. D, not a resident of the forum state, is driving his car in the forum state, and has a collision with P’s car. Even if D has no other contacts with the state, a non-resident motorist statute will probably be in force in the state, and will probably give the forum state’s courts jurisdiction over a tort suit by P against D.

1. Service on state official:Most of the non-resident motorist statutes provide for in-state service of process on a designated state official (e.g., the Director of Motor Vehicles) and for registered mail service on the out-of-state defendant himself. [16]

G. In-state tortiousness:Many states have statutes allowing their courts jurisdiction over persons committing tortious acts within the state. [16]

Example: D, an out-of-stater, gets into a fight with P at a bar in P’s home state. P wants to bring a civil battery claim against D in the state. If, as is likely, the state has a long-arm provision governing tortious acts within the state, P will be able to get personal jurisdiction over D in the battery action.

1. Out-of-state acts with in-state consequences:Some "in-state tortious acts" long-arm clauses have been interpreted to include acts done outside the state which produce tortious consequences within the state.

In a products liability situation, a vendor who sells products that he knows will be used in the state may constitutionally be required to defend in the state, if the product causes injury in the state. [Gray v. American Radiator Corp.] [16]

H. Owners of in-state property:Many states exercise jurisdiction over owners of in-state property in causes of action arising from that property. [18]

I. Conducting business:States often exercise jurisdiction over non-residents who conduct businesses within the state. Since states may regulate an individual’s business conduct in the state, they may constitutionally exercise jurisdiction relating to that doing of business. [19]

J. Domestic relations cases:Courts sometimes try to take personal jurisdiction over a non-resident party to a domestic relations case. However, the requirement of "minimum contacts" applies here (as in every personal jurisdiction situation), and that requirement may bar the state from taking jurisdiction. [26]

Example: A father resides in New York, and permits his minor daughter to go to California to live there with her mother. Held, the father does not have sufficient minimum contacts with California to allow the mother to bring an in personam suit in California against him for increased child support. [Kulko v. Superior Court]

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