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Loggans v. Jewish Community Center





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Arthur A. Sullivan, Jr., Judge, presiding.


Plaintiff Susan E. Loggans sued defendant Jewish Community Center of Milwaukee for damages for injuries she suffered on July 21, 1978, while horseback riding at Camp Interlochen in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Camp Interlochen is a children's camp owned by defendant. Defendant was served in Milwaukee. It filed a special and limited appearance and motion to quash service for lack of personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff and defendant each filed affidavits in support of their positions on the motion to quash. The trial court ordered discovery for the limited purpose of information concerning defendant's special and limited appearance. After a hearing, defendant's motion was granted.

Plaintiff appeals, contending that: (1) defendant's commercial activities in Illinois were sufficiently substantial to constitute doing business under sections 13.3 and 16 of the Civil Practice Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 110, pars. 13.3, 16), now codified as sections 2-204 and 2-208 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 110, pars. 2-204, 2-208); and (2) the injuries sustained by plaintiff were sufficiently related to the business transacted by defendant to establish jurisdiction under the Illinois long-arm statute, section 17 of the Civil Practice Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 110, par. 17), now codified as section 2-209 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 110, par. 2-209).

Plaintiff, by affidavit, stated:

During her 1969 Christmas vacation from school, she sought a summer job by reading the Chicago Tribune help-wanted ads. There was an ad by the Illinois Department of Labor for a riding instructor at a summer camp. From her home in Chicago she telephoned the Department and was told to come to their offices on La Salle Street, Chicago. She went there and was told that her employer would be defendant. Defendant mailed her information to her home in Chicago. She completed the application and mailed it from Chicago to Milwaukee. She was notified by mail that she had been preliminarily accepted and to come to Milwaukee for a personal interview. After her interview there, she was notified in Chicago that she had been accepted as the riding master at Camp Interlochen, the summer camp at Eagle River, Wisconsin. She was so employed during the summer of 1970. Each of the camp counselors, including plaintiff, were specifically invited to return on any available occasion during the year following their employment. They were told specifically that this return by camp counselors and other employees promoted the friendship and purposes of Judaism which they were attempting to instill in camp personnel.

As a result of this invitation, eight years later in the summer of 1978, she returned to the camp, accompanied by her husband. At that time the camp was closed to campers for the season. She was specifically invited to return the following year while the camp was in full operation. She returned the following year, specifically pursuant to the invitation issued the year before and years prior when she was employed there as a counselor. She considered her invitation at the camp to be her continuing responsibility as a prior employee of the camp and in furtherance of the duties and responsibilities she had undertaken at that time.

In her complaint, plaintiff alleged that on July 21, 1978, while at the camp riding horseback, she was injured when the horse slipped and fell in a wet mud hole, which existed due to the negligence of defendant.

The record shows:

Defendant is a nonprofit corporation, incorporated under the laws of Wisconsin. It owns no property, has no agents or offices and does not transact any business in Illinois. It is a social service agency whose services are designed to provide productive leisure time activity, strengthen Jewish identification and expression, and promote strengthening of Jewish family life. The services and facilities are open to all religions, all creeds and all races. Its members are all from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area. They make use of defendant's facilities and services. Defendant receives revenue from its membership and from program fees. There is no source of revenue received from Illinois corporations or organizations. There have been contributions from persons living out of Wisconsin. Defendant's administrative director did not remember any specifically from Illinois residents.

Defendant has no offices in Illinois. It does not contribute to any charitable institutions in Illinois. It does not have any members residing in Illinois. It has not held any event or conducted any events in Illinois.

Defendant operates Camp Interlochen, a children's camp at Eagle River, Wisconsin. It has residential cabins for children and staff, an office, library, recreational hall, athletic fields, riding stables and riding ring, the lake and an infirmary for overweight ill children. There are instructions (in swimming, archery and other kinds of activities), as well as athletic and social and recreational activities. The campers' ages are from 9-16. Membership in defendant is required. There is a fee for a three-week session.

The land at this camp is owned by defendant and supervised by its members. There is seasonal, summer employment at the camp. To recruit those employees, defendant places ads in student newspapers or announcements in Hillel House. Hillel is the Jewish student organization on college campuses, a national network. There is a Hillel House at the University of Illinois.

Defendant regularly sends notices of job openings to Hillel House. It has had people from Illinois interested in working at the camp. The camp director does the interviewing and makes the ultimate decision on hiring. They are personal interviews which are in Milwaukee or in Madison, Wisconsin, where there are a lot of university students. The vast majority hired are university students. If there were sufficient applicants from Illinois, the camp director would go there. She has not gone yet.

Plaintiff came to Milwaukee for an interview at defendant's invitation. The executive directors of defendant did not recall whether defendant paid her travel expenses. Neither defendant nor the camp has an office in ...

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