Friday, April 21, 2006

Case Law Development: Status Exception to Personal Jurisdiction Does Not Violate Due Process

Here's another nicely-written scholarly opinion from the Maine Supreme Court, this one to pass down the hall to our civil procedure colleagues to remind them to be sure to cover the status exception to personal jurisdiction in their syllabus.  The court reviews the history and current validity of the status exception, reviewing decisions of the US Supreme Court and state courts.  The court concludes that, while a judgment dissolving a marriage is not a property or in rem, judgment, it is unique enough that the courts can exercise jurisdiction for purposes of granting a divorce judgment only where the petitioner is domiciled in the state, even if the respondent has no contacts whatsoever with Maine. “By observing the necessity for basic due process rights of notice and an opportunity to be heard, and by carefully considering the convenience of Maine as a forum, the courts of Maine will continue to safeguard the rights of nonresident defendants while effectuating Maine's strong interest in protecting the rights of Maine residents to obtain judgments dissolving marriages in which they no longer wish to remain.”
Von Schack v. Von Schack, 2006 ME 30; 2006 Me. LEXIS 32 (March 30, 2006)
Opinion on the web (last visited April 20, 2006 bgf)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2006/04/case_law_develo_26.html

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