Definition of long arm jurisdiction
In United States jurisprudence, long arm jurisdiction is a statutory grant of jurisdiction to local courts over foreign ("foreign" meaning out-of-state) defendants. A state's ability to confer jurisdiction is limited by the Constitution. This jurisdiction permits a court to hear a case against a defendant and enter a binding judgment against a defendant residing outside the state's jurisdiction. That is, without a long arm statute, a state's court may not have personal jurisdiction over a particular defendant.
Generally, the authority of a court to exercise long arm jurisdiction must be based upon some action of the defendant which subjects him or her to the jurisdiction of the court. In the United States, some states long arm statutes refer to specific acts, for example torts or contract cases, which a court may entertain. Other states, like California, broadly grant jurisdiction "on any basis not inconsistent with the Constitution of this state or the United States."
The use of a long arm statute is usually constitutional where the defendant has certain minimum contacts with the forum state and there has been reasonable notice of the action against him or her.
Since the 1960s, several states have enacted one of the two types of long arm statutes:(a) the first type enumerates fact situations that submit an individual/corporation to the forum's jurisdiction; (b) the second type extends the forum's jurisdiction to the extent of the constitutional limitations (of the 14th am.)
California Code of Civil Procedure § 410.10 (as broad as the Constitution)
Wisconsin Statutes § 801.05 (specific acts)
N.J. Court Rule 4:4-4 New Jersey's equivalent of a "long-arm statute". Not actually a statute, but a state court rule.
Like California, New Jersey permits personal jurisdiction over non-resident defendants up to the Constitutional limits of due process.
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