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Scheidt v. Young

decided: January 5, 1968.

SOPHIE SCHEIDT AND JOHN SCHEIDT, APPELLANTS,
v.
SPIKE YOUNG AND VICTORIA F. YOUNG, DOING BUSINESS AS MERRY HILL LODGE



Hastie, Freedman and Van Dusen, Circuit Judges.

Author: Per Curiam

Opinion OF THE COURT

In this diversity case the district court of New Jersey quashed service of process on defendants in Pennsylvania, and dismissed the complaint without prejudice.

Plaintiffs allege that they are citizens of New Jersey and that defendants are citizens of Pennsylvania. Plaintiff, Sophie Scheidt, seeks damages for injury which she incurred in a softball game at defendants' Merry Hill Lodge in Cresco, Pennsylvania, allegedly as a result of their negligence while she was a paying guest at the lodge. John Scheidt, her husband, seeks damages for the loss of his wife's services and society.

Extraterritorial service of process is authorized by Rule 4(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "under the circumstances and in the manner prescribed in the statute or rule [of the state in which the district court sits]."*fn1 New Jersey appears to have extended its extraterritorial service to the full extent permitted by due process.*fn2

Plaintiffs rely on the following facts to sustain the service. Upon reading defendants' advertisement in the New York Daily News, a New York newspaper which is also circulated in New Jersey, Mrs. Scheidt called defendants at a Pennsylvania telephone number given in the advertisement, and as Mrs. Scheidt avers, "came to a definite agreement as to our accommodations, date of arrival, length of stay and rate. There was absolutely no condition attached, merely a request that we telegraph a $35.00 deposit, which we promptly did." Mrs. Scheidt has seen the advertisement both before and since this occasion. After the accident representatives of the defendants and their insurer called on Mrs. Scheidt regarding it.

These circumstances do not render defendants subject to extraterritorial service of process. Defendants' advertisements in an out of state newspaper circulated in New Jersey, plaintiffs' telephone conversation with them at the Pennsylvania number listed in the advertisements, defendants' receipt of a deposit sent from New Jersey and the visits to New Jersey by representatives of defendants regarding the accident are peripheral occurrences and do not constitute "some act by which the defendant purposefully avails itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum State, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws."*fn3 New Jersey therefore did not have the necessary "minimum contacts" to sustain jurisdiction over the person and service of process required by due process,*fn4 and service was properly quashed.

The judgment of the district court will be affirmed.

Disposition

Affirme ...


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