Personal Jurisdiction ... i.e. International

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Posted by Jeff from ( on Saturday, February 08, 2003 at 10:20PM :


II. Personal Jurisdiction

Mishkoff first claims that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan lacks personal jurisdiction over him. He asserts that since he is a resident of Texas, the websites were created in Texas, and the mall which is the subject of the websites stands in Texas, a federal court in Michigan cannot exercise jurisdiction over him as a defendant.

Although Mishkoff raises serious doubts in our minds about whether the district court properly held jurisdiction, his motion was ultimately untimely. Although subject-matter jurisdiction can be challenged at any time, Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h); see also Ambrose v. Welch, 729 F.2d 1084, 1085 (6th Cir. 1984), even collaterally after disposition, see Fed. R. App. P. 60(b)(4), a challenge to personal jurisdiction must be raised in the first responsive pleading or be waived. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(1); see, e.g., Reynolds v. Int'l Amateur Athletic Fed'n, 23 F.3d 1110, 1120 (6th Cir. 1994); In Re Wolverine Radio Co., 930 F.2d 1132, 1137 n.5 (6th Cir. 1991). Mishkoff did not raise the issue of personal jurisdiction in his original answer.

Mishkoff asks this court for leeway, in light of the fact that he was originally litigating this case pro se. Unfortunately, as the district court stated, there is no legal basis for so doing. This is not to say that this Court will never grant leeway to a pro se party, but Mishkoff has not presented the kind of extraordinary circumstances that would warrant such action. Accordingly, we find that Mishkoff has waived any challenge to personal jurisdiction.

-- Jeff
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