Thursday, January 31, 2008
Last week, in SEC v. Paul Jones, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court's decision to exercise personal jurisdiction over nonparties located outside the United States in a contempt hearing. The Court held that the exercise of jurisdiction over such nonparties is proper in a contempt proceeding, even when the nonparty has no other contacts with the U.S., so long as the party had actual knowledge of the court's order. The Court explained the reason for the rule.
This rule is simply an application of two basic principles that govern the application of in personam jurisdiction in the United States. It has been long-established that, when an individual undertakes activity designed to have a purpose and effect in the forum, the forum may exercise personal jurisdiction over that person with respect to those activities. There can be no doubt that Mr. Jones and Mr. Pollock undertook activities outside the United States that were designed to have the purpose and effect within the United States of frustrating the district court’s freeze order. More important, as citizens of the United States, Mr. Jones and Mr. Pollock were required, once they had adequate notice, to obey the order of a United States court directed at them and their activities. (internal citations omitted).
This might be a good case to use in CivPro as a more recent example of the principle Calder v. Jones sets out.--Counseller