Calder v. Jones, No. 82-1401

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtREHNQUIST
Citation465 U.S. 783,104 S.Ct. 1482,79 L.Ed.2d 804
Docket NumberNo. 82-1401
Decision Date20 March 1984
PartiesIain CALDER and John South, Appellants, v. Shirley JONES

465 U.S. 783
104 S.Ct. 1482
79 L.Ed.2d 804
Iain CALDER and John South, Appellants,

v.

Shirley JONES.

No. 82-1401.
Argued Nov. 8, 1983.
Decided March 20, 1984.
Syllabus

Respondent, a professional entertainer who lives and works in California and whose television career was centered there, brought suit in California Superior Court, claiming that she had been libeled in an article written and edited by petitioners in Florida and published in the National Enquirer, a national magazine having its largest circulation in California. Petitioners, both residents of Florida, were served with process by mail in Florida, and, on special appearances, moved to quash the service of process for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Superior Court granted the motion on the ground that First Amendment concerns weighed against an assertion of jurisdiction otherwise proper under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The California Court of Appeal reversed, holding that a valid basis for jurisdiction existed on the theory that petitioners intended to, and did, cause tortious injury to respondent in California.

Held:

1. Jurisdiction by appeal does not lie, but under 28 U.S.C. § 2103 the jurisdictional statement will be treated as a petition for certiorari, which is hereby granted. Pp. 787-788.

2. Jurisdiction over petitioners in California is proper because of their intentional conduct in Florida allegedly calculated to cause injury to respondent in California. Pp. 788-791.

(a) The Due Process Clause permits personal jurisdiction over a defendant in any State with which the defendant has "certain minimum contacts . . . such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend 'traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.' " International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 66 S.Ct. 154, 158, 90 L.Ed. 95 (1945). In judging minimum contacts, a court properly focuses on "the relationship among the defendant, the forum, and the litigation." Shaffer v. Heitner, 433 U.S. 186, 204, 97 S.Ct. 2569, 2579, 53 L.Ed.2d 683 (1977). P. 788.

(b) Here, California is the focal point both of the allegedly libelous article and of the harm suffered. Jurisdiction over petitioners is therefore proper in California based on the "effects" of their Florida conduct in California. Pp. 788-789.

(c) Petitioners are not charged with mere untargeted negligence, but rather their intentional, and allegedly tortious, actions were expressly aimed at California. They wrote and edited an article that they

Page 784

knew would have a potentially devastating impact upon respondent, and they knew that the brunt of that injury would be felt by respondent in the State in which she lives and works and in which the magazine has its largest circulation. Under these circumstances, petitioners must "reasonably anticipate being haled into court there" to answer for the truth of the statements made in the article. Pp. 789-790.

(d) While petitioners' contacts with California are not to be judged according to their employer's activities there, their status as employees does not insulate them from jurisdiction, since each defendant's contact with the forum State must be assessed individually. P. 790.

(e) First Amendment concerns do not enter into the jurisdictional analysis. Such concerns would needlessly complicate an already imprecise inquiry. Moreover, the potential chill on protected First Amendment activity stemming from defamation actions is already taken into account in the constitutional limitations on the substantive law governing such actions. Pp. 790-791.

138 Cal.App.3d 128, 187 Cal.Rptr. 825 (1982), affirmed.

John G. Kester, Washington, D.C., for appellants.

Paul S. Ablon, Beverly Hills, Cal., for appellee.

Justice REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.

Respondent Shirley Jones brought suit in California Superior Court claiming that she had been libeled in an article written and edited by petitioners in Florida. The article was published in a national magazine with a large circulation in California. Petitioners were served with process by mail in Florida and caused special appearances to be entered on their behalf, moving to quash the service of process for lack of per-

Page 785

sonal jurisdiction. The superior court granted the motion on the ground that First Amendment concerns weighed against an assertion of jurisdiction otherwise proper under the Due Process Clause. The California Court of Appeal reversed, rejecting the suggestion that First Amendment considerations enter into the jurisdictional analysis. We now affirm.

Respondent lives and works in California. She and her husband brought this suit against the National Enquirer, Inc., its local distributing company, and petitioners for libel, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional harm.1 The Enquirer is a Florida corporation with its principal place of business in Florida. It publishes a national weekly newspaper with a total circulation of over 5 million. About 600,000 of those copies, almost twice the level of the next highest State, are sold in California.2 Respondent's and her husband's claims were based on an article that appeared in the Enquirer's October 9, 1979 issue. Both the Enquirer and the distributing company answered the complaint and made no objection to the jurisdiction of the California court.

Petitioner South is a reporter employed by the Enquirer. He is a resident of Florida, though he frequently travels to California on business.3 South wrote the first draft of the challenged article, and his byline appeared on it. He did most of his research in Florida, relying on phone calls to sources in California for the information contained in the article.4 Shortly before publication, South called respondent's

Page 786

home and read to her husband a draft of the article so as to elicit his comments upon it. Aside from his frequent trips and phone calls, South has no other relevant contacts with California.

Petitioner Calder is also a Florida resident. He has been to California only twice—once, on a pleasure trip, prior to the publication of the article and once after to testify in an unrelated trial. Calder is president and editor of the Enquirer. He "oversee[s] just about every function of the Enquirer." J.A., at 24. He reviewed and approved the initial evaluation of the subject of the article and edited it in its final form. He also declined to print a retraction requested by respondent. Calder has no other relevant contacts with California.

In considering petitioners' motion to quash service of process, the superior court surmised that the actions of petitioners in Florida, causing injury to respondent in California, would ordinarily be sufficient to support an assertion of jurisdiction over them in California.5 But the court felt that special solicitude was necessary because of the potential "chilling effect" on reporters and editors which would result from requiring them to appear in remote jurisdictions to answer for the content of articles upon which they worked. The court also noted that respondent's rights could be "fully satisfied" in her suit against the publisher without requiring petitioners to appear as parties. The superior court, therefore, granted the motion.

The California Court of Appeal reversed. 138 Cal.App.3d 128, 187 Cal.Rptr. 825 (1982). The court agreed that neither petitioner's contacts with California would be sufficient

Page 787

for an assertion of jurisdiction on a cause of action unrelated to those contacts. See Perkins v. Benguet Mining Co., 342 U.S. 437, 72 S.Ct. 413, 96 L.Ed. 485 (1952) (permitting general jurisdiction where defendant's contacts with the forum were "continuous and systematic"). But the court concluded that a valid basis for jurisdiction existed on the theory that petitioners intended to, and did, cause tortious injury to respondent in California. The fact that the actions causing the effects in California were performed outside the State did not prevent the State from asserting jurisdiction over a cause of action arising out of those effects.6 The court rejected the superior court's conclusion that First Amendment considerations...

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3973 practice notes
  • Bragg v. Linden Research, Inc., No. CIV.A.06 4925.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • May 30, 2007
    ...Supreme Court appears to have rejected the proposition that this doctrine is a requirement of federal due process. See Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 790, 104 S.Ct. 1482, 79 L.Ed.2d 804 (1984) ("[Defendants'] status as employees does not somehow shield them from jurisdiction. Each defendant......
  • Nordic Bank PLC v. Trend Group, Ltd., No. 83 Civ. 9107 (GLG).
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    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • September 17, 1985
    ...29 The plaintiffs do not assert that the individual defendants are doing business in New York. 30 In Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 1482, 104 S.Ct. 1482, 1485 n. 5, 79 L.Ed.2d 804 (1984), and in Keeton v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 465 U.S. 770, 104 S.Ct. 1473, 1478 n. 4, 79 L.Ed.2d 790 (1984), the......
  • In re Cinar Corp. Securities Litigation, No. MDL 00-1362(RJD).
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    ...jurisdiction does not lie. In Keeton v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 465 U.S. 770, 104 S.Ct. 1473, 79 L.Ed.2d 790 (1984), and Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 104 S.Ct. 1482, 79 L.Ed.2d 804 (1984), both issued on the same day, the Supreme Court clarified the rules for asserting jurisdiction over e......
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    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
    • March 31, 2020
    ...97 S.Ct. 2569, 53 L.Ed.2d 683 (1977). "Each defendant's contacts with the forum State must be assessed individually." Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 790, 104 S.Ct. 1482, 79 L.Ed.2d 804 (1984). For that reason, "jurisdiction over an employee does not automatically follow from jurisdiction ov......
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  • Global v. Prithvi Info. Sols., Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-01290-WSS
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    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Pennsylvania
    • March 10, 2020
    ...tort claims. The Supreme Court adopted the Second Restatements "effects" test for intentional business tort claims. Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 789 (1984) (citing Woodson, 444 U.S. at 297-98; and then citing RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONFLICTS OF LAW § 37 (Am. Law Inst. 1971)). Under the e......
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    .... . expressly aimed' at the forum," In re Terrorist Attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, 714 F.3d 659, 674 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 789 (1984)). Personal jurisdiction may not be exercised on the basis of a defendant's "random, fortuitous, or attenuated contacts, or the u......
  • Thompson v. StreetSmarts, Inc., No. CV-10-1885-PHX-LOA
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Arizona
    • June 30, 2011
    ...actions outside the forum state were calculated to, and did, have a substantial effect in the forum state.") (citing Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 788-90 (1984)). The Court finds that the first two prongs of the Schwarzenegger test have been established: (1) StreetSmarts and Batt purposefu......
  • Bragg v. Linden Research, Inc., No. CIV.A.06 4925.
    • United States
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    • May 30, 2007
    ...Supreme Court appears to have rejected the proposition that this doctrine is a requirement of federal due process. See Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 790, 104 S.Ct. 1482, 79 L.Ed.2d 804 (1984) ("[Defendants'] status as employees does not somehow shield them from jurisdiction. Each defendant......
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7 firm's commentaries
2 books & journal articles
  • FORD'S UNDERLYING CONTROVERSY.
    • United States
    • Washington University Law Review Vol. 99 Nbr. 4, April 2022
    • April 1, 2022
    ...half of the twentieth century). (70.) See, e.g., Walden, 571 U.S. at 285 (2014) (refining minimum contacts analysis); Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 788-89 (1984); Keeton v. Hustler Mag., Inc., 465 U.S. 770, 775 (1984) (71.) See, e.g., Xcentric Ventures, L.L.C. v. Bird, 683 F. Supp. 2d 1068......
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    ...arose not because of the NinthCircuit’s application of traditional U.S. Supreme Courtcases on jurisdiction, including Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783 (1984), but by a gloss applied to the Calder testby an earlierNinth Circuit case, Bancroft & Masters, Inc.v. Augusta Nat’l Inc., 223F.3d 1082 (......

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