Essay Question from the 2010 Civ Pro Exam
Multiple Choice from 2008 Civ Pro Exam

Multiple Choice Question from 2010 Civ Pro Exam

Back from a philosophy of law conference in Miami. Here's a new multiple choice question from the 2010 exam. It's been updated to take into account changes in the law (esp. the Clarification  Act).

Question 10)          P (a citizen of New York) sues D (a German national domiciled in Germany) in state court in New York under German battery law for $100,000 in connection with a brawl that occurred in Germany. The German has no contacts with the United States except for $80,000 in a bank account located in New York and $20,000 in a bank account located in North Carolina.  Which of the following is the most accurate?

a.         The New York court may attach the New York and North Carolina bank accounts as a source of personal jurisdiction over D.

b.         Assume the New York court attaches the New York bank account as the source of personal jurisdiction over D, D makes a limited appearance, and the court ultimately grants summary judgment to D. P is not claim precluded from suing D in North Carolina state court for the remaining $20,000 of damages.

c.         Under Shaffer v. Heitner, the New York court cannot use D's bank account in New York as a source of personal jurisdiction over D.

d.         D cannot get P's action dismissed on venue grounds, since 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c)(3) allows someone who is not a resident of the United States to be sued in any state.

e.         D cannot remove P's action to federal court.

ANSWER

a.         The New York court may attach the New York and North Carolina bank accounts as a source of personal jurisdiction over D.

This is not the most accurate. The New York state court would not have jurisdiction over the North Carolina bank account. 

b.         Assume the New York court attaches the New York bank account as the source of personal jurisdiction over D, D makes a limited appearance, and the court ultimately grants summary judgment to D. P is not claim precluded from suing D in North Carolina state court for the remaining $20,000 of damages.

This is the most accurate. P may indeed sue D for the remaining $20,000 of the claim, which was not able to be adjudicated by the New York state court due to the limitations on its jurisdiction. (Issue preclusion may apply, however.) We discussed this in class. 

c.         Under Shaffer v. Heitner, the New York court cannot use D's bank account in New York as a source of personal jurisdiction over D.

This is not the most accurate. Shaffer does not explicitly cast doubt about bank accounts (or real property) as sources of quasi-in-rem jurisdiction and some concurrences in Shaffer stated that quasi-in-rem might be acceptable in such cases. Thus this is not most accurate.

d.         D cannot get P's action dismissed on venue grounds, since 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c)(3) allows someone who is not a resident of the United States to be sued in any state.

This is not the most accurate. 28 U.S.C. §1391 does not apply to state courts - plus it speaks of venue in districts, not states.

e.         D cannot remove P's action to federal court.

This is not the most accurate. The action is removable. 

 

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