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Nelson v. Miller

OPINION FILED JUNE 17, 1957.

NORBERT NELSON, APPELLANT,

v.

HOWARD MILLER, APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County; the Hon. WILLIAM R. DUSHER, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE SCHAEFER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The issues in this case concern the applicability and the constitutionality of the 1955 amendments to sections 16 and 17 of the Civil Practice Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1955, chap. 110, pars. 16, 17.) As amended, those sections authorize the entry of judgments in personam on personal service of summons outside the State in enumerated classes of cases.

The complaint was filed in April of 1955. It alleged that the defendant, who is a resident of Wisconsin, was engaged in the business of selling appliances; that on June 3, 1954, he sent one of his employees to deliver certain appliances, including a gas cooking stove, to the plaintiff in Pecatonica, Illinois; that at the request of the defendant's employee the plaintiff assisted in unloading the stove from the truck, and that in the course of this operation defendant's employee negligently pushed the stove so as to sever one finger on plaintiff's right hand and injure another. Plaintiff claimed damages in the sum of $7500.

Two attempts to serve summons failed because the defendant was not found. In February of 1956, after the amendments to the Civil Practice Act had become effective, summons was served personally on the defendant in Wisconsin. The defendant appeared specially and moved to quash the summons on the ground that the amended provisions contravene the United States constitution and the constitution of Illinois. The court granted the motion, and plaintiff appeals.

Section 17 is as follows:

"(1)Any person, whether or not a citizen or resident of this State, who in person or through an agent does any of the acts hereinafter enumerated, thereby submits said person, and, if an individual, his personal representative, to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State as to any cause of action arising from the doing of any of said acts:

(a) The transaction of any business within this State;

(b) The commission of a tortious act within this State;

(c) The ownership, use, or possession of any real estate situated in this State;

(d) Contracting to insure any person, property or risk located within this State at the time of contracting.

"(2) Service of process upon any person who is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State, as provided in this section, may be made by personally serving the summons upon the defendant outside this State, as provided in this Act, with the same force and effect as though summons had been personally served within this State.

"(3) Only causes of action arising from acts enumerated herein may be asserted against a defendant in an action in which jurisdiction over him is based upon this section.

"(4) Nothing herein contained limits or affects the right to serve any process in any other manner now or ...


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