326 U.S. 310 (1945)

A seminal United States Supreme Court opinion in the area of personal jurisdiction/civil procedure in which the Court held that it was not repugnant to the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment for a foreign corporate defendant with “minimum contacts” with a state to be subjected to personal jurisdiction of that state’s courts.

The case involved a defendant corporation (International Shoe Co.) which was incorporated in Delaware and had its principal place of business in Missouri.  The corporation did not have any offices in the State of Washington, did not maintain any merchandise in the state, did not enter into any sale contracts in that state, and did not make deliveries of its products in intrastate commerce origination from Washington.

However, International Shoe did employ eleven to thirteen salesmen for three years.  Those salesmen resided in Washington.   Their commissions each year totaled more than $31,000 and International Shoe reimbursed them for expenses. Prices, terms, and acceptance or rejection of footwear orders were established through St. Louis. Salesmen did not have authority to make contracts or collections.

In order to recover the unpaid contributions to the unemployment compensation fund, the State of Washington filed an action against International Shoe in a Washington state court.  The entity was served with the summons and complaint via personal service of same to an agent of the entity located in Washington and by registered mail to the entity’s headquarters.

After the Washington Supreme Court held that the state court had personal jurisdiction over International Shoe, the case went before the United States Supreme Court.  The issue facing the court was whether the foreign defendant entity’s activities in Washington subject it to personal jurisdiction in Washington courts.  The Court answered in the affirmative and held that, in line with the Due Process Clause, International Shoe was subject to personal jurisdiction based on the “minimum contacts” it had with the state.

The Court reasoned that, although a casual presence of a corporation or its agent in a state in single or isolated incidents is not enough to establish jurisdiction, the activities carried on by International Shoe in Washington were systematic and continuous rather than irregular or casual. Among other things, the entity defendant received the benefits and protection of the laws of the state and, therefore, is subject to jurisdiction of that state’s courts.

Reference Desk:

Helicopteros Nacionales De Colombia, S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408 (1984)

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment operates to limit the power of a State to assert in personam jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant. Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714, 24 L.Ed. 565 (1878). Due process requirements are satisfied when in personam jurisdiction is asserted over a nonresident corporate defendant that has “certain minimum contacts with [the forum] such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend ‘traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.’ ” International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 66 S.Ct. 154, 158, 90 L.Ed. 95 (1945), quoting Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S. 457, 463, 61 S.Ct. 339, 342, 85 L.Ed. 278 (1940). When a controversy is related to or “arises out of” a defendant’s contacts with the forum, the Court has said that a “relationship among the defendant, the forum, and the litigation” is the essential foundation of in personam jurisdiction. Shaffer v. Heitner, 433 U.S. 186, 204, 97 S.Ct. 2569, 2579, 53 L.Ed.2d 683 (1977).

Daimler Ag v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117 (2014)

“The canonical opinion in this area remains International Shoe [Co. v. Washington], 326 U.S. 310 [66 S.Ct. 154, 90 L.Ed. 95 (1945)], in which we held that a State may authorize its courts to exercise personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant if the defendant has `certain minimum contacts with [the State] such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.”‘” Goodyear, 564 U.S., at ___, 131 S.Ct., at 2853(quoting International Shoe, 326 U.S., at 316, 66 S.Ct. 154). Following International Shoe, “the relationship among the defendant, the forum, and the litigation, rather than the mutually exclusive sovereignty of the States on which the rules of Pennoyer rest, became the central concern of the inquiry into personal jurisdiction.” Shaffer, 433 U.S., at 204, 97 S.Ct. 2569.

International Shoe‘s conception of “fair play and substantial justice” presaged the development of two categories of personal jurisdiction. The first category is represented by International Shoe itself, a case in which the in-state activities of the corporate defendant “ha[d] not only been continuous and systematic, but also g[a]ve rise to the liabilities sued on.” 326 U.S., at 317, 66 S.Ct. 154.[4]International Shoe recognized, as well, that “the commission of some single or occasional acts of the corporate agent in a state” may sometimes be enough to subject the corporation to jurisdiction in that State’s tribunals with respect to suits relating to that in-state activity. Id., at 318, 66 S.Ct. 154. Adjudicatory authority of this order, in which the suit “aris[es] out of or relate[s] to the defendant’s contacts with the forum,” Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 414, n. 8, 104 S.Ct. 1868, 80 L.Ed.2d 404 (1984), is today called “specific jurisdiction.” See Goodyear, 564 U.S., at ___, 131 S.Ct., at 2853 (citing von Mehren & Trautman, Jurisdiction to Adjudicate: A Suggested Analysis, 79 Harv. L.Rev. 1121, 1144-1163 (1966) (hereinafter von Mehren & Trautman)).

International Shoe distinguished between, on the one hand, exercises of specific jurisdiction, as just described, and on the other, situations where a foreign corporation’s “continuous corporate operations within a state [are] so substantial and of such a nature as to justify suit against it on causes of action arising from dealings entirely distinct from those activities.” 326 U.S., at 318, 66 S.Ct. 154. As we have since explained, “[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, 564 U.S., at ___, 131 S.Ct., at 2851; see id., at ___, 131 S.Ct., at 2853-2854; Helicopteros, 466 U.S., at 414, n. 9, 104 S.Ct. 1868.[5]

755*755 Since International Shoe, “specific jurisdiction has become the centerpiece of modern jurisdiction theory, while general jurisdiction [has played] a reduced role.” Goodyear, 564 U.S., at ___, 131 S.Ct., at 2854 (quoting Twitchell, The Myth of General Jurisdiction, 101 Harv. L.Rev. 610, 628 (1988)). International Shoe‘s momentous departure from Pennoyer‘s rigidly territorial focus, we have noted, unleashed a rapid expansion of tribunals’ ability to hear claims against out-of-state defendants when the episode-in-suit occurred in the forum or the defendant purposefully availed itself of the forum.[6] Our subsequent decisions have continued to bear out the prediction that “specific jurisdiction will come into sharper relief and form a considerably more significant part of the scene.” von Mehren & Trautman 1164.[7]

Our post-International Shoe opinions on general jurisdiction, by comparison, are few. “[The Court’s] 1952 decision in Perkins v. Benguet Consol. Mining Co.remains the textbook case of general jurisdiction 756*756 appropriately exercised over a foreign corporation that has not consented to suit in the forum.” Goodyear, 564 U.S., at ___, 131 S.Ct., at 2856 (internal quotation marks and brackets omitted). The defendant in Perkins, Benguet, was a company incorporated under the laws of the Philippines, where it operated gold and silver mines. Benguet ceased its mining operations during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II; its president moved to Ohio, where he kept an office, maintained the company’s files, and oversaw the company’s activities. Perkins v. Benguet Consol. Mining Co., 342 U.S. 437, 448, 72 S.Ct. 413, 96 L.Ed. 485 (1952). The plaintiff, an Ohio resident, sued Benguet on a claim that neither arose in Ohio nor related to the corporation’s activities in that State. We held that the Ohio courts could exercise general jurisdiction over Benguet without offending due process. Ibid. That was so, we later noted, because “Ohio was the corporation’s principal, if temporary, place of business.” Keeton v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 465 U.S. 770, 780, n. 11, 104 S.Ct. 1473, 79 L.Ed.2d 790 (1984).

Portnoy v. Defiance, Inc., 951 F.2d 169 (8th Cir. 1991)

It follows that the only issue before us on this appeal is whether the assertion of jurisdiction would violate federal due process. In the seminal case of International Shoe v. Washington, 326 U.S. 31066 S.Ct. 15490 L.Ed. 95 (1945), it was said that “due process requires only that . . . he [the defendant] have certain minimum contacts with it [the forum] such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend `traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.’” Id. at 316, 66 S.Ct. at 158. A restriction was engrafted on this in Hanson v. Denckla, 357 U.S. 23578 S.Ct. 12282 L.Ed.2d 1283 (1958) when the court held that before a state can exercise jurisdiction it is essential that there be a showing that the defendant purposely availed itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum state.

Boaz v. Boyle Co., 40 Cal.App.4th 700 (1995)

“A California court may exercise judicial jurisdiction over nonresidents on any basis not inconsistent with the United States Constitution or the California Constitution. . . . In a significant line of cases beginning with Internat. Shoe Co. v Washington (1945) 326 U.S. 310. . ., the United States Supreme Court has defined the parameters of the power of the states to compel nonresidents to defend suits brought against them in the state’s courts. . . . The general rule is that the forum state may not exercise jurisdiction over a nonresident unless his relationship to the state is such as to make the exercise of such jurisdiction reasonable.” (Cornelison v. Chaney (1976)16 Cal.3d 143147 [127 Cal.Rptr. 352545 P.2d 264], citations omitted.)

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