Dictum Run Wild: How Long-Arm Statutes Extended to the Limits of Due Process
51 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2011
Date Written: January 1, 2004
Nearly fifty years ago, in the infancy of long-arm jurisdiction, the first major opinion interpreting the first state long-arm statute commented that “Sections 16 and 17 of the Civil Practice Act reflect a conscious purpose to assert jurisdiction over nonresident defendants to the extent permitted by the due-process clause.” That dictum – the author argues – has, over the ensuing half-century, become the most misunderstood and most misused concept in the entire field of personal jurisdiction. With little or no analysis, courts interpret enumerated acts long arm statutes to extend to the limits of due process. This article analyzes what the presiding court meant and what the dictum has come to mean.
Keywords: Personal jurisdiction, International Shoe, long-arm, Civil Practice Act, nonresident, Sections 16 and 17
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