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United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, E.D

October 10, 1984


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


Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago ("Continental Bank") brings this diversity action against corporate defendant Consulting Engineering Group ("Consulting Engineering") and individual defendant Nadar Eskander ("Eskander"), both Nebraska citizens for jurisdictional purposes.*fn1 Defendants move alternatively (1) for dismissal under Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 12(b)(2) or (2) to quash the return of service of the summons and complaint. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, the action is dismissed (without prejudice) for want of personal jurisdiction over either defendant.*fn2


In 1980 a Saudi Arabian bank requested the Continental Bank to transfer $70,000 to an Omaha bank for a payment owed to Consulting Engineering. By mistake Continental Bank processed the payment twice, thus overpaying Consulting Engineering by $70,000.

When Continental Bank discovered the mistake in its wire transfers (nearly two years later!), it tried unsuccessfully to recover the funds from Eskander (Consulting Engineering's President).*fn4 Continental Bank is informed and believes Eskander withdrew and spent the money.

Eskander has never been an Illinois resident. He owns no property and conducts no business here, nor has he ever conducted any business with the Continental Bank in Illinois or anywhere else. Consulting Engineering also has no contacts with Illinois: It does no business here, is not registered here, has no offices or clients here, has solicited no business here, has no agent for solicitation of business here and has no property here.

Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

This Court has had recent occasion to deal at some length with the principles underlying Illinois law*fn5 for bringing nonresident defendants into court, both under the Illinois long-arm statute (Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 110, ¶ 2-209) and under "doing business" standards. Club Assistance Program, Inc. v. Zukerman, 594 F. Supp. 341 (1984). Though this opinion will not repeat that extended analysis, suffice it to say the wide range of cases in this area of law may best be reconciled in terms of what may be loosely described as whether and in what way defendants intended to affect Illinois interests by their out-of-Illinois conduct.*fn6

One of the linchpins in that analysis is Green v. Advance Ross Electronics Corp., 86 Ill.2d 431, 56 Ill.Dec. 657, 427 N.E.2d 1203 (1981), which also announced the Illinois Supreme Court's partial declaration of independence from the full reach of federal constitutional doctrine. Green taught mere economic impact on an Illinois party, occasioned by a defendant's totally out-of-Illinois conduct, was not enough to subject the defendant to suit in Illinois (id. at 438, 56 Ill.Dec. at 661, 427 N.E.2d at 1207, adapted to the facts of this case):

  But the consequences upon which [Continental
  Bank] rel[ies] are too remote from the misconduct
  of [defendants] to support the conclusion that
  the tortious acts complained of were committed in
  Illinois. The situs of the last event whose
  happening was necessary to hold [defendants]
  liable was in [Nebraska]. It was there
  that. . . . the misappropriation and conversion of
  the [Continental Bank's funds] occurred. . . . The
  tortious acts, if any, and the losses or injury
  were complete when they occurred in [Nebraska].
  That, therefore, was the place of the wrongs;
  their commission cannot reasonably or justifiably
  be transferred to Illinois by the rationale that
  their consequences reduced the amount of
  corporate assets in this State.

That language obviously might have been written for this case. Defendants have not submitted to the jurisdiction of Illinois courts (or therefore to the jurisdiction of this federal court sitting in Illinois) for long-arm purposes.*fn7 See First Wisconsin National Bank v. Akin, 403 F. Supp. 1244 (E.D.Wis. 1975) (rejecting jurisdiction over guarantors of a bank loan where the only "contact" with the forum state was the bank's transmittal of funds from that state to the borrower in another state); cf. Northern Trust Co. v. Randolph C. Dillon, Inc., 558 F. Supp. 1118, 1123 (N.D.Ill. 1983) (rejecting jurisdiction where defendants' only "contact" with Illinois was in sending lease payments from another state to plaintiff in this state). And defendants surely have not created the alternative "doing business" basis for jurisdiction, recognized in such cases as Cook Associates, Inc. v. Lexington United Corp., 87 Ill.2d 190, 199-201, 57 Ill.Dec. 730, 734-35, 429 N.E.2d 847, 851-52 (1981). See, e.g., Froning & Deppe, Inc. v. Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust Co., 695 F.2d 289, 291-93 (7th Cir. 1982).


No predicate exists for the acquisition of personal jurisdiction over either defendant. It is therefore inappropriate simply to quash service of process. Instead this action is dismissed, without prejudice to its reassertion in a jurisdiction where defendants are amenable to suit.

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