U.S. Equities Corp. v. Liriani
Prior to exercising jurisdiction, a court must conclude that the defendant has sufficient contacts with the forum state. Allegedly, the individual defendant used a Chase Bank U.S.A. credit card and failed to pay. The plaintiff filed suit to collect the debt, and the defendant did not file an appearance. Connecticut General Statutes §52-59b(a) provides, "As to a cause of action arising from any of the acts enumerated in this section, a court may exercise personal jurisdiction over any nonresident individual, foreign partnership or foreign voluntary association, or over the executor or administrator of such nonresident individual, foreign partnership or foreign voluntary association, who in person or through an agent: (1) Transacts any business within the state." At one time, the individual defendant used a Connecticut bank, when he paid his Chase credit card. The court considered whether the defendant, who resided in Connecticut and then moved to South Carolina, has sufficient minimum contacts with the State of Connecticut, for the purposes of jurisdiction. "[T]he plaintiff's exhibits," wrote the court, "indicate that the defendant's contact with the State of Connecticut ended in 2008." Absent records of any contacts of jurisdictional significance since 2008, or any evidence that the individual defendant left Connecticut or evaded service of process, to avoid the plaintiff's collection suit, the court found that the individual defendant lacked sufficient contacts with the State of Connecticut. Traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice did not permit the court to exercise jurisdiction. The court dismissed the plaintiff's debt collection suit and observed that the individual defendant is located in a jurisdiction where suit can be brought.