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Chapter 2

JURISDICTION OVER THE PARTIES


ChapterScope This Chapter examines “jurisdiction over the parties,” that is, a court's power to decide a case between the particular parties before it. The most important concepts in this Chapter are:

  • Minimum contacts: Whether the defendant is an individual or a corporation, the court may proceed only if D has “minimum contacts” with the state in which the court sits. This is true for all state-court actions and most federal-court actions.
  • Voluntariness: Usually a corporation will be found to have the requisite minimum contacts with the forum state only if the corporation has somehow voluntarily sought to do business in, or with the residents of, the forum state.
    •   “At home” requirement for general jurisdiction: If the plaintiff's claim against a corporate defendant does not involve that corporation's activities inside the forum state (i.e., the suit is said to be based on “general” rather than “specific” jurisdiction), the corporation can't be required to defend unless the corporation is “at home” in the forum state, meaning it's either incorporated there or has its principal place of business there.
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