- Long-arm jurisdiction of forum state. Generally, a federal court must first determine whether the defendant is subject to jurisdiction under the long-arm statute of the forum state. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(1)(A). If the long-arm statute is satisfied, the court must then determine whether exercising jurisdiction over the defendant would comport with the requirements of due process. In re Ski Train Fire in Kaprun, Austria on Nov. 11, 2000, 342 F. Supp. 2d 207 (S.D.N.Y. 2004). The analysis for state court proceedings is similar absent a federal statute containing special jurisdictional provisions.
- “Minimum contacts” with forum. Due process requires that non-resident defendants have “minimum contacts” with the forum, such that the exercise of personal jurisdiction does not offend “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.” Int’l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945). The defendant’s contacts with the forum state must have a basis in some act by which the defendant “purposefully avails itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum State, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws.” Hanson v. Denckla, 357 U.S. 235, 253 (1958).
- General or specific jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant may be asserted under general or specific theories of jurisdiction. Helicopteros Nacionales de Colom. S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408 (1984). General jurisdiction is found when the defendant has engaged in “systematic and continuous” activities in the forum state. Specific jurisdiction is found when the defendant has “purposely directed” his activities at a resident of the forum and the injury arises from or is related to those activities, and when on balance the following factors favor a finding of jurisdiction:
- “the burden on the defendant;”
- “the forum state’s interest in adjudicating the dispute;”
- “the plaintiff’s interest in obtaining convenient and effective relief;”
- “the interstate judicial system’s interest in obtaining the most efficient resolution of controversies;” and
- “the shared interest of the several States in furthering fundamental substantive social policies.”
Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462 (1985).