Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



In strict logic, the concept of the power of courts to deal in personam with controversies is said to be a constant and the extension of jurisdiction merely an appropriation of pre-existing power. More realistically, it is obvious that, as institutions and citizens become increasingly mobile and migratory, the courts are obliged to keep their jurisdictional machinery abreast of the times in order that legal processes may continue to be the effective arbiter of disputes in our society. Regardless of what terms are used to describe the source of the power, it is traditionally conceived to be limited by the constitutional requirements of due process. The purpose of this Note is to examine the relation of the due process concept to the assumption by the courts of power to act in personam on parties. Because the nature of the problem is more complex with respect to personal jurisdiction over non-resident or absent individuals and over foreign corporations, the discussion will be primarily confined to developments in those fields. No attempt will be made to consider the relationship of due process and notice, although the problems of notice and jurisdiction overlap in many respects.