Grange Ins. Ass'n v. State, No. 54634-7

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the CourtDURHAM; PEARSON, C.J., UTTER, BRACHTENBACH, DOLLIVER, ANDERSEN, CALLOW and GOODLOE, JJ., and CLARKE
Citation110 Wn.2d 752,757 P.2d 933
PartiesGRANGE INSURANCE ASSOCIATION, Assignee of Harold and Rose Marie Holloway, Respondent, v. The STATE of Washington; Bob J. Mickleson, in his official and private capacity and Jane Doe Mickleson, his wife; Peter Bidlake, in his official and private capacity and Jane Doe Bidlake, his wife; John Doherty in his official and private capacity and Jane Doe Doherty, his wife; Milton Skov, in his official and private capacity and Jane Doe Skov, his wife; Gary Stromier, in his official and private capacity and Jane Doe Stromier, his wife; Clyde Hughes and Jane Doe Hughes, his wife; and John Does I through X, Defendants, and The State of Idaho, Petitioner.
Docket NumberNo. 54634-7
Decision Date16 June 1988

Page 752

110 Wn.2d 752
757 P.2d 933
GRANGE INSURANCE ASSOCIATION, Assignee of Harold and Rose
Marie Holloway, Respondent,
v.
The STATE of Washington; Bob J. Mickleson, in his official
and private capacity and Jane Doe Mickleson, his wife;
Peter Bidlake, in his official and private capacity and Jane
Doe Bidlake, his wife; John Doherty in his official and
private capacity and Jane Doe Doherty, his wife; Milton
Skov, in his official and private capacity and Jane Doe
Skov, his wife; Gary Stromier, in his official and private
capacity and Jane Doe Stromier, his wife; Clyde Hughes and
Jane Doe Hughes, his wife; and John Does I through X, Defendants,
and
The State of Idaho, Petitioner.
No. 54634-7.
Supreme Court of Washington,
En Banc.
June 16, 1988.
Reconsideration Denied Sept. 7, 1988.

Page 753

[757 P.2d 934] Gerald M. Ormiston, Seattle (Quane, Smith, Howard & Hull, John P. Howard, Boise, Idaho, of counsel), for petitioner.

Shepherd & Abbott, Douglas Shepherd, Everson, Wash., for respondent.

DURHAM, Judge.

Due process precludes Washington courts from extending long-arm jurisdiction over an out-of-state

Page 754

defendant unless that defendant has purposefully established minimum contacts here. At issue in the present case is if the State of Idaho purposefully established minimum contacts when it certified that particular cows were free of disease or infection, knowing that the cows would be immediately shipped to farmers in this state. Idaho inspected the cows in cooperation with a federal program designed to eradicate the outbreak of brucellosis, and consequently was acting at least in part for the benefit of citizens of this state. Because Idaho did not purposefully avail itself of Washington's markets in the usual commercial sense, we conclude that it did not purposefully establish minimum contacts here and long-arm jurisdiction cannot be maintained.
FACTS

In 1976 and 1977, Harold and Rose Marie Holloway purchased dairy cattle from an Idaho dealer. They later learned that some of the cattle were infected with brucellosis. Brucellosis is an infectious disease which primarily affects calving in dairy cattle. It is particularly difficult to eradicate or control because the infecting organism has an incubation period that ranges from 2 weeks to more than a year, during which time the animal displays no visible signs of infection.

The Holloways are Lewis County dairy farmers who also operate a cattle dealership[757 P.2d 935] and auction business. In 1977, they sold cattle to Whatcom County buyers, whose dairy herds, and those of some of their neighbors, subsequently became infected with brucellosis. These farmers sued the Holloways, alleging that the brucellosis came from the Holloway farm. 1 They recovered a total judgment of $2.9 million. The Grange Insurance Association settled the claims

Page 755

of the Whatcom County plaintiffs by paying $1.5 million, in return for which the Holloways assigned to Grange their claims relating to this dispute.

Grange sought contribution for its damages by suing the States of Washington and Idaho, several of their employees, and the Idaho individual who sold the cattle to the Holloways. 2 Grange argued that both states were negligent in failing to prevent the Idaho brucellosis outbreak from spreading to Washington dairy herds.

Idaho moved for dismissal based on a lack of personal jurisdiction. Idaho's contacts with this State are as follows. A veterinarian employed by the State of Idaho conducted a brucellosis test on the cattle being sold to the Holloways. An affidavit from an Idaho state official indicates that "Idaho requires all cattle being sold for dairy production purposes be tested on change of ownership." Idaho's inspection was part of a cooperative effort with the federal government in controlling and eradicating brucellosis. See Idaho Code § 25-601 (1987). The veterinarian found no sign of brucellosis and signed certificates stating: "I have inspected the animals described hereon and find them to be free from visible signs of infectious, contagious, or communicable disease." Each certificate also indicated that the destination address for the cattle was that of a Washington buyer. All of Idaho's acts took place within its own state borders.

The trial court concluded that these contacts provided an insufficient basis for Washington courts to impose jurisdiction over the State of Idaho and dismissed Idaho from the case. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Idaho was subject to the jurisdiction of Washington courts under

Page 756

this state's long-arm statute, RCW 4.28.185, and the due process clause of the federal constitution. Grange Ins. Ass'n v. State, 49 Wash.App. 551, 744 P.2d 366 (1987).

Idaho filed a petition for review in this court, challenging the constitutional analysis engaged in by the Court of Appeals. The State of Washington joined in seeking review on these grounds and also argued that jurisdiction should be declined as a matter of comity. We granted review.

ANALYSIS

Analysis of jurisdiction under a long-arm statute involves two separate issues: (1) does the statutory language purport to extend jurisdiction, and (2) would imposing jurisdiction violate constitutional principles. See Werner v. Werner, 84 Wash.2d 360, 364, 526 P.2d 370 (1974) (long-arm jurisdiction is intended to operate "to the full extent allowed by due process except where limited by the terms of the statute"). Courts should address the statutory issue before reaching the constitutional issue. Lake v. Lake, 817 F.2d 1416, 1420 (9th Cir.1987); Wolf v. Richmond Cy. Hosp. Auth., 745 F.2d 904, 909 (4th Cir.1984), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 826, 106 S.Ct. 83, 88 L.Ed.2d 68 (1985). In this analysis, the burden of proof rests with the party asserting jurisdiction. In re Marriage of Hall, 25 Wash.App. 530, 536, 607 P.2d 898 [757 P.2d 936] (1980); Access Rd. Builders v. Christenson Elec. Contracting Eng'g Co., 19 Wash.App. 477, 576 P.2d 71 (1978). 3

A

Interpretation of the Long-Arm Statute

Washington's long-arm statute reads in relevant part as follows:

Page 757

(1) Any person, whether or not a citizen or resident of this state, who ... does any of the acts in this section enumerated, thereby submits said person ... to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state as to any cause of action arising from the doing of any of said acts:

* * *

(b) The commission of a tortious act within this state;

* * *

(3) Only causes of action arising from acts enumerated herein may be asserted against a defendant in an action in which jurisdiction over him is based upon this section.

* * *

RCW 4.28.185.

There is no dispute that the current cause of action arose from Idaho's contacts here. The only question is if Idaho committed a "tortious act" within Washington, when all of its actions occurred outside this state. 4 This court has held many times that when an injury occurs in Washington, it is an inseparable part of the "tortious act" and that act is deemed to have occurred in this state for purposes of the long-arm statute. See, e.g., Smith v. York Food Mach. Co., 81 Wash.2d 719, 722, 504 P.2d 782 (1972); Bowen v. Bateman, 76 Wash.2d 567, 575, 458 P.2d 269 (1969).

The Court of Appeals concluded that the injury in this case occurred in Washington, thereby satisfying the statutory requirement that a tortious act occur in this state. Idaho has not challenged this conclusion in its petition for review, arguing instead that the Court of Appeals erred in its constitutional analysis. Accordingly, this issue is outside the scope of our review. RAP 13.7(b).

B

Due Process Considerations

Idaho contends that extension of jurisdiction in this case would violate its due process rights under the Fifth Amendment to the federal constitution.

Page 758

The United States Supreme Court has established that due process requires that the following three elements be met before jurisdiction can be constitutionally extended: (1) that purposeful "minimum contacts" exist between the defendant and the forum state; (2) that the plaintiff's injuries "arise out of or relate to" those minimum contacts; and (3) that the exercise of jurisdiction be reasonable, that is, that jurisdiction be consistent with notions of "fair play and substantial justice." Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472-78, 105 S.Ct. 2174, 2181-85, 85 L.Ed.2d 528 (1985). This same analysis was followed in the plurality and concurring opinions that constitute Asahi Metal Indus. Co. v. Superior Court, 480 U.S. 102, 107 S.Ct. 1026, 94 L.Ed.2d 92 (1987).

The same general standards have been adopted in Washington case law, although they are phrased in a slightly different manner. This court has set out the following test:

[757 P.2d 937] [T]here are three basic factors which must coincide if jurisdiction is to be entertained. Such would appear to be: (1) The nonresident defendant or foreign corporation must purposefully do some act or consummate some transaction in the forum state; (2) the cause of action must arise from, or be connected with, such act or transaction; and (3) the assumption of jurisdiction by the forum state must not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice, consideration being given to the quality, nature, and extent of the activity in the forum state, the relative convenience of the parties, the benefits and protection of the laws of the forum state afforded the respective parties, and the basic equities of the situation.

(Footnotes omitted.) Tyee Constr. Co. v. Dulien Steel Prods., Inc., 62 Wash.2d 106, 115-16, 381 P.2d 245 (1963). Because these two tests are so similarly phrased, this opinion refers to them jointly as the due process test.

Despite the language of these tests, the Court of Appeals concluded that the first element could be satisfied without any analysis of the purposefulness of Idaho's actions. The court stated that this first due process element was based

Page 759

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67 practice notes
  • Dial 800 v. Fesbinder, No. B167032.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 28, 2004
    ...it was a defensive action rather that a request for affirmative relief]; Grange Insurance Association v. State (1988) 110 Wash.2d 752, 757 P.2d 933, 940 (en banc) [a request for attorney fees does not waive an objection to personal jurisdiction because the request is a defensive action and ......
  • State v. LG Elecs., Inc., Nos. 70298–0–I
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • January 12, 2015
    ...is, that jurisdiction be consistent with notions of “fair play and substantial justice.”Grange Ins. Ass'n v. State, 110 Wash.2d 752, 758, 757 P.2d 933 (1988) (citing Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472–78, 105 S.Ct. 2174, 85 L.Ed.2d 528 (1985) ); accord Failla v. FixtureOne Co......
  • State v. LG Elecs., Inc., No. 91391–9
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • July 21, 2016
    ...that is, consistent with notions of “ ‘fair play and substantial justice.’ ” Grange Ins. Ass'n v. State , 110 Wash.2d 752, 758, 757 P.2d 933 (1988) (quoting Burger King , 471 U.S. at 472–78, 105 S.Ct. 2174 ). ¶ 13 To establish purposeful minimum contacts, there must be some act by which the......
  • State v. Au Optronics Corp., No. 69318–2–I.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • May 5, 2014
    ...57 (interpreting RCW 4.28.185) (citing Yocum, 73 Wash.App. at 702, 870 P.2d 1033). 25.Grange Ins. Ass'n v. State, 110 Wash.2d 752, 758, 757 P.2d 933 (1988) (citing Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472–78, 105 S.Ct. 2174, 85 L.Ed.2d 528 (1985)). 26.C.S. v. Corp. of the Catholic ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
67 cases
  • Dial 800 v. Fesbinder, No. B167032.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 28, 2004
    ...it was a defensive action rather that a request for affirmative relief]; Grange Insurance Association v. State (1988) 110 Wash.2d 752, 757 P.2d 933, 940 (en banc) [a request for attorney fees does not waive an objection to personal jurisdiction because the request is a defensive action and ......
  • State v. LG Elecs., Inc., Nos. 70298–0–I
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • January 12, 2015
    ...is, that jurisdiction be consistent with notions of “fair play and substantial justice.”Grange Ins. Ass'n v. State, 110 Wash.2d 752, 758, 757 P.2d 933 (1988) (citing Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472–78, 105 S.Ct. 2174, 85 L.Ed.2d 528 (1985) ); accord Failla v. FixtureOne Co......
  • State v. LG Elecs., Inc., No. 91391–9
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • July 21, 2016
    ...that is, consistent with notions of “ ‘fair play and substantial justice.’ ” Grange Ins. Ass'n v. State , 110 Wash.2d 752, 758, 757 P.2d 933 (1988) (quoting Burger King , 471 U.S. at 472–78, 105 S.Ct. 2174 ). ¶ 13 To establish purposeful minimum contacts, there must be some act by which the......
  • State v. Au Optronics Corp., No. 69318–2–I.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • May 5, 2014
    ...57 (interpreting RCW 4.28.185) (citing Yocum, 73 Wash.App. at 702, 870 P.2d 1033). 25.Grange Ins. Ass'n v. State, 110 Wash.2d 752, 758, 757 P.2d 933 (1988) (citing Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472–78, 105 S.Ct. 2174, 85 L.Ed.2d 528 (1985)). 26.C.S. v. Corp. of the Catholic ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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