How is personal jurisdictionin a civil lawsuit determined?

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How is personal jurisdictionin a civil lawsuit determined?

My stepfather is suing me for ownership of a boat he gifted me 8 years ago. He lives in OH and the boat and myself reside in AZ.  Which stat has personal jurisdiction over me or the boat? Do I hire an OH or an AZ lawyer? My stepfather has sent me a summons from an OH court and an OH lawyer.

Asked on May 23, 2011 under Business Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The court evaluates jurisdiction as to the plaintiff - your step-father - and as to the defendant -you - as well as with regard to the issue, to determine variousthings: is the subject matter of the lawsuit proper in their court, is the lawsuit properly brought by the plaintiff and has the plaintiff properly served the lawsuit on the defendant so that the court can issue a binding order.  Serving a party outside the state is tricky and sending you a summons in the mail I assume may not be proper under the circumstances.  Since the lawsuit is in Ohio I would consult with an attorney there to see about having it dismissed.  An Arizona lawyer would have to be admitted in Ohio to represent you there and even if he or she was it would be expensive for you in the long run.  Good luck.


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