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Due Process requirements for in personam jurisdiction over a person/entity when service of process occurs outside of the jurisdiction Cases of Interest >  Cyberlaw Cases of Interest >  Cyberlaw >  Jurisdiction

International Shoe Co. v Washington

International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945)

Facts:
International Shoe Co. (P) was a Delaware corporation that employed 11 to 13 salespersons that worked and lived in Washington (D) state; however, the salesmen were under the supervision of managers located in Missouri. The salesmen were not allowed to enter contracts or make collections for P. Further, P did not have an office in D’s state, nor did P contract in D’s state. Allegedly, P did not pay unemployment insurance over a three year period to D. A notice of assessment was served on one of P’s salespersons while in Washington. In accordance with a Washington state statute, the unemployment commissioner of Washington (D), then mailed a notice of assessment to collect unpaid unemployment compensation to International Shoe Co. (P), a non-resident corporation.
Issue:
For a state to subject International Shoe Co., a non-resident, to in personam jurisdiction, will due process be satisfied if only minimum contact with the state seeking jurisdiction have been made?
Holding:
Yes, due process requires only that in order to subject a defendant to a judgment in personam, if he is not present within the territory of the forum, he have certain minimum contacts with it such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. The conduct of appellant corporation's salesmen in soliciting business in the forum state was sufficient minimum contact with the state to subject appellant to suit for a liability to the state unemployment compensation fund that arose out of that conduct.
Reasoning:
To the extent that a corporation exercises the privilege of conducting activities within a state, it enjoys the benefits and protection of the laws of that state. Applying these standards, the activities carried on in behalf of appellant in the State of Washington were neither irregular nor casual. They were “systematic and continuous” throughout the years in question. They resulted in a large volume of interstate business, in the course of which appellant received the benefits and protection of the laws of the state, including the right to resort to the courts for the enforcement of its rights. The obligation which is here sued upon arose out of those very activities. It is evident that these operations establish sufficient contacts or ties with the state of the forum to make it reasonable and just, according to our traditional conception of fair play and substantial justice, to permit the state to enforce the obligations which appellant has incurred there.
Evaluation of Decision:
The ruling in Shoe makes sense, but I tend to agree more strongly with Justice Black’s dissent. Essentially the manner in which the majority has sided, as Justice Black points out, takes away certain rights of a state’s citizens. When the contacts are deemed to be too minimum to acquire in personam jurisdiction over a corporation, a state loses its ability to protect its citizens from issues arising out of their contacts with the corporation. I further agree with Justice Black, and equally agitated by the majority’s notion of depriving a State of the right to protect its citizens simply because it would be more “convenient” for the corporation to litigate elsewhere.


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Page last modified on Thursday 22 of April, 2010 22:46:28 GMT by gshaffe3.

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
131 Cyberlaw Case Brief International Shoe Co v. Washington (1945).docx International Shoe Case Brief in MS Word 2007 format gshaffe3 Thu 22 of Apr, 2010 22:48 GMT 13.86 Kb 1971
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