Is the defendant’s conduct with the plaintiffs in Nevada enough to establish SPJ?
The defendant’s suit related conduct must create a substantial connection with the forum state.
- Contact comes from the defendant’s actions
- Contact must be with the forum state, not just the plaintiff in the forum state.
There is insufficient evidence that the conduct was directed towards the forums state. Therefore, reversed and dismissed.
Plaintiff was traveling back to Nevada from out of country. They had a layover in Georgia where they were stopped by police officers and a lot of money was confiscated (believing it to be drug money). Once in Nevada, and the money had not yet been returned, and an affidavit was created in an attempt for the government to maintain the money, the plaintiffs filed suit in Nevada.
They had several fourth amendment claims, but we are focused on SPJ. There, the plaintiffs said that the affidavit should be enough to establish a contact because the defendant knew they were going back to Nevada.
The court disagrees with the circuit court that the affidavit was enough to establish a sufficient minimum contact. To find SPJ, there needs to be sufficient evidence that the contact comes from the defendant’s actions and the contact is specifically tied to the forum state.
Here, although the defendant knew the defendant was returning to Nevada, that is not sufficient to establish a contact with the forum state. The actions of the defendant were tied specifically to the plaintiff, not the state. For example, if the plaintiff was in California or Mississippi, there would have been no other contact with the state of Nevada. Therefore, there is no SPJ.
Here, our biggest takeaway is that the claim must come from the actions of the defendant ties with the forum state and that the plaintiff’s connection to the forum state and the defendant is not sufficient to find SPJ.
This presented a question that was left unopened from previous cases. “If the defendant is aware that their conduct will have effects in another jurisdiction, is that enough to establish personal jurisdiction? No” Why was this an open question? Because previous cases related to the tort of defamation, the tort was committed in California (new tort every time and every place the defamatory article is read). The difference here was that the tort was committed in Georgia. Therefore, because the only connection the defendant had to Nevada was the plaintiff (no conduct directed at the forum state), there can be no specific personal jurisdiction.
There are two different things here
- Where the bad conduct occurred
- Where the injury is felt
We care about where the conduct occurred.
Bristol Myers-Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California
137 S.Ct. 1773
Bristol Myers-Squibb Co. is the defendant. Trial court found that there was general jurisdiction, changed that opinion to saying there was specific jurisdiction. Supreme Court now reviews.
Can out of state defendants with similar claims to residents file suit along with those in-state residents?
The plaintiff’s claim needs to arise out of the defendant’s conduct with the forum state.
The out of state residents do not have specific personal jurisdiction.
Defendant is a pharmisutical company that created a drug in New York and New Jersey but sold it all over the United States. The plaintiffs here are over 600 individuals arising from 34 different states (86 come from California). Each plaintiff claims to have suffered harm from the drug and claims that jurisdiction can be found because of the several marketing campaigns for the drug.
There is no specific personal jurisdiction for the non-residents here. Although the claims are all similar, the lack a proper forum state. The California plaintiffs can use California as their jurisdiction because their claim arose out of California due to the conduct of the defendant in that state. Likewise the other defendants would have claims in their home state. However, because their claim did not arise out of the conduct of the defendant in California, they have no jurisdiction.