The Nature of the Claim Filed By the Plaintiff
Shirley Jones is a professional entertainer, who works on a television located in California. National Enquirer is a national magazine located in Florida. One of its publications contained an article, which Jones believed that it had defamatory statements. According to Jones, the article caused damages of slander, assault of privacy and infliction of emotional distress. In this case, Jones is the plaintiff and National Enquirer and its president are defendants.
The Weekly newspaper publishes five million copies per week of which six hundred thousand copies are supplied and sold in California. Jones lives and works in California. This is an indication of how devastating the article could be to her life and career. Despite her efforts to petition the case in a California state court, the defendant appealed based on jurisdiction of the court.
Jurisdiction and the Applicability of the Long-Arm Statute to National Enquirer and Its President
Jurisdiction is the limits at which a court has concerning the nature and location of a case it can handle. These limits are pointed out in both state and Federal laws in the United States of America. In this case, there are several issues, which can be used to determine the personal jurisdiction of the California superior court. First, the case under the superior court clearly states that, as a matter of fact, the act was carried out in Florida with the aim of causing injury to Jones (plaintiff) who works and lives in California. According to ‘International Shoe Co. v. Washington’, 326 U.S. 310, 316 case California superior court has jurisdiction over the accused in other states despite their location. Therefore, the National Enquirer and its president have a case to answer in California.
Secondly, this is not a negligence case but an intentional act aimed at causing harm to a resident in California. The defendants wrote and edited the article with the knowledge of its impacts. Nevertheless, they moved on to distribute the magazine in the Californian market. Their acts make it reasonable that they should anticipate litigation process in a Californian court (McGee v. International Life Ins. Co., 1957).
Thirdly, despite the fact that the petitioners had no direct or had a limited contact in California, they caused harm to an individual living in California. Their location and point of operation are not reasonable grounds for petitioning on jurisdiction in a Californian superior court (Shaffer v. Heitner, 1977). The point of effect is immensely essential for litigation, despite the location where it was perpetrated. In this case, the petitioners’ grounds are not sufficient to grant them their demands.
Ethics Involved In Attempting To Avoid Jurisdiction in California
Business ethic is a set of acceptable behaviors in which a business must observe when dealing with its stakeholders. In a modern perspective, ethics can be realized when an individual, business or professional organization puts into consideration the effect of its behavior to stakeholders and members of the public who in one way or another may contact the organization. The attempt to petition for the defamation case brought forward in Californian senior court is unethical. National Enquirer and its president should have been sensitive to the effects of their article on Jones. Petitioning the case is an indication that National Enquirer and its president do not care about the harm they caused to the plaintiff despite the fact that California forms their greatest market. Their aim is only to see their weekly edition selling and earning money irrespective of harm, it has on the residents of California. An ethical organization or individual should be ready to own up and compensate for the harm they cause to others. However, but it is clear that National Enquirer and its president are not ready to do so.