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  1. #1
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    Nov 2016
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    Question How to Object to a Court's Jurisdiction

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: TN

    I had posted in another thread the particulars of this issue and a question came up that is best answered by a practicing lawyer in TN or one familiar with jurisdiction issues in that state. In summary I am in CA, purchased an item from someone in TN through eBay for which he is now threatening a lawsuit.

    My question is this: If he were to file in TN, and properly serve in CA, could I argue that the TN court has no jurisdiction over the issue and that the case should be filed in a CA court? Or will the simple act of my responding to challenge jurisdiction, via a letter, ends up being taken as consent for jurisdiction?

    Thank you.

    Edit: It would appear that rule 12.02 allows arguing lack of jurisdiction via a letter to the court. Am I reading this right? Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to Object to a Court's Jurisdiction

    You should ask all these questions IN THE SAME THREAD. Nobody wants to hunt all over looking for the pertinent details.

    First, you're misusing the terms. What you appear to want to challenge is VENUE rather than jurisdiction. Location issues are usually arguments of venue. Jurisdiction is the authority for a court to hear a certain kind of case.

    For example, a Tennessee small claims action is limited to the county court in which the DEFENDANT resides. In fact, no matter how he serves you, a Tennessee court is not the right venue for a California defendent. Tennessee small claims have jurisidiction over money matters up to $10,000. In regular (non-small claims) Tennessee court, you either have the choice to sue where the defendant resides or the place where the cause of action arose (which might allow Tennessee to be the proper venue, though he'd have an easier time of it if he sued you in California).

    You'd have to protest the venue if you want that. It would take more than just a "letter." It needs to be a properly filed motion.

    You should also read Title 20 of the Tennessee code (Civil Procedure).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to Object to a Court's Jurisdiction

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    First, you're misusing the terms. What you appear to want to challenge is VENUE rather than jurisdiction. Location issues are usually arguments of venue. Jurisdiction is the authority for a court to hear a certain kind of case.
    When you try to sue somebody in a court you must plead facts to establish two things: subject matter jurisdiction, which is jurisdiction over the cause of action, and personal jurisdiction, which is jurisdiction to hale the defendant into court. The objection here would be that the defendant lacks sufficient contact with Tennessee for it to exercise personal jurisdiction over him, based only upon his having made a single purchase from a vendor in that state.

    The difficulty in challenging personal jurisdiction is that it is possible to accidentally waive your objection through appearing in and defending against the lawsuit. The notes to Rule 12.02, as linked above, explain that it is possible to object to personal jurisdiction through a pre-answer motion, with no need for a special appearance. Example pleadings can likely be found in a practitioner's guide to Tennessee civil procedure before trial, and it is possible that such a guide might be found in a major law school library; or a Tennessee lawyer could be retained to file such a motion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    111

    Default Re: How to Object to a Court's Jurisdiction

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    First, you're misusing the terms. What you appear to want to challenge is VENUE rather than jurisdiction. Location issues are usually arguments of venue. Jurisdiction is the authority for a court to hear a certain kind of case.
    My apologies. I thought that jurisdiction, with regards to territorial jurisdiction or personal jurisdiction specifically, is what the issue is about. I.E. a TN court should not be hearing a case involving an issue in CA.

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    For example, a Tennessee small claims action is limited to the county court in which the DEFENDANT resides. In fact, no matter how he serves you, a Tennessee court is not the right venue for a California defendent. Tennessee small claims have jurisidiction over money matters up to $10,000. In regular (non-small claims) Tennessee court, you either have the choice to sue where the defendant resides or the place where the cause of action arose (which might allow Tennessee to be the proper venue, though he'd have an easier time of it if he sued you in California).
    So what determines small claims action vs. regular court - i.e. is it a simple matter of amounts involved or can someone pay the fees/costs to file in regular court for small losses as well?

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    You'd have to protest the venue if you want that. It would take more than just a "letter." It needs to be a properly filed motion.
    Of course but would it require me to present my motion in person or can it be presented in writing?

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    You should also read Title 20 of the Tennessee code (Civil Procedure).
    Will do.

    Thanks.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    When you try to sue somebody in a court you must plead facts to establish two things: subject matter jurisdiction, which is jurisdiction over the cause of action, and personal jurisdiction, which is jurisdiction to hale the defendant into court. The objection here would be that the defendant lacks sufficient contact with Tennessee for it to exercise personal jurisdiction over him, based only upon his having made a single purchase from a vendor in that state.

    The difficulty in challenging personal jurisdiction is that it is possible to accidentally waive your objection through appearing in and defending against the lawsuit. The notes to Rule 12.02, as linked above, explain that it is possible to object to personal jurisdiction through a pre-answer motion, with no need for a special appearance. Example pleadings can likely be found in a practitioner's guide to Tennessee civil procedure before trial, and it is possible that such a guide might be found in a major law school library; or a Tennessee lawyer could be retained to file such a motion.
    Mr. Knowitall,

    Thank you very much for your concise and clear explanation. It clarifies the issue. If the seller actually serves I will follow your advice in regards to the pre-trial motion.

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