Personal Jurisdiction

Personal Jurisdiction

Personal Jurisdiction

Although Buskirk v. Buskirk is not a family law case, its holding can be used in family law cases because it deals with personal jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction is the court’s ability to make legal decisions over people who do not live in the Dtate of California

This civil case involves a family trust and the enforcement of that trust. Ultimately what the family is arguing about is who is in charge of the trust. What is at issue in this particular phase of the trust litigation is whether or not California has personal jurisdiction over the trust and the mother who now lives in Idaho.

The family trust was created in California in 2005. Although the mother is able to make independent personal and financial decisions, her son stated that some of her recent decisions were suspicious including the fact that is his mother suddenly disinherited him. The trial court dismissed the dispute stating that California does not have jurisdiction over the mother and the trust. The son appealed the order.

The appellate court was clear to state that it was not deciding the family dispute, rather it was settling whether or not the court had jurisdiction in this case. When a defendant moves to quash service for lack of personal jurisdiction, the plaintiff must prove the facts justifying jurisdiction. The burden then shifts to the defendant to demonstrate that jurisdiction is unreasonable. There are several factors the court considers when it analyses personal jurisdiction. One way a state gains jurisdiction over an individual is when an individual avails them self to the benefits of the State of California. In this circumstance any litigation which is linked to the benefits the non-resident received can subject them to litigation in California. There are three factors the court considers: (1) the defendant has purposefully availed themselves of the forum benefits; (2) the controversy relates to the defendant’s contacts with the forum; and (3) the exercise of jurisdiction comports with fair play and substantial justice. In this case the trust was started in California, the mother had recently filed several lawsuits in the State of California, and the trust recently sold property in the state of California. The appellate court held that there were sufficient contacts to proceed with the trust litigation in California.

If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Orange County to address a dissolution issue such as personal jurisdiction because your spouse has moved out of state or if you need representation in respect to a legal separation, annulment, custody, spousal support, child support, and/or property division, please consider Treviño Law in your divorce attorney search. We are located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.

Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for a divorce in Orange County, it does not address other factors which may play a significant role in a particular dissolution. Circumstances in your divorce may alter the results in your dissolution.

Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc.

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