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Where Internet Jurisdiction Can Get Your Business Sued!

por Ramiro Ganz (2019-06-27)


The concept of Internet jurisdiction can be complicated and unclear. What happens when a dispute arises over an item or Pasang Iklan service purchased from your business through the internet? If that dispute turns into a lawsuit, it could be with an individual residing across the country from your business. What happens then? If you live in California, could your business actually be dragged into a state court in Maine? Any business with an Internet presence should understand how courts gain authority to hear claims made against out-of-state businesses.

The bottom line is that establishing Internet jurisdiction over your business can potentially end up being very costly! Establishing Internet Jurisdiction Over Your Business No matter what the subject of the dispute is about, a court must have what is known as "personal jurisdiction" over all the parties involved. This applies to all courts, including state and federal district courts. Establishing personal jurisdiction means that the court has the legal power to make a binding decision over the plaintiff and the defendant in a given dispute.

State and federal courts always have personal jurisdiction over state residents. But, when the defendant's principal residence or place of business is not in the state where the lawsuit is filed (often called the "forum state"), matters are much more complex. This is often the case with suits involving e-commerce. (Note: A corporation is treated as a citizen of the state in which it is incorporated and the state in which its principal place of business is located.

A partnership or limited liability company is considered to assume the citizenship of each jurisdiction of its partners/members. If you understand the nature of how a court can gain jurisdiction to hear a claim filed against your business, you can avoid certain practices that may expose you to out-of-state claims.) The Concept of Minimum Contacts One way a foreign court can claim personal jurisdiction over your business is by establishing that some sort of meaningful connection exists with the state in question and your business.

States can exercise jurisdiction over your business through their "long-arm statutes" (which I discuss separately). However, the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution mandates that certain "minimum contacts" must exist between the forum state and the defendant in order for a state to assert jurisdiction over the defendant. This basically means that activities which are deemed to establish substantially sufficient contacts with the residents or businesses of a particular state can be used by its courts to establish jurisdiction over your business.

For example, you are not subject to the personal jurisdiction of an out-of-state court simply because you are involved in an automobile accident with a resident of that state where you live. All the events necessary to give rise to the claim occur outside the state of the other resident. Activities establishing minimum contacts with another state are not always clear, but usually any substantial presence in the state will justify personal jurisdiction.