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The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, 2nd Edition edited by Hall, Kermit L (23rd June 2005)

I, In Personam Jurisdiction.

Edited By: Kermit L. Hall, James W. Ely Jr., Joel B. Grossman

From: The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Kermit L. Hall

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Subscriber: null; date: 03 July 2020

In Personam Jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court has consistently held that in order for a court to take jurisdiction of a cause, the *Fifth or *Fourteenth Amendments’ *due process clauses require that it have jurisdiction over the person of the defendant as well as subject-matter jurisdiction over the cause itself. In the early case of *Pennoyer v. Neff (1878), Justice Stephen J. *Field asserted twin fundamental principles derived from the *Tenth Amendment: “[E]very State possesses exclusive jurisdiction and sovereignty over persons and property within its territory” and “no State can exercise direct jurisdiction and authority over persons or property without its territory” (p. 722). The first of these has been generally reaffirmed in Burnham v. Superior Court (1990), upholding so-called tag service on a person physically present in a state’s territory.

Revolutions in communications and transportation, the ensuing growth of the interstate market, and the preeminence of the corporation in the American economy soon rendered Field’s position insufficient. In International Shoe Co. v. Washington (1945), the Court modernized concepts of in personam jurisdiction by requiring that a person have “minimum contacts with [a state] such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend ‘traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice” ’ (p. 316). States quickly exploited this new standard by enacting “long-arm” statutes extending the jurisdiction of their courts to out-of-state parties who had the requisite minimum contacts, defined in terms of contractual or tortious activity having an impact in the state. The Supreme Court upheld jurisdiction exercised under such statutes in Burger King Corp. v. Rudziewicz (1985).

See also judicial power and jurisdiction; state courts.

William M. Wiecek