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Civil Procedure 8/25/09 Quasi in rem (Latin, "as if against a thing") is a legal term referring to a legal action based

on property rights of a person absent from the jurisdiction. The state can assert power over an individual simply based on the fact that this individual has property (bank account, debt, share of stock, land) in the state. As a result of the United States Supreme Court Case case Shaffer v. Heitner, 433 U.S. 186 (1977), quasi in rem jurisdiction does not have much function in the United States any longer. However, in very specific cases, quasi in rem jurisdiction can still be effective.A quasi in rem action is commonly used when jurisdiction over the defendant is unobtainable due to his/her absence from the state. Any judgment will affect only the property seized, as in personam jurisdiction is unobtainable.[1] Of note, in a quasi in rem case the court may lack personal jurisdiction over the defendant, but it has jurisdiction over the defendant's property. The property could be seized to obtain a claim against the defendant.[1] A judgment based on quasi in rem jurisdiction generally affects rights to the property only between the persons involved and does not "bind the entire world" as does a judgment based on "jurisdiction in rem". The claim does not have to be related to the property seized, but the person must have minimum contacts with the forum state in order for jurisdiction to be proper. For example, see Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714 (1877) CASE Pennoyer v. Neff. Supreme Court of the US. (1877). PARTIES Neff (plaintiff, appellee, lost land to pay his lawyers fees and sued to get it back) Pennoyer - (defendant, appellant, received the land from Mitchell, Neffs lawyer) FACTS

Marcus Neff hired an attorney, John H. Mitchell, to help him with paperwork and other legal matters incidental to his efforts to obtain a land grant under the Donation Law of Oregon, Mitchell later sued Neff in the Circuit Court of Multnomah County, Oregon for outstanding debts related to his legal services; Neff was not to be found there, and Mitchell won the lawsuit by default judgment which was entered in Mitchell's favor after Neff failed to appear in court. When Mitchell won the lawsuit in February 1866, Neff's land grant hadn't yet been conferred. Mitchell, possibly waiting for the arrival of the grant, waited until July 1866 to get a writ of attachment on the property. The court later ordered the land seized and sold in order to pay the judgment. Mitchell bought the land at that very auction and transferred the title to Sylvester Pennoyer.
PROCEDURAL HISTORY In 1874, Neff sued Pennoyer in federal court to recover his land. Neff won, and Pennoyer appealed to the United States Supreme Court. ISSUE(S) Was the sale of the land a valid judgment? Was the attachment of the property essential to the courts jurisdiction or to the validity of the sale?

Was the judgment in the state court void because 1)he was not personally served, 2) did not appear at the proceeding, and that 3)the land in question could not be used to pay the resident creditor (Marshall) except by a proceeding in rem (a direct proceeding against the property for that purpose) and since that did not happen, it resulted in a violation of due process? Could a State court order property owned by an out-of-state resident to be seized and sold when the outof-state resident was not served actual notice? HOLDING The personal judgment recovered in the State court of Oregon was without any validity and did not authorize a sale of the land. REASONING -Each state owes protection to its citizens and is within its rights to subject property owned by nonresidents to the payment of its own citizens claims. But for the judgment to be valid, the property must have been attached to the defendant before the decision was reached in the state case. If it is attached, then quasi in rem jurisdiction applies. -Notification mere publication of process is insufficient as it may engender fraud and oppression. However, since the law assumes that the owner of a property always either has it in his possession or know what is happening to it (i.e. appointed a caretaker), constructive notice is sufficient if the property has been attached. DECISION Judgment was affirmed. DICTA COMMENTS

Quasi in rem jurisdiction has been dealt a significant blow in the United States as a result of Shaffer v. Heitner, 433 U.S. 186 (1977). The Supreme Court decided that the same tests outlined in the International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945) - minimum contacts, fair play and substantial justice - should apply to the quasi in rem jurisdiction questions. The Supreme Court of the United States significantly diminished the utility of the quasi in rem jurisdiction because if the case meets the minimum contacts, fair play and substantial justice tests, the action can be brought under the in personam jurisdiction. Quasi in rem jurisdiction, however, can still be an effective option to bring the lawsuit to a particular court because quasi in rem jurisdiction allows to overcome limitations of the long arm statute of a particular state Due process and jurisdiction