Personal Jurisdiction and the Internet

Essay by golf_officerUniversity, Bachelor'sB, November 2006

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1. Why is personal jurisdiction an issue for those who post Websites?

It is the authority used by the court in adjudicating cases against those who operate a website for purposes other than providing information. The importance of this for the website owner is that unless they have specified where jurisdiction for adjudication or arbitration is will be required to travel to where the suit against them is filed and find a lawyer to represent them.

2. What are some reasons that a website owner might be concerned with whether a court is able to obtain 'personal jurisdiction' over them?

When someone is unsatisfied with or injured by product or service purchased from the website and has standing to bring suit before the courts.

3. What is normally required for a court to have personal jurisdiction?

When someone files a lawsuit or is served a summons.

If the plaintiff and the defendant reside in the same jurisdictional territory there is no question of venue, however if one party resides or does business outside of the territory then the courts may use their long arm statutes.

4. When is a Court required to use long-arm jurisdiction?

When those that are needed to be in court are non-residents who have committed torts with the state, entered into a contract with or effects the state (breached contract), or transacted business in the state causing injury to a person (Cheeseman H., 2006, p.53)

5. Why is long arm jurisdiction an issue for those who create or post Web pages?

Long-arm statute gives the court jurisdiction over owners of websites even when they operate outside of the state in which the plaintiff resides.

6. According to the Wolf article, the courts have imposed an "interactive-passive" test of jurisdiction. Explain that...