Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cadle Company II v. Fiscus (Cal. Ct. App. - June 12, 2008)

It's a hot, steamy night in North Carolina. (Yeah, I know, sounds like the opening sentence of a pulp romance novel.) And I had to walk a huge distance until I could find a house that allowed me to pimp their wireless access. But neither rain nor sleet, as they say.

Not that I was too thrilled when I saw the rewards for my dedication. Not the most thrilling of days in California appellate land.

This opinion, for example, was probably the most interesting. Even then, it probably kept my attention only because it's a personal jurisdiction case and I'm a procedural guy by interest and occupation. In a parallel universe, I might perhaps have slept through it.

It's not a hard case. The question is whether you need renewed personal jurisdiction (i.e., minimum contacts with California subsequent to the original judgment) in order to file an independent action to renew a prior state court judgment. The clear answer, BTW, is "No." Which both several non-California cases have already reached and which Justice O'Leary correctly concludes as well. You had jurisdiction originally. That jurisdiction extends to a renewal of the judgment, even in an independent action.

Still, better to get an easy case right than to get it wrong. And right to publish it so it's clearly the law in California. Just so no one else makes a silly (albeit nonfrivolous) argument to the contrary in the future.