Lawsuits over Internet issues are quite often problematic matters. This is because local courts often do not—or claim they do not—have jurisdiction to rule on issues related to a business in another state. There are a number of ways companies have to get around this lack of “personal jurisdiction,” and you should strongly consider working with Montclair cyber crime lawyers if you are being sued.
What Is Personal Jurisdiction?
Personal jurisdiction means that a court has the legal authority under the Constitution to render binding decisions on matters affecting individuals and businesses. Personal jurisdiction is rarely a challengeable issue unless the individual being sued lives in a different state from the plaintiff. The principal residence of the defendant is referred to as the “forum state,” and if the plaintiff does not reside in that state or have a meaningful connection there, it may be difficult for them to pursue a legal action.
The issue of personal jurisdiction has become more complicated with the advent of the Internet. This is because businesses and individuals may conduct business where personal jurisdiction as it is traditionally perceived does not exist. For instance, a company may have no physical presence in a state, or even a country, yet do business there.
Establishing That “Meaningful Connection” Exists
As Montclair cyber crime lawyers can tell you, there are ways around the issue of personal jurisdiction. In essence, the plaintiff will need to show that a meaningful connection exists between it and the state. One way to do this is through doing a sufficient amount of business with individuals in general in that state. This is referred to as having “minimum contacts.”
Another way to establish meaningful connection is by showing that the defendant purposefully caused injury in the state in question. For instance, a plaintiff purchaser may wish to sue a defendant business by showing that the company purposefully conducted itself in such a way as to bring harm to purchasers, such as failing to act in good faith. Meaningful connection can also be established if both parties agree to it, or if a process server is hired to hand a summons and complaint to the defendant when they are present in the state.
Hire an Attorney if You Are Being Sued
If you are being sued for an alleged cyber crime, it is very important that you have legal representation. Montclair cyber crime lawyers have an understanding of the nuances related to legal issues as they apply to the Internet. Call Lorraine Gauli-Rufo today to arrange a consultation at (973) 239-4300.