March 21, 2020

Lambert v. California - 355 U.S. 225 (1957) - Supreme Court of the United States

FACTS: L.A. has a law which requires all convicted felons to register with the city. Lambert was a felon who was arrested on suspicion of another offense and charged w/ violating the registration laws.

HISTORY: Jury found her guilty and fined $250 and 3 years probation.

ISSUE: Is it a violation of the Due Process if the person has no actual knowledge of their duty to register, and no showing is made of the probability of such knowledge?  

HOLDING: Yes 

RATIONALE: Engrained in the concept of DUE Process is the requirement of notice. Circumstances which might move one to inquire about registering are also lacking. 

DISPOSITION: Reversed. 

DISSENT: Cannot distinguish a difference between someone convicted of innocently violating a law and one (who already has been imprisoned) who is also charged w/ violating a law they didn't know existed.

March 19, 2020

Laclede Gas Co. v. Amoco Oil - 522 F.2d 33 (1975)

Facts: Amoco Agreed to deliver propane from Laclede to Laclede customers. Their contract gave Laclede the option to get out with 30 days notice if the distribution system was converted to natural gas. There was no agreement for Amoco to get out of the contract. At one point Amoco was experiencing a shortage of propane and and reduced what Laclede was receiving to 80%. Then Amoco notified Laclede that it would be increasing the price of the propane. When Laclede demanded an explanation Amoco simply canceled the contract. 

Procedural History: The district court ruled in that the contract was invalid. 

Issue: Did the fact that one party had a way to get out of the contract void the contract? 

Holding: No 

Rationale: The contract was specific enough to determine the responsibilities of each party. The contract falls within the category that it is appropriate to follow the rules of specific performance. 

Disposition: Reversed and Remanded. The district court should grant specific performances.

March 18, 2020

Keeton v. Hustler - 465 U.S. 770, 104 S.Ct. 1473, 79 L.Ed.2d 790 (1984) - Supreme Court of the United States

FACTS: Keeton lived in New York. Hustler is an OH corporation w/ principal place of business in CA. Hustler's contact w/ NH consist of 10-15 thousand copies of the magazine sold there each month. Keeton's contact w/ NH consist of her being libeled there and her name being mentioned in several places in a magazine that she helps produce. She had filed suit in OH but the statute of limitations had run out so she re-filed in NH which has a 6 year statutes of limitations. NH applied the "single publication rule" which entitled the plaintiff to win damages for the libel published in all the states. 

ISSUE: Did NH have proper jurisdiction? 

HOLDING: Yes 

RATIONALE: Plaintiff is not required to have "minimum contacts." In regards to the issues of the 6 year statute of limitations "the issue is personal jurisdiction not choice of law." (233) 

DISPOSITION: Affirmed

March 17, 2020

Calder v. Jones | Case Brief Law Student - 465 U.S. 783, 104 S.Ct. 1482 (1984) - US Supreme Court

FACTS: Entertainer Shirley Jones and her husband sued the National Enquirer alleging the Jones had been libeled by a story alleging she drank so much it prevented her from "performing her professional obligations." The reporter of the story lived in Florida and only made one trip to California for the story. The reporter and the president challenged the in personam jurisdiction of the California courts.

HISTORY: California courts said they had jurisdiction.

ISSUE: Did they have jurisdiction?

HOLDING: Yes

RATIONALE: The defendants activity was aimed at California and they knew the plaintiff would feel the brunt of the injury there because the magazine had its largest circulation in California.

March 16, 2020

Kulko v. Superior Court | Case Brief - 436 U.S. 84, 98 S.Ct. 1690 (1978) - US Supreme Court

FACTS: Ezra Kulko married Sharon Kulko Horn during a 3-day layover in CA en route to Korea from his military base in TX. At the time of marriage both were residents of NY. She returned to NY immediately after the marriage as did he after his tour of duty. They had 2 children and resided in NY until 1972. Sharon moved to CA and the signed a separation agreement in NY that provided the kids would stay with the father during the school year and visit the mother during vacations. Sharon procured a divorce in Haiti and then returned to CA and was married. Ilsa told her father that she wanted to move to CA and this occurred in December 1973. In Jan. 1976 the son Darwin called his mom saying he wanted to move to CA and Sharon sent him a ticket w/out telling Ezra. One month after Darwin arrived Sharon commenced that action trying to establish the Haitian divorce as a CA divorce and modify to award her full custody and increase child-support obligations. 

HISTORY: CA Supreme Court sustained assertion of jurisdiction over Kulko. 

ISSUE: May the CA state courts "exercise in personam jurisdiction over a nonresident, non domiciliary parent of minor children domiciled within the state?" (225) 

HOLDING: No 

RATIONALE: The CA courts did not rely on the temporary visits of the appellant to the state (both on military layovers to and from Korea). They also did not look at the fact that they were married in CA. Ruling against the appellant would discourage parents from entering into reasonable visitation agreements. "Purposeful activity" does not count as the father in the interests of family harmony sending his daughter to CA. The change in amount the father paid in support b/c one kid was in CA resulted from the child being absent from the home and not because of a presence in CA. Because CA participates in the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support ACt of 1968 the plaintiff had a means of procuring additional child-support from the defendant without forcing either party to leave their state of residence. 

DISPOSITION: Reversed.