Radosta v. Devil's Head Ski Lodge, 87-0440

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Citation122 Ill.Dec. 302,526 N.E.2d 561,172 Ill.App.3d 289
Docket NumberNo. 87-0440,87-0440
Parties, 122 Ill.Dec. 302 Frances C. RADOSTA, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. DEVIL'S HEAD SKI LODGE, a corporation, and World Wide Ski Corporation, a corporation, Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date30 June 1988

Pretzel & Stouffer, Chartered, Chicago (Robert Marc Chemers and Robert J. Franco, of counsel), for defendants-appellees.

Justice LINN delivered the opinion of the court:

Plaintiff, Frances Radosta, brought suit against defendants Devil's Head Ski Lodge and World Wide Ski Corporation for injuries she suffered while skiing at Devil's Head in Wisconsin. She filed suit in Illinois and served World Wide in Aspen, Colorado, its headquarters. She served summons upon Devil's Head in Wisconsin and also in Illinois, while Devil's Head's vice president was participating in a ski show at the O'Hare Exposition Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

Both defendants filed special and limited appearances and moved to quash summons on the grounds that neither was subject to the jurisdiction of Illinois courts because they had not been "doing business" in Illinois and were not subject to the long-arm statute.

The trial court granted the defendants' motions after a hearing and dismissed the lawsuit.

On appeal, plaintiff contends that the trial court erred because both defendants' activities subjected them to Illinois' jurisdiction. Devil's Head was also served with summons while "present" in Illinois.

We affirm.


Radosta sustained a fractured pelvis while participating in a ski race at Devil's Head. World Wide was the sponsor and promoter of the race and Devil's Head was the operator of the ski lodge.

In its motion to quash summons, World Wide filed an affidavit of its vice president, which stated that World Wide performs promotional work only and has three customers in Illinois from whom it solicits business. The corporation is located entirely within Colorado and executes its promotional contracts in that State. World Wide has no representatives or agents in Illinois.

Devil's Head is a Wisconsin corporation with its principal place of business in that State. According to its affidavits, it did not own or use any real estate in Illinois and did not contract to insure any person or property in Illinois. Devil's Head also denied transacting any business in Illinois that would support a finding of jurisdiction.

The trial court allowed Radosta to conduct limited discovery before the hearing on defendants' motions.

Radosta's response in opposition to the motions charged that both defendants had conducted sufficient business in Illinois to bring them within the court's jurisdiction.

Devil's Head "advertised in Illinois, maintained an Illinois telephone number, sold Devil's Head lodging and lift tickets through a Chicago business, contracted with an Illinois business to place sign advertisements and maintained a booth in Chicago at the annual ski show."

World Wide had "contracted with Illinois ski areas to lease ski racing equipment to them in Illinois" and "required the Illinois ski area to agree to permit the use of Illinois courts to enjoin the Illinois ski area in the event of a breach of this contract". 1

After considering the facts and pertinent law, the trial court held that it lacked jurisdiction over both defendants.


The sole issue is whether defendants were "doing business" in Illinois sufficient to confer jurisdiction on our courts. Because we conclude that they were not, defendants' motions to quash service of summons were properly granted.

Under section 2-204 of the Code of Civil Procedure, service on a private corporation may be made "(1) by leaving a copy of the process with its registered agent or any officer or agent of said corporation found anywhere in the State * * *." Illinois courts may not exercise jurisdiction pursuant to this section over nonresident corporations who are not licensed in Illinois unless the corporations are "doing business" in this State. (Maunder v. DeHavilland Aircraft of Canada, Ltd. (1984), 102 Ill.2d 342, 80 Ill.Dec. 765, 466 N.E.2d 217, cert. denied (1984), 469 U.S. 1036, 105 S.Ct. 511, 83 L.Ed 2d 401.) This principle of "general" jurisdiction is separate from those embodied in the long-arm statute, which specifically requires either that the defendant commit a tortious act in Illinois giving rise to jurisdiction or that the cause of action arise from defendant's "transaction of business" in this State. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 110, par. 2-209.) In the pending case, defendants are not amenable to service of process under the long-arm statute because they are not alleged to have committed a tortious act in Illinois and they did not "transact" business within the meaning of the long-arm statute. See, e.g., Cook Associates, Inc. v. Lexington United Corp. (1981), 87 Ill.2d 190, 57 Ill.Dec. 730 429 N.E.2d 847 (defendant not amenable to service under long-arm statute because the cause of action did not arise from the transaction of business in Illinois); Harold M. Pitman Co. v. Typecraft Software, Ltd. (N.D.Ill.1986), 626 F.Supp. 305 (claims did not arise out of any business transacted or tort committed in Illinois).

The question of whether a corporate defendant is currently "doing business" in the forum State depends on the nature and quantity of contacts it maintains. However, "[t]here is no all-inclusive test for determining whether a foreign corporation is doing business in this State." (Cook Associates, Inc. v. Lexington United Corp. (1981), 87 Ill.2d 190, 201, 57 Ill.Dec. 730, 735, 429 N.E.2d 847, 852.) The term has been held to mean more than solicitation by employees whose only authority is to solicit business in the State. (St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co. v. Gitchoff (1977), 68 Ill.2d 38, 11 Ill.Dec. 598, 369 N.E.2d 52 (foreign railroad held to be doing business because it maintained an office in Chicago staffed with employees who solicited business and also employed an agent who spent 60-80% of his working hours in Illinois coordinating movement of defendant's railcars).) The nature and extent of business conducted, moreover, must be sufficient to "warrant the inference that the corporation has subjected itself to the jurisdiction and laws" of the State. Pembleton v. Illinois Commercial Men's Association (1919), 289 Ill. 99, 104, 124 N.E. 355, 358, appeal dismissed (1920), 253 U.S. 499, 40 S.Ct. 483, 64 L.Ed. 1032.

The determination of whether a foreign corporation is doing business in Illinois, moreover, does not depend upon the minimum contacts standard that the United States Supreme Court requires as a due process minimum. In fact, the Illinois Supreme Court has refused to equate the two standards because "[t]o do so would render * * * the doing-business standard meaningless to many corporate defendants, and it would tie our jurisdictional rules to the changing standards for due process." Cook Associates, 87 Ill.2d 190, 201, 57 Ill.Dec. 730, 735, 429 N.E.2d 847, 852. See also Green v. Advance Ross Electronics Corp. (1981), 86 Ill.2d 431, 56 Ill.Dec. 657, 427 N.E.2d 1203. 2

In the words of Justice Cardozo, a corporation is "doing business" when it operates within the State "not occasionally or casually, but with a fair measure of permanence and continuity." Tauza v. Susquehanna Coal Co. (Ct.App. New York 1917), 220 N.Y. 259, 267, 115 N.E. 915, 917.

Illinois cases agree that "doing business" means a "course of business" or a "regularity of activities," as opposed to isolated or sporadic acts. (See The Hertz Corp. v. Taylor (1959), 15 Ill.2d 552, 155 N.E.2d 610 (foreign steamship company that maintained a Chicago office in which employees solicited business and sold tickets for defendant's ships held to be doing business in the State); Braband v. Beech Aircraft Corp. (1978), 72 Ill.2d 548, 21 Ill.Dec. 888, 382 N.E.2d 252 (defendant manufacturer held to be doing business in Illinois, in part because it had supervisory control over its Illinois distributor pursuant to service and sales contract); Cook Associates, Inc. v. Lexington United Corp. (1981), 87 Ill.2d 190, 57 Ill.Dec. 730, 429 N.E.2d 847 (defendant's attendance at week-long trade show which generated $50,000 in orders, plus presence of an independent manufacturer's representative who sold defendant's goods in the State held to be insufficient contacts, as defendant did not have an office or employee in Illinois and since the record did not reflect that defendant exercised control over the manufacturer's representative).) If a defendant's products regularly enter Illinois in substantial amounts, jurisdiction may be justified also. Connelly v. Uniroyal, Inc. (1979), 75 Ill.2d 393, 27 Ill.Dec. 343, 389 N.E.2d 155 (products liability action). Cf. Colleti v. Crudele (1988), 169 Ill.App.3d 1068, 120 Ill.Dec. 311, 523 N.E.2d 1222 (plaintiff allowed to maintain wrongful death action in Illinois although the automobile collision occurred in Kentucky because of defendants' other business connections with Illinois).

In the pending case, Radosta contends that the "totality" of contacts that defendants had with Illinois fit within the doing business concept, although she concedes that each contact may fall short, individually. Of the five contacts between Devil's Head and Illinois, three (advertising, maintaining an Illinois telephone number, and contracting for the placement of sign advertisements) constitute solicitation. These do not support jurisdiction. Cook Associates; See also Braasch v. Vail Associates, Inc. (N.D.Ill.1973), 370 F.Supp. 809 (plaintiff injured while skiing in Colorado could not maintain suit in Illinois on the basis of defendants' solicitation in Illinois); Berks v. Rib Mountain (N.D.Ill.1983) 571 F.Supp. 500 (no jurisdiction over defendant whose only Illinois-related activities...

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