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Ziegler v. Hodges

MARCH 1, 1967.




Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Kane County; the Hon. CHARLES G. SEIDEL, Judge, presiding. Reversed.


The plaintiff, Raymond Ziegler, brought this action against the defendants, Houghton-Mifflin Co. and Henry Hodges, for invasion of his right of privacy and for certain monies due under an assignment from the defendant, Henry Hodges, to the plaintiff and accepted by the defendant, Houghton-Mifflin. The defendant, Henry Hodges, was personally served with summons and complaint at his residence in Florida. The defendant, Henry Hodges, moved to quash the service of summons stating that he was not subject to the personal jurisdiction of the court. His motion was granted and an order was entered dismissing the suit as against him, and from this order the plaintiff appeals.

The defendant, Henry Hodges', motion was accompanied by an affidavit and the plaintiff filed an affidavit and a supplemental affidavit. By his affidavit the defendant, Henry Hodges merely avers that he has never submitted to the jurisdiction of the court in said action, that he has never committed any of the acts set forth in chapter 110, section 17 of the Civil Practice Act (c 110, § 17, Ill Rev Stats 1965), providing for substituted service on a defendant residing outside the State of Illinois, and that he had not been inside the State of Illinois for more than ten years last past.

The plaintiff by his affidavit and supplemental affidavit avers that in 1961 Henry Hodges made a written offer in a letter which was sent from Hodges to the plaintiff in Urbana, Illinois; that said offer was for plaintiff to participate with Hodges in writing a certain textbook; that the consideration for plaintiff's participation in writing said textbook would be a percentage of the royalties received by Hodges from Houghton-Mifflin Co. upon publication of said textbook; that thereafter there were certain long-distance telephone conversations between the plaintiff in Illinois and Hodges in Florida by which the plaintiff accepted the offer of Hodges; that said telephone conversations specifically concerned the agreement to write a portion of the aforesaid textbook; that thereafter certain materials were sent to the plaintiff in Illinois by Hodges to aid the plaintiff in the preparation of his portion of the textbook; that pursuant to the agreement that portion of the textbook to be written by the plaintiff was written by him in Illinois and all labor concerning his writing was performed in Illinois; that the plaintiff sent the fruits of his labor to Hodges in Florida; that that portion of the manuscript prepared by Hodges was sent to the plaintiff in Illinois for the express purpose that the plaintiff edit and comment upon the same; that the plaintiff did edit and comment as requested and that all such labor performed by the plaintiff in this respect was performed within Illinois; that thereafter the plaintiff returned the same to Henry Hodges in Florida and that Hodges knew or should have known that the plaintiff would perform the agreements solicited by Hodges in Illinois; and that the plaintiff was a citizen and resident of Illinois from September 1960 until September 1964.

Although Hodges suggests in his argument that no consideration should be given to the supplemental affidavit, we find no merit to this argument and we are considering the facts as presented by the affidavit of the defendant, Hodges, and the affidavit and supplemental affidavit of the plaintiff as set forth above.

The applicable part of 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 such 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 such acts:

"(a) The transaction of any business within this State. . . .

"(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. . . ." (Emphasis added.)

Ill Rev Stats, 1965, c 110, § 17-1a, 2 and 3.

The sole question to be answered in this case is whether the defendant, Hodges, submitted his person to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State by transacting any business in Illinois within the meaning of the above statute.

The determination of what constitutes the transaction of any business within this State within the meaning of section 17(1)(a) presents a problem of statutory construction within the constitutional framework. Jurisdiction under section 17 has not been restricted to those cases alone where its language literally describes the activities of the defendant, and it is clear that the reach of the clause is intended to be as broad as the State's constitutional authority in this field. Koplin v. Thomas, Haab & Botts, 73 Ill. App.2d 242, 248, 219 N.E.2d 646 (1966). In Nelson v. Miller, 11 Ill.2d 378, 389-390, 143 N.E.2d 673 (1957), the Court stated as follows:

"Sections 16 and 17 of the Civil Practice Act reflect a conscious purpose to assert jurisdiction over nonresident defendants to the extent permitted by the due-process clause. (Cleary & Seder, Extended Jurisdictional Basis, 50 NULR 599; O'Connor ...

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