Civil Procedure.  A court’s authority to hear any and all claims against a defendant, including claims that do not have any connection to the forum state.  For general jurisdiction to exist over a nonresident defendant, the defendant must engage in “continuous and systematic general business contacts” that “approximate physical presence” in the forum state. This is an exacting standard, as it should be, because a finding of general jurisdiction permits a defendant to be haled into court in the forum state to answer for any of its activities anywhere in the world.

Compare with Specific Jurisdiction.

Reference Desk

Marvix Photo, Inc. v. Brand Tech. Inc., 647 F.3d 1218 (9th Cir. 2011)

“A court may assert general jurisdiction over foreign (sister-state or foreign-country) corporations to hear any and all claims against them when their affiliations with the State are so `continuous and systematic’ as to render them essentially at home in the forum State.” Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown___ U.S. ___131 S.Ct. 28462851180 L.Ed.2d 796 (2011). For general jurisdiction to exist, a defendant must engage in “continuous and systematic general business contacts,”Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall466 U.S. 408416104 S.Ct. 186880 L.Ed.2d 404 (1984), that “approximate physical presence” in the forum state, Bancroft Masters, Inc. v. Augusta Nat’l, Inc.223 F.3d 10821086 (9th Cir. 2000). “The standard is met only by `continuous corporate operations within a state [that are] thought so substantial and of such a nature as to justify suit against [the defendant] on causes of action arising from dealings entirely distinct from those activities.’” King v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co.632 F.3d 570, 579(9th Cir. 2011) (alterations in original) (quoting International Shoe326 U.S. at 31866 S.Ct. 154). To determine whether a nonresident defendant’s contacts are sufficiently substantial, continuous, and systematic, we consider their “[longevity, continuity, volume, economic impact, physical presence, and integration into the state’s regulatory or economic markets.” Tuazon v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.433 F.3d 11631172 (9th Cir. 2006). The standard for general jurisdiction “is an exacting standard, as it should be, because a finding of general jurisdiction permits a defendant to be haled into court in the forum state to answer for any of its activities anywhere in the world.” Schwarzenegger374 F.3d at 801.

The Supreme Court has found general personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant in only one case, although it did not use the term “general jurisdiction” in its opinion. Perkins v. Benguet Consol Mining Co.342 U.S. 437447-4872 S.Ct. 41396 L.Ed. 485 (1952). The Court has recently described Perkins as the “textbook case of general jurisdiction appropriately exercised over a foreign corporation that has not consented to suit in the forum.”Goodyear131 S.Ct. at 2856 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The facts of Perkins
illustrate the nature and extent of the contacts required for general jurisdiction. The defendant was a Philippine corporation whose mining operations were suspended while the Japanese occupied the Philippines during World War II. 342 U.S. at 44772 S.Ct. 413. The corporation’s president, who was also its general manager and principal stockholder, returned to his home in Ohio, where he ran a corporate office. Id. at 447, 18, 72 S.Ct. 413. The president kept business files in Ohio; handled corporate correspondence from Ohio; drew employees’ salaries from accounts in Ohio banks and distributed paychecks; held directors’ meetings while he was in Ohio;’ and “carried on in Ohio a continuous and systematic supervision of the necessarily limited wartime activities of the company.”Id. at 448, 72 S.Ct. 413. Plaintiffs “cause of action . . . did not arise in Ohio and [did] not relate to the corporation’s activities there.” Id. at 438, 72 S.Ct. 413. But because of the nature and extent of the corporation’s activities in the state, “Ohio was the corporation’s principal, if temporary, place of business.” Keeton v. Hustler Magazine, Inc.465 U.S. 770779 n. 11, 104 S.Ct. 147379 L.Ed.2d 790 (1984) (describing facts of Perkins). The Court therefore upheld the exercise of personal jurisdiction over the corporation in Ohio. Id.; see also, e.g., Tuazon433 F.3d at 1173-74 (finding general jurisdiction in Washington over North Carolina cigarette company that had been licensed to do business in the state for more than 60 years, had advertised in purely local publications for more than 50 years, kept a permanent office and workforce in-state, engaged in local political activity, and had made “hundreds of millions of dollars in annual net sales in recent years”).

By contrast, both the Supreme Court and our court have refused to permit the exercise of general jurisdiction based on contacts that were not so substantial, continuous, or systematic. For example, in Goodyear, the Court held that foreign subsidiaries of Goodyear USA, organized and operating in Turkey, France and Luxembourg, were not subject to general jurisdiction in North Carolina. Two North Carolina residents had been killed in France when a tire manufactured by one of the subsidiaries failed, causing a bus to overturn. 131 S.Ct. at 2851. Between 2004 and 2007, tens of thousands of tires made by the foreign subsidiaries, out of tens of millions of tires manufactured made by them during this period, reached North Carolina through the “stream of commerce.” Id. at 2852. However, the subsidiaries were not registered to do business in North Carolina; had no places of business, no employees, and no bank accounts in North Carolina; did not design, manufacture, or advertise their tires in North Carolina; did not solicit business in North Carolina; and did not themselves sell or ship tires to customers in North Carolina. Id.

In Helicopteros, the Court held that a Colombian corporation was not subject to general jurisdiction in Texas even though the corporation sent its CEO to Texas to negotiate a contract; spent more than $4 million to purchase approximately 80 percent of its fleet of aircraft, as well as spare parts and accessories, from a Texas supplier; sent pilots for training in Texas; sent management and maintenance personnel to Texas for technical consultation; and received over $5 million in contract payments from funds drawn on a Texas bank. 466 U.S. at 411417104 S.Ct. 1868see also, e.g., Keeton465 U.S. at 772779 n. 11, 104 S.Ct. 1473 (contrasting Perkins and denying general jurisdiction in New Hampshire over Ohio corporation that circulated 10,000-15,000 copies of its magazine per month in New Hampshire); Schwarzenegger374 F.3d at 801 (denying general jurisdiction in California over Ohio automobile dealership that regularly purchased automobiles imported by California importers via contracts that included a choice-of-law provision specifying California law; regularly retained the services of a California marketing company; hired a California corporation for consulting services; and maintained a website accessible in California); Glencore Grain Rotterdam B.V. v. Shimath Rai Harnarain Co.284 F.3d 11141124-25 (9th Cir. 2002); Bancroft Masters223 F.3d at 1086.

Eon Corp. v. AT&T Mobility, LLC, 879 F. Supp. 2d 194 (D. Puerto Rico 2012)

The second, and more difficult, question is whether the Web site’s interactivity warrants general jurisdiction over ATT-M. The Court finds that it does not. In reaching this conclusion, we bear in mind the sobering ramifications of exercising general jurisdiction over a nonresident corporation based on its Web site. As the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals notes, the standard for general jurisdiction “is an exacting standard, as it should be, because a finding of general jurisdiction permits a defendant to be haled into court in the forum state to answer for any of its activities anywhere in the world.” College-Source, Inc., 653 F.3d at 1074 (quoting Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 801 (9th Cir.2004)) (internal quotations omitted). These considerations are all the more urgent when dealing with a commercial Web site. Cossaboon v. Maine Med. Ctr., 600 F.3d 25, 35-36 (1st Cir.2010); CollegeSource, Inc., 653 F.3d at 1075. Indeed, interactive Web sites where a user can exchange information with a corporation are extremely common. CollegeSource, Inc., 653 F.3d at 1075 (citing Zippo Mfg. Co., 952 F.Supp. at 1124). If the activities of an interactive commercial Web site were enough to support general jurisdiction in every forum in 207*207 which users interacted with the Web site, we would soon face the inevitable demise of all restrictions on the personal jurisdiction of the courts. Id. at pp. 1075-76 (quoting World-Wide Volkswagen, 444 U.S. at 286, 100 S.Ct. 559) (internal quotations omitted). See also Dagesse v. Plant Hotel N.V., 113 F.Supp.2d 211, 217 (D.N.H.2000); Millennium Enter. v. Millennium Music, 33 F.Supp.2d 907, 910 (D.Or.1999). Therefore, case law concerning interactive Web sites has tended to set the jurisdictional bar quite high. See Campbell Pet Co., 542 F.3d at 884 (holding Internet sales of $14,000 insufficient for general jurisdiction); Revell v. Lidov, 317 F.3d 467, 471 (5th Cir.2002) (holding subscription sales to be insufficient for general jurisdiction); Bird v. Parsons, 289 F.3d 865, 873-74 (6th Cir.2002) (holding that 4,666 Internet domain-name registrations insufficient for general jurisdiction). We find no reason to stray from established precedent: ATT-M’s activities, conducted via the AT & T Web site, are insufficient to warrant general jurisdiction.

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