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Encyclopedia > International Shoe Co. v. Washington
International Shoe v. Washington

Supreme Court of the United States Official seal of the Supreme Court of the United States File links The following pages link to this file: Marbury v. ...

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Citations: 326 U.S. 310
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International Shoe v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945), was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court holding that an individual could not be subjected to personal jurisdiction by the courts of a state unless that individual had certain minimum contacts with that state. Court citation is a standard system used in common law countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada to uniquely identify the location of past court cases in special series of books called reporters. ... 1945 was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... A landmark decision is the outcome of a legal case (often thus referred to as a landmark case) that establishes a precedent that either substantially changes the interpretation of the law or that simply establishes new case law on a particular issue. ... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... Personal jurisdiction, jurisdiction of (or over) the person, or jurisdiction in personam is the power of a court to require a party (usually the defendant) or a witness to come before the court. ... Minimum contacts is a term used in the United States law of civil procedure to determine when it is appropriate for a court in one state to assert in personam jurisdiction (i. ...



The plaintiff state of Washington established a tax on employers doing business therein. The defendant, International Shoe, was a company that was incorporated in Delaware and doing business out of Missouri, which had maintained for some time a staff of 11-13 salesmen in Washington who were residents of that state, and who occasionally rented space to put up displays. International Shoe did not pay the tax, so the state effected service of process on one of their salesman with a notice of assessment. Washington also sent a letter by registered mail to their place of business in Missouri. International Shoe made a special appearance in the Washington State Court to dispute jurisdiction. Jurisdiction was upheld in the Washington State Court and the Supreme Court of Washington, so International Shoe appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. A plaintiff, also known as a claimant, or a complainant is the party who initiates a lawsuit (also known as an action) before a court. ... State nickname: The Evergreen State Other U.S. States Capital Olympia Largest city Seattle Governor Christine Gregoire Official languages None Area 184,824 km² (18th)  - Land 172,587 km²  - Water 12,237 km² (6. ... A tax is an involuntary fee paid by individuals or businesses to a state, or to functional equivalents of a state, including tribes, secessionist movements or revolutionary movements. ... In Common law, a defendant is any person who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff in a civil suit or any person who has been named in a criminal information or criminal complaint and stands accused of violating a criminal statute. ... State nickname: The First State Other U.S. States Capital Dover Largest city Wilmington Governor Ruth Ann Minner Official languages None Area 6,452 km² (49th)  - Land 5,068 km²  - Water 1,387 km² (21. ... Missouri, named after the Missouri Siouan Indian tribe meaning canoe, is a Midwestern state of the United States with Jefferson City as its capital. ... Service of process is the term given to a court or administrative bodys exercise of its jurisdiction over individuals who are the subject of proceedings or actions bought before such court, body or other tribunal. ...


What level of connection must exist between a corporation and a state in order for that corporation to be sued within that state?


The Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Stone, held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires that an individual can not be brought before court of a particular state unless that individual has:

Minimum contacts... such that maintenance of the suit does not offend "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice."

Jurisdiction was appropriate in this case because International Shoe engaged in substantial activities in the state of Washington, enjoyed the benefits and protections of the state of Washington through the ability to sell there, and had access to Washington’s courts to resolve their disputes.


Justice Hugo Black wrote a separate opinion agreeing with the outcome in this case, but contending that the Court has excessively restricted the power of states to find jurisdiction over companies doing business therein. Hugo LaFayette Black (February 27, 1886 – September 25, 1971) was a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1937 - 1971). ...



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