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PROCESS CHURCH OF FINAL JUDGMENT v. SANDERS

March 7, 1972

THE PROCESS CHURCH OF THE FINAL JUDGMENT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ED SANDERS AND E.P. DUTTON & CO., INC., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Will, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff, a Louisiana not-for-profit corporation, has brought this libel action against Ed Sanders, a resident of New York who is author of a book entitled, "The Family — The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion," (hereinafter "The Family" or "the book") and Mr. Sanders' publishing house, E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc. (hereinafter "Dutton"), a New York corporation with its principal place of business in New York. Defendants Dutton and Sanders have moved to dismiss this action on the ground that this court lacks personal jurisdiction over them, or, in the alternative, they have moved to transfer this action to the Southern District of New York pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Inasmuch as we find that we have personal jurisdiction over the defendants and that no valid reasons have been put forth for transfer, both motions of both defendants will be denied.

I. DUTTON

A. MOTION TO DISMISS

Pursuant to Rule 4(d)(7), Fed.R.Civ.P., plaintiff has served Dutton in accordance with the Illinois long arm statute. Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 110, §§ 16 & 17. It argues that Dutton is amenable to suit in Illinois under the facts of the instant case and that, therefore, this court has jurisdiction over it. Plaintiff makes no claim that Dutton is "doing business" in the traditional sense and would therefore be "present" in the State for jurisdictional purposes; indeed, such an argument is wholly untenable.

Section 17 of chapter 110 of the Illinois Revised Statutes provides in pertinent part:

  (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
      such acts:
      (a) The transaction of any business within this
          State;
      (b) The commission of a tortious act 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.

Plaintiff advances the argument that Dutton is amenable to suit under both §§ 17(1)(a) and (1)(b) — transacting business within the State and committing a tort within the State respectively.

1. Section 17(1)(a). The relevant facts indicate that Dutton is a New York corporation with its principal place of business in New York. It entered into an agreement to publish the allegedly libelous book "The Family" with defendant Sanders in New York. All work performed by Dutton on the book — editing, producing, promoting, and advertising — was performed in New York. Dutton placed the book on sale at major bookstores in New York, and thereafter shipped it to various bookstores throughout the country.

Dutton maintains no office or place of business in Illinois; it has no director, officer, supervisory or professional employee in Illinois; it is not qualified to do business in Illinois; it has no registered agent or person authorized to accept service in the State; it has no telephone listing in Illinois; it has never owned or leased any real property within the State; it has never signed a contract in Illinois, nor made or received any payment here, nor maintained a bank account here. Since September 1, 1971, Dutton has had a resident salesman in Illinois who solicits orders which are not binding until they are accepted by Dutton's New York office.

It is mandatory in order for jurisdiction to be conferred by ยง 17(1)(a) that the particular cause of action arise from the transaction of the business that purports to give jurisdiction. Section 17(3) makes this point doubly explicit. This cause of action arises from the publishing of the book, "The Family." The only business that Dutton carries on generally in Illinois is the solicitation of orders for books. With respect to the book "The Family," the only business that Dutton transacted was contracting for the sale of this book with various bookstores and book purveyors. Libel, ...


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