Kulko v. Superior Court of Cal., City and County of San Francisco

PETITIONER: Kulko
RESPONDENT: Superior Court of Cal., City and County of San Francisco
LOCATION: WBAI Station

DOCKET NO.: 77-293
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: Supreme Court of California

CITATION: 436 US 84 (1978)
ARGUED: Mar 29, 1978
DECIDED: May 15, 1978

ADVOCATES:
Lawrence H. Stotter - for appellant
Suzie S. Thorn - for appellee

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Kulko v. Superior Court of Cal., City and County of San Francisco

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 29, 1978 in Kulko v. Superior Court of Cal., City and County of San Francisco

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 15, 1978 in Kulko v. Superior Court of Cal., City and County of San Francisco

Thurgood Marshall:

In the other case, Kulko against the California Superior Court and this case was initially filed as an appeal from the Supreme Court of California.

We postponed probable jurisdiction.

In this case, the appellant married appellee in California in 1959 while on a brief military stop over.

Both's bosses were New York domiciliaries at that time.

Following the appellant's return from military service, the couple resided together in New York, where their two children were born.

They separated in 1972 and executed a separation agreement in New York, providing that the children would spend the school year in New York with the appellant and their vacations in California with the appellee.

In December of 1973, appellant's daughter decided that she wanted to spend the school year in California with the mother and appellant does send her to California.

With this Act that the California court believed, wanted the exercise of in person on jurisdiction.

In our opinion filed with the clerk today, we dismiss the appeal, grant certiorari and reverse.

The due process clause prohibits the state to exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant only where there are minimum contacts between the defendant and the State that makes it very unreasonable to require him to the defend an action in that State's Court.

The mere act of acquiescing in the child desire to spend more time with her mother is simply not sufficient to meet the standard where the defendant has no other relevant contacts that the forum stated.

Mr. Justice Brennan has filed a dissenting opinion which Mr. Justice White and Mr. Justice Powell joined.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Marshall.