Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk

PETITIONER:Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft
LOCATION:Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation

DOCKET NO.: 86-1052
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)
LOWER COURT: State appellate court

CITATION: 486 US 694 (1988)
ARGUED: Mar 21, 1988
DECIDED: Jun 15, 1988

Herbert Rubin – on behalf of the Petitioner
Jeffrey P. Minear – amicus curiae, supporting Respondent
Jack Samuel Ring – on behalf of the Respondent

Facts of the case


Media for Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – March 21, 1988 in Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – June 15, 1988 in Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk

William H. Rehnquist:

The opinion of the Court in No. 86-1052, Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft versus Schlunk will be announced by Justice O’Connor.

Sandra Day O’Connor:

This case comes to us on writ of certiorari to the Appellate Court of Illinois and it concerns the scope of an international treaty called the Hague Service Convention.

The convention prescribes what methods may be use to serve process when there is occasion to transmit a document for service abroad.

Petitioner argues that the convention applies to this case and that the service of process was invalid because it was not in accord with the convention.

In the opinion filed today, we reject petitioner’s argument and affirm the judgment below.

Although the petitioner is a foreign corporation, it owns a subsidiary registered to do business in Illinois and petitioner was served properly by substituted service on its subsidiary.

Under Illinois law, this service did not require official transmission of documents to the petitioner abroad.

Therefore, the Hague Service Convention does not apply.

Justice Brennan has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in which Justices Marshall and Blackmun have joined.