We are frequently contacted by potential clients outside Hawaii who are curious if they can be sued in Hawaii. Whether or not you can be sued in Hawaii depends on “Personal Jurisdiction.”
“To subject a nonresident defendant to suit, both the long-arm statute of the state in which the Court sits and constitutional due process requirements must be satisfied” Television Events & Marketing, Inc. v Amcon Distributing Co., 416 F. Supp.2d 948, 956-957 (D.Haw., 2006). “Because Hawaii’s long-arm statute reaches to the full extent permitted by the Constitution, the Court need only determine whether due process permits the exercise of personal jurisdiction.” Id. (citing Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 800-801. “The Due Process Clause protects an individual’s liberty interest in not being subject to the binding judgments of a forum with which he has established no meaningful contacts, ties, or relations.” Burger King Corp v Rodzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 471-472 (1985) In order to meet the due process requirement, the Court has to have “either general jurisdiction or specific jurisdiction” over the defendant. Doe v American National Red Cross, 112 F.3d 1048, 1050 (9th Cir., 1997); Robinson Corp v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., 304 F. Supp.2d 1232, 1236 (D. Haw., 2003) (citation omitted).
anticipate being haled into court there.” Sher, 911 F.2d at 1361. This could
arise in one of two ways. First, if the defendant’s contacts with the state are
“substantial,” or “continuous and systematic,” the court may exercise general
jurisdiction over it, regardless of whether the *1072 contacts is related to the
cause of action. Id. Second, if (1) the defendant takes some action to purposely
“avail himself ” of the privilege of conducting activities in the forum, thereby
invoking the benefits and protections of the forum’s laws,” (2) the cause of
action arises out of the defendant’s contacts with the state, and (3) it would
be reasonable to do so, the court may exercise specific jurisdiction over the
defendant.” Id. See also Sinatra v. National Inquirer, Inc., 854 F.2d 1191 (9th Cir.1988).