International Shoe Co. v. Washington Case Brief

International Shoe Co. v. Washington Case Brief 326 U.S. 310 (1945)

International Shoe Co. v Washington a case that is popular today as well, as it is studied by students in law schools of America. This case was indeed a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. The court ruled that the party, in this case, the corporation, may be subject to the jurisdiction of the state court, in case if it really has "minimal interactions" with this statement. This setting has many consequences for corporations that are involved in international trade.

International shoe co. v Washington case brief: In this case, the plaintiff is the commissioner of the State of Washington, who is responsible for assessing and contributing to the unemployment fund. He filed a notice of the assessment of the International Shoe (the defendant), who is the manufacturer and seller of shoe clothing and footwear, for not paying the fund for the three years, namely from 1937 to 1940. International Shoe Co was a corporation of the State of Delaware, and its main place of business was Missouri. The commission agent submitted a valuation notice to the seller who works at the International Shoe in Washington State. International Shoe tried to postpone notice in various ways on the basis that they are not a corporation that does business in Washington. Moreover, they also didn’t have a registered agent in the state and were not an employer and did not provide employment in the state, as definite in the state law.

International Shoe Co v Washington facts: In order to bring the country back on its feet after the Great Depression, federal and state governments have taken various measures for economic recovery. Following a comprehensive scheme of unemployment, the State of Washington required contributions from employers who conducted business in their state. This tax was actually an obligatory contribution to the State Unemployment Insurance Fund. This tax implies that employers must pay to the state unemployment compensation fund a certain percentage of the wages paid for the services of employees in the state.

In the International Shoe Co. v Washington case, the defendant is International Shoe Co, which produced the footwear and shoes. This company was located outside the state, but nevertheless sold its products in Washington, and did not pay the fund for three years, from 1937 to 1940. The American company International Shoe Co was registered in the state of Delaware with a principal place of business in Missouri. The unemployment commissioner, who is the plaintiff, gave the order to the International Shoes for the payment. Moreover, this company did not have any offices, there were no contracts for sale and there were not even any warehouses of goods. They sold their products in Washington through several sellers who lived in Washington. However, International Shoes refused and challenged the state's exercise of its personal jurisdiction over it.

International Shoe repeatedly lost the case in the state court and eventually, the corporation applied to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ultimately, Chief Justice Stone told the majority that the defendant should have minimal interaction with the state before a state can constitutionally exercise personal jurisdiction over that accused. Actually, minimal interactions can exist if the defendant had continuous and systematic interaction with the state.

Also, the necessary interactions can be satisfied with only a few and sufficiently meaningful contacts. Proceeding from the fact that the International shoe had a really systematic interaction with the state, the exercise of Washington's personal jurisdiction did not violate any traditional concepts of fair play and considerable fairness and, therefore, acted.